CV writing has become a necessary part of the job hunting process. In the world of Job hunting, your CV is a powerful tool; it puts your foot on the door and moves you a step closer to getting the job you desire. In the same manner, a bad CV can ruin the chances of an otherwise great candidate.
In as much as a CV should be customized to reflect the candidate’s strengths and the role he/she is applying for, there is an acceptable CV structure that should be adhered to for the best results. CV writing has become a necessary part of the job hunting process.
A CV or curriculum vitae is an introduction to the candidate, a tool for you to market yourself to the prospective employer. It should include your skills, professional journey, and basically highlight how you are the strongest candidate for the position you are applying for.
Here is how to write that CV that gets you a job.
1. THE CV FORMAT
There are basic things an employer or recruiter would want to know about the prospective candidate, and this cuts across industries. This is a recommended CV structure;
- Contact details
- Professional summary
- Career objectives
2. Contact Details
At the top of your page, before anything else should be your contact address. This information should include your Full name, physical address, box number (even though it is unlikely that you will be contacted through it), email address, and phone number; you may choose to include your LinkedIn URL, too. It’s not necessary to include personal details such as your date of birth, marital status, or religion.
3. Professional Summary
This is one of the most important aspects of your CV. It is an opportunity to state who you are as a professional and why you are qualified for the position based on your prior experience, skills and qualifications. This should reflect how your career journey has been, don’t forget to leave a hint of your personality in the summary. Always remember to tailor this portion to whatever job you are applying for at the moment.
4. Career Objectives
This is a short statement to indicate where you are in your career journey and what you are capable of offering in the new position. For instance, you can use this portion to indicate that you are at the beginning of your career and you wish to use the position as a learning curve, or that you are in the middle of your career and you wish to contribute meaningfully to the organization.
List your relevant skills and competencies that will be needed in the vacant position. This should include skills that have been highlighted in the job description to get your application selected. This is especially useful in cases where CVs are being sorted with the use of a software. Career skills keep changing and evolving daily and you have to always be abreast of the relevant skills that cut across industries. This gives your CV a good look and can go a long way for applicants who do not have experience.
6. Experience and Employment History
Indicate clearly all your previous jobs, internships and work experience. It is possible that you might have a lot to say in this section, so you can limit your work experience to the most current. Your work experience should be arranged with the most current at the top with the job title, company name, duration of employment and responsibilities clearly stated. It helps to choose the duties most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Here is an example of how your employment history should look like;
Communications Executive at (Company Name)
(March 2015 – January 2017)
- Answering of phone calls
- Keeping records and entering of data
- Attending to customer complaints and needs
Like the Experience section, your education history should be arranged with the most current at the top. List the names of institutions you attended with the qualifications earned and the dates you completed the trainings. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you attended. You do not have to list all your qualifications if they are a lot; just choose the most relevant. If you have a degree, you could list a few of the most relevant modules you took.
8. Hobbies and interests
Stating your hobbies and interests gives the recruiter more insight into your personality. If you have hobbies that relate with the industry you are going into or that paints you in a positive light it is a good idea to highlight them.
Ideally, your referees should be previous employers or your educational tutors. You do not necessarily have to list all their details or list them at all. A person’s name, physical address, contact number, and email address are sufficient.
In cases where you have not been asked to provide your references on the job advertisement, you can simply state; References available upon request.
However, it is a good practice to provide references with your CV. If you need help with your CV, you are the reason we are here. Speak to our experts or check out the options here.
4 Signs You Have A Bad CV & Need Professional Help
For anyone taking their career seriously, the question “Do you have a good CV?” shouldn’t put you in a confused state. But if this simple question gives you shivers, then you need professional assistance to bring the best out of your CV to get you to the top. While a few people find it easy to identify their skills and present themselves exceptionally well on paper, the vast majority of job applicants could improve their C Vs before sending them out.
Consider the below scenarios before you write off the idea of a professionally written CV;
1. Your CV Could Have Unpardonable Errors
If you’re firing off your CV but never getting interviews, it may be time to get some honest feedback. A professional writer will immediately be able to spot mistakes or anything that a recruiter may find off-putting.
Getting a professional writer to review your CV is the best decision in your job search who will provide an all-in-one CV review and give you useful feedback. Based on the feedback, you can choose to implement changes yourself or gain further support.
