One of the most important parts of searching for a job is getting your CV, or resume, on point. Aside from the cover letter or phone call, your CV is the first impression you give to potential employers, so it needs to be professional, correct and targeted.
We should clarify that this post is aimed at those unfamiliar with the world of job seeking, or who are concerned with the state of their CV. If you have plenty of experience in successfully applying for roles, then this probably isn’t for you!
So let’s dive in…
The first part of your CV will give your most important details. Here you should be including your name, your address (if you think it’s relevant), email address and phone number – and make sure they’re correct! Some people like to include a mug shot at the top, but that’s really up to you. There’s no evidence suggesting it helps in getting a call back, unless you’re applying for the model or media industry.
You may like to add some keywords or a short summary, highlighting your strengths or suitability to the role, but if you’re submitting a good, targeted cover letter with the application then you probably don’t need to add all this in your CV as well.
Next, chronologically, go through your employment history. There are two ways of doing this: firstly, you can just go through (starting with the most recent) job by job, with dot points around what you did whilst there and the dates you were employer; secondly, you could separate employment history into appropriate categories.
This second style is a winner if you’re applying for a role that you haven’t had years of experience in. For example, if you did Journalism at university, but want to apply for a Marketing job, you could divide your employment history into categories of ‘Marketing’, ‘Journalism’, and ‘Other’, therefore highlighting marketing experience at the top rather than the recruiter – who is probably going through lots of resumes – thinking that you only specialise in journalism.
For some reason, a lot of people leave their education out, or put too much info in. If you’ve finished University, don’t list that you got As and Bs at high school. Don’t even put high school on there. This is a professional CV, not Facebook. If you’re just out of school with no other qualifications, then include your schooling but add in any extra curricular activities you’ve been involved in.
This shows an engaged mind and participation in multiple aspects of the community. Both important symbols of the type of person you are.
So that’s your professional CV done – next, you’ll want to get that cover letter down pat. We’ll go through that in a future blog post, so stay tuned.