Make it count.
How to Build an Amazing CV
First let’s dispel some CV myths:
1) “Your CV should only be 2 pages….
UTTER RUBBISH – your CV is a reflection of your career, you may have worked for 10, 15 or 20+ years, how can you possibly get that all on to 2 pages? Don’t fall in to the trap of using tiny font sizes, and stretching the margins…. it will hurt employers eyes and they will move to the next CV. A good CV will be well presented and well laid out, structured with simple font (I recommend Calibri) and easy on the eye … 4-5 pages is ok if you have a long career. Any more is probably too much!
Download a sample CV Template below, just fill in the gaps!
2) You need to list every job you have ever had in your career
Yes to an extent, but only if it is relevant to your career. Part time & or student work while at Uni isn’t relevant (unless you are a recent graduate)
If you have been working for 30 years, then focus only on the last 15 to 20 years. Summarise the early years Keep your CV relevant, think about what your new employer will read and perceive of your career. But DON’T miss jobs off and alter dates…. you will get caught out
3) “A portrait photo is a good idea?
WRONG – Please don’t put a photo on your CV, unless of course you are applying to be a model, Photo’s are a bad idea, it looks tacky, dated and it opens up all sorts of negative situations which you just don’t want to head towards.
In short, there is no point doing an amazing CV that is way off what you’re capable of, and then falling over when you get to an interview…. Be real and reflect who you are and what you can do!
Hiring managers want to know “what can you actually do for them”, and it is your previous achievements that will show them what you are capable of.
If you can show that you have achieved loads of amazing outcomes, you will get hired quickly!….. read our blog post on “Your Employment Value”
- Name & Contact details
- Professional Summary
- A summary of your experience and capabilities
- list major achievements from a big picture perspective (save the detail for later)
and what you are looking to do next
- Education & Qualification (most recent first)
- Employment history, (most recent first)….. this needs to be for every relevant role you have ever had (DON’T omit any roles on purpose). Always use bullet points an be sure to include:-
-Dates of employment (from and to)
-A brief summary of the company, size, turnover, sector, what exactly they do etc
-Your Job title
-Responsibilities list as many as possible
-Achievements….. this is the important stuff… what have you actually achieved? delivered, outcomes, increased revenue, targets met or beaten…
Most of these points will be ‘quantifiable’, so you can put a $$$ value to them or an amount of time saved perhaps, or maybe an improvement in service delivery?.. the more you do on this part, the stronger your CV will be.
Repeat the above points for every job you have had. You can also list any systems, packages, or technical skills that you have that may be relevant too
- References available on request
Remember to think about the role you want to realise and cater the CV in accordance with that, but it has to be realistic to your experience, no bluffing it!
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