2. You’re Selling Yourself Wrongly
Selling yourself to a potential employer especially on paper is not an easy task. How can you show off your achievements and value without sounding like you’re bragging? Perhaps you even find it difficult to find the balance between bragging and hitting a good selling point. A professional CV writer will work with you to identify your most saleable attributes and present them in a professional, non-boastful way. The ability to sell your value doesn’t come naturally to most people. But remember, if you don’t toot your own trumpet, no-one will hear you coming! You need a recruiter to sit up and take notice when your CV lands on their desk. A good professionally written CV by Jobberman will make this happen.
3. You’re Not Presenting the Best Version of You
Are you leaving out the most important information in your career that could be your gateway to your dream job? Professional CV writers spend all day, every day, looking at C Vs and job descriptions. They understand what works and what is required to sell you to a potential employer. A good writer will spend time talking to you, to understand your desired career path and how your professionally written CV should be worded, structured and presented to get you there. Summarising your whole life on two pages can be challenging, so working with someone who knows what to include, and omit can be a great help in achieving that balance.
4. Your CV Looks Old-Fashioned
CV trends and expectations keep changing every day. You don’t want to make yourself look out-of-touch by presenting an outdated CV. Fortunately, a professional CV writer will be aware of the latest changes and can advise you accordingly.
For example, today it is advised that the date of birth which used be the norm for CVs should be eliminated in favour of information that is more relevant.
With such high numbers of applicants for each job, your CV now needs to be much more than a dry list of responsibilities. Your writer will build you a new CV from scratch, to ensure it complies with current best practice and Jobberman has got the right man for you.
How To Sell Yourself in 7 Seconds With Your CV
If you have just 7seconds to sell yourself to a prospective employer, what exactly would you say and how would you say it? Your answer is what is expected to be seen on your CV.
Recruiters take an average of 5-7 seconds to scan a CV. Your CV is your marketing tool. It must have the power to get the attention you need from recruiters or employers. According to recruiters, CV’s determines whether an applicant will be invited for an interview or not.
Take the chance to market yourself well. Here is how to sell yourself to a prospective employer with your CV within 7 seconds.
1. Make The First Impression
If you really want your CV to be noticed, you need to put in extra efforts. When you look at your CV, what image do you get? Your CV should have the capacity to speak on your behalf and represent who you are and your competencies.
Your personal information must be at the top, followed by your professional summary, then your career objective(s). Always bullet your responsibilities/ achievements, education and work experience. It must have a chronological flow of dates and relevant experience. List your positions with the most recent at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom. Remember to make it simple, clear, concise and devoid of grammatical errors. In as much as you want to impress the recruiter, never lie on your CV.
2. Professional Summary
Your professional summary gives a brief history of your technical skills and experiences. This gives the recruiter a general overview of your achievements and relevant skills in relation to the job and proves that, you are qualified for the job. This should be the first thing the recruiter must notice on your CV, so it is usually placed right beneath your name and contact information. A well written professional summary will get you noticed faster. Do not mistake a professional summary to be same as career objective. They have similar features but serves different purposes.
The major difference is that your professional summary talks about your past experiences while your career objective talks about your future intentions and how you want to make an impact with your skills, knowledge and experience.
3. Career Objective
Your career objective is vital in your job search. When well crafted can attract the attention of recruiters. It portrays your skills, knowledge and your professional key competencies.
Consider it to be the elevator pitch of your CV. When writing a career objective, you must consider your professional industry and indicate the job you are looking for. Most importantly tailor your career objective to suit the job you are applying for. A well-written career objective will prove to the recruiter that you have the right attitude and you are the best fit for the job.
4. Core Competencies
Always make it a point to highlight your core competencies and prove it. These are the relevant skills needed to carry out the job you are applying for. Whatever keywords stated in the job description with regards to key skills must be well indicated. And how it will help you do the job and achieve the goal of the organization. This is one major reason you must tailor your cv to suit the job. Do not forget that, you are selling yourself to the employer so use the opportunity to showcase your skills and what makes you unique from the other applicants.
If you are wondering how you can tailor your CV in order to catch the attention of prospective employers and recruiters, get a free review from Jobberman today.
Looking for a winning CV that gets you the job? Access our Professional CV writing service HERE or Talk to us in the comment section below.