Saturday, December 08, 2012

The perfect CV guidelines

A CV is you and we cannot stop writing about CV's because they are what give people jobs. If you get the CV right then you are safe. The best and most clear definition of a CV is that it is a means to an end. This mean, a CV shouldn't be anything close to an autobiography. Keep it professional and as objective as possible. Details of the number of kids you have and your goal of being an entrepreneur 10 years to come are beside the point. It is important to realize that the CV stage is not about giving the HR Managers a good knowledge of who you are – it’s simply about being placed in their “yes” pile, rather than their “no” section.

You’ll have plenty of time to prove how personable, friendly and enthusiastic you are at the interview stage. Here’s some advice and CV writing tips to give you the edge:

1.   Avoid irrelevant details such as personal attributes: “I am hardworking, honest, dedicated, loyal and even born again” is one of the many attributes that do not highlight your skills and how you are best suited for the job you are applying for.

2.   Only include those key professional strengths that fall in life with the positions requirement. If you are a Sales Executive for example, consider including the following skills in your CV; strong negotiation skills, client relationship building skills, highly tuned to identifying and responding effectively to customers’ needs etc.

3.   The most important piece of CV advice I can give every day is: keep it brief. If you’re working on having 10 seconds to be seen in, you can’t waste time with verbosity. Get to the point quickly and outline your achievements, past roles and skills clearly. Pass the first test of having the skills, and the rest may be immaterial.

4.   The CV should be no more than four pages, unless of course there is some very important information that cannot be ignored but even so, 6 to 7 pages is unrealistic. The really important stuff should be on the front page to ensure even the really lazy HR staff can’t miss it!

5.   Do not be scared of being unique. If you want to stand out, you have to make yourself different than the others. Almost every applicant I’ve come across describes themselves as dynamic, creative or enthusiastic, result-oriented in their CV – it all becomes white noise. Stick to the facts, let your achievements do the talking and you should be given opportunity to prove all these personality traits exist at the interview.

As indicated earlier, a CV is your face. Try to make everything in the CV appear as you or what you think you are. When it comes to writing a CV, you really should ensure that everything is perfect. I hope this advice on how to write a CV that stands out is helpful. Consult friend, colleagues and better still seek professional help.

All the best.

Article by Joan.