The first step towards getting a new job is to create a well-written Curriculum Vitae (CV). CVs are the first impression delivered to potential employers. This simple piece of paper can make the difference between getting a job and getting a No, thank you. That is why the proper time and effort should be spent to make it the best version it can be.
Some of the relevant aspects a well written CV should include are: Personal information, Career Highlights, Skills, Education and Interests. Depending on your specific field of work, some CVs will require additional or specific information regarding your experience. Some employers will also require a Cover Letter which should be written as a complement to your CV, but never as a repetition.
The first step is to create a rough draft template with your education and professional experience organized chronologically, with the most recent experience at the top. Once this is completed, you will be able to easily select the most relevant aspects to include in the Career Highlights section, which will be filled once you have a general map of your entire experience. It is well accepted to include highlights from different jobs or activities within this section to better exemplify your key achievements.
A few additional suggestions are:
- Writing in the active voice and using technical words that make sense within the industry.
- Creating tailor-made CVs, which implies some research of the company being targeted.
- Being clear and concise also indicates communication skills which are needed in every industry.
- Including bullet points, headings and easy-to-read fonts to make your reader comfortable.
- Using proper grammar and spelling skills.
Remember that a CV works as a marketing tool; therefore, it should be used to its full potential. In other words, it should carry as much good information about the candidate as possible. Everything you write should be positive. Remember there is no need to highlight your lack of experience or qualifications. Tell the employer what you do have rather than what you don’t. Also, remember to keep culture in mind. In other words, if you are applying to an international company or an organization in another country, find out what the norms or expectations are beforehand.
There are tutors at the Writing Center that can help you organize and craft your CV for either job hunts, scholarships or internships.