So you want to get a new job, and you know you’re going to need a really good CV. CV’s and portfolios are extremely important; you want to do them to the best of your ability and also to be the most eye catching when thrown on the pile of countless other candidates.
The very first step is to write a rough draft of your CV. You can do this any way you like, either on your computer using a program such as Word or on paper with a pen or pencil. It’s your call. I’d recommend the computer, just in case your rough draft turns out be a really great CV.
The heading is simply your name and contact information. I’d recommend avoiding the narcissistic urge of putting your name in bold, 16 point type. This might not be the time to be overly pompous or arrogant. Enter your name, address, contact telephone number(s) and email address.
The next step is the summary. Notice I avoided the old fashioned notion that an objective should be the first thing your prospective employer sees. Your objective can best be addressed in your cover letter. That prospective employer already knows you’re seeking work or employment with this particular company if you included a proper and professional cover letter.
Your summary section of the CV should summarise who you are and what experience you have which qualifies you for this position, and why that would be a benefit to this prospective employer. Make it short, sweet and strong. But don’t brag.
The third step is typing the body of your CV. This is where you list the past 15 to 20 years of your professional life in chronological order. Professional history and professional experience are both important. However, if you’re 55 and have 35 years in the work force, resist the temptation to list every professional position and part time job you ever held. That would only serve to make you seem old: Experience is good. Old is bad. Remember that.
Do look online at a few headhunter type sites for suggestions on layout for this part of your really good CV Choose a format that you feel suits your personality.
One major point is to look online for this. Books are usually old and out of “style” regarding CV formatting. You need to be current. You’re a cutting edge type of applicant every business needs. Make your really great CV reflect that edgy, new you.
Step four is optional. Educational history can hurt you or help you. If you only attended your local community college between surfing runs to the beach, leave that part out. You can discuss how much more mature you are now once you get that interview. Education, at this point, may very well be over rated.
Then there’s the possibility of making yourself appear over qualified. If you have, for example, an MBA from Harvard, you might want to save that info for your interview. Minimize your education unless your degree makes you appear to be the absolutely perfect candidate for this job.
There is no next step. That’s it! You’ll now put this really, really great CV together with a super cover letter and email, snail mail and – if necessary – hand deliver it to your prospective employer.
Good job hunting to you! Now go get hired!