By Essie Bester
When you’re looking for a job, your CV is important. If compiled in the correct way, you will be invited to an interview very quickly. However, if you do it the wrong way, you could experience disappointment time and time again. It is easy to leave out things if you are worried about work.
The hints below will help you to remember the most important things when it comes to compiling your CV:
The ultimate purpose of a CV is to convince the personnel recruiter of the firm you would like to work for that you qualify for an interview. It is only in the most exceptional of cases that a CV is directly responsible for an appointment.
Personnel recruiters understand very well that an employee is not simply the list of things that he or she did in the past. They want to know more about who the applicant is and what his or her plans for the future are.
- Align your needs with your intentions
An employee is usually appointed because there is a need for his or her skills – tasks that have to be done well and in the end contribute to the success of the business making the appointment.
Personnel recruiters are potential clients who want a return on their investment (appointing you). The questions they may ask, could include some of the following:
What value do you intend to add?
What contributions will you make that will benefit the business and bring in a profit?
Do you understand the importance of exchanging productive inputs for continued training and growth?
The role of your CV is to convince a personnel recruiter that you have considerable value to add so that they would like to meet you.
Many jobs come with specific requirements. Go beyond simply confirming that you have the essential qualifications by illustrating the excellence with which you apply these qualifications. Your CV must answer all the personnel recruiter’s questions about your qualifications so that his first thought will be that he would like to invite you for an interview.
- It must not only be written, it must be produced
Remember that your CV is a marketing tool. Its appearance and the feeling it creates send out a message that elicit a reaction. If its appearance is fresh and clear and it is easy to read, your chances are good that it will be scrutinised.
Personnel recruiters spend only a limited time on quickly perusing each CV they receive. The first impression is therefore the key. If you submit a neat, well-organised document with all the important points highlighted, you will convince the recruiters to spend more time on your CV.
The image you want to project, depends on the role and the business, but it is important to keep it professional and attractive (short and relevant). Be conservative in the use of typefaces, colours and illustrations. Choose clear, readable typefaces, be consistent in the layout of your CV, avoid cute illustrations and do not include photos – unless specifically ask to do so.
- Pay attention to the structure of your CV
CVs are expected to be in a certain order. If you know this order and adhere to it, you will ensure an employer that you are competent and aware of basic communication practices. The chronological CV structure is the most versatile and popular one, and looks as follows:
Heading and personal information
Career goals and professional profile (a short paragraph just below your name with contact details and that gives prospective employers an overview of who you are and what is important to you).
Experience in general and work experience
This information can be replaced by training and qualifications if you are new to the labour market.
Training and qualifications
Additional information may include your key skills and hobbies (only those relevant to the job you are applying for).
- Remember the finer points
Avoid phrases such as “I can” when compiling your CV. This suggests that you can do a specific thing but would not necessarily want to do it. You want everything about your CV definitive, to the point and convincing. The same goes for your verbs. Use active, exciting verbs – such as that you have surpassed all expectations instead of that you have achieved your goal.
The final element to be considered is how you are going to get your CV to the personnel recruiter. Conventional mail is probably the worst choice, followed by email. By far the best way to get your CV to the personnel recruiter is by having it delivered to him by a person the personnel recruiter knows and trusts.
You would much rather preferto be introduced to a potential employer by somebody you trust instead of by an impersonal document. Network continuously – because this is how the world functions nowadays. Fully exploit it by identifying the person who can introduce you to success.