A well written CV and cover letter is essential to be invited to an interview. The importance of these two documents should never be underestimated and must be given due attention. To be invited for an interview, your CV must interest your potential employer.
Before you start writing your CV, analyze your skills and abilities; this way you can see if your search for a new job has been done correctly. If you know what a potential employer wants and needs to know, you should include this in your CV and thereby win some “bonus points“. You can use a table to list abilities and skills and to identify the responsibilities and jobs that helped you attain them. Use examples from past jobs that best highlight your skills, talent, knowledge and experience.
When writing your CV, don’t forget that there may be many other applicants for the position and that your potential employer has received many other CVs. To have the best chance of grabbing an employer’s attention, you have to make a positive impression. Do not be afraid to take your time choosing a font and graphics, but always keep the style clear and elegant. Your CV should be concise, structured, attractive and well arranged. All information included in your CV must be true. It should also contain important information about you and your strong points. Do not forget to include any significant details that would make you a more attractive candidate. Focus on achievements that illustrate how you have been able to:
Do not be afraid to mention any ideas or proposals that you have initiated, regardless of how simple you may think they are. This is important because simple ideas often save the most time and money.
Here are some examples of these ideas: acceleration of the supply chain; improved customer contact; reductions in volumes of stock; removal of bottlenecks; etc.
Here are some general rules to follow when writing your CV:
If you are applying for a job at an international company or if the request is made in a foreign language, it is sensible to send the CV in the relevant language. If you are not sure about the grammar or spelling, it is better to have your CV checked and revised. By doing this, you reduce the risk of having your linguistic shortcomings revealed. Moreover, possible mistakes can expose the lack of caution in your writing.
Make it clear in your CV that your studies and jobs were consequent, and explain any employment gaps at the interview. Otherwise people working in the personnel department may think you are trying to hide something.
Remember that what you exclude from your CV is just as important as what you include. For example, it might not be wise to mention that you are very involved in a local town council and that you often have to attend regular meetings. Avoid any information that can be perceived as controversial. Also bear in mind that the people reading your CV are just ordinary human beings with their own prejudices, preferences and opinions. Therefore avoid including anything that could give the impression that you hold extreme opinions or spend too much time involved in activities outside of work. Concentrate on relevant information about your past jobs, education and professional training as well as your significant achievements and interest in the position you are applying for.
Once you have structured all relevant and important information clearly in your CV, you can congratulate yourself on finishing a major part of the process. It may have been demanding, but it will definitely pay off.
Just put yourself into the shoes of a person who receives 100 CVs for a vacant position. Who will he or she invite for the interview? Naturally, those candidates that sent in the clearest, most consistent and carefully prepared CVs.
That person will also be looking for an attractive, easy-to-read and clearly structured CV that enables easy orientation and makes it easy to find relevant information. If you have written your CV with this in mind, you have laid the ground work for further success.
You can use various types of templates when writing your CV. For links to web pages offering templates and sample CVs click here.