CV Advice, Tips and Template
With competition for jobs at an all-time high, the CV is your first point of contact with a prospective employer; it is your opportunity to stand out above the rest – first impressions count. This guide provides basic advice and explains how to write and present your CV to secure your ideal role.
The CV is not only a means to showcase your past success, experiences’, skills and credentials, but also to articulate your personal brand and to convey your-self as a serious proposition.
How can you add value to your next employer?
What differentiates you in terms of your ethos and approach?
How can you dovetail into the position and company structure?
Answers to these questions, if communicated originally, will strengthen your credentials. As your primary marketing tool, a common misconception is that CV’s should be limited to two pages. Shorter is usually better, but for a manager or engineering professional with several years’ experience, do not be restrictive.
Write your CV in the present tense, in punchy, concise and short paragraphs, with past achievements being consolidated in a more streamlined and succinct way, supported with quantifiable or demonstrable proof.
A CV should be …
There are three basic types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, and “combined” Chronological – Functional.
A traditional format, the chronological resume focuses on Experience, with each job described in detail, and there are no major sections for skills or achievements at the beginning of the resume.
The functional resume pinpoints major skills and achievements at the very beginning, rather than having to read through the job descriptions to find key information and helps by highlighting key skills and qualifications.
A combined resume includes elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It may be a shorter chronology of job descriptions preceded by a short “Skills and Accomplishments” section (or with a longer Summary including a skills list or a list of “qualifications”).
There are obvious advantages to the combined approach, especially for a manager or engineering professional with several years’ experience, it maximizes the advantages of both kinds of resumes. Whichever format you feel best suits your career – always write your CV in a reverse chronological format – Present till Past.
To write an effective resume, focus on the needs of your prospective employer and the needs of the job or post you are applying for. You are presenting a product in which you have a large personal investment in – YOU.
Always ensure that your CV is grammatically correct and spell checked throughout and well-presented, including the following:
- Contact details
- Career objectives, outline profile of main attributes, skills and experience
- Specific skills, industry/career qualifications and memberships
- Career history: reverse chronological order, listing most recent first
- Education: listing most recent first
- Hobbies and interests