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HINTS TO PRODUCE A HIGH CALIBRE CV



The phrase CV or Resume as we know are used to commonly describe the document used when applying for a job.  CV or Curriculum Vitae is a Latin expression meaning 'The Course of My Life’; Rιsumι is commonly known as a French derived meaning ‘To Sum Up’, and both principally describe how the document should be compiled, i.e. a chronological but concise representation of one’s career, education and achievements.

It is unquestionably critical in compiling this document correctly when applying for a job or you may just be wasting your time! Given the importance of this document it seems incongruous to not seek assistance from professional CV Builders in creating your CV, as the long term benefits to you far out way a small cost to utilise these services which generally ranges from $30 to $100.

1 - SOME CV/RESUME UNIQUE FEATURES AVAILBLE TODAY

1.1 - ‘CV Website’

A CV website is an online website view of your complete CV, accessible via a simple link which can be provided to a potential employer.

In today’s high tech world offering a potential employer the opportunity to view your CV online via a personal website is quite impressive and shows a high level of commitment to your job searching, and a high level of technical or out of the box thinking by you to a potential employer.

Some CV Builders can automatically create a CV website for their users. Which can be either inserted into the CV or used independently to email to potential employers?

1.2 - ‘Applicant Video’

To really stand out from the crowd consider creating a unique ‘Applicant Video’ to compliment your CV application.

It maybe not too far into the future for all applications to accompany an applicant video, so we should start getting used to the idea sooner than later as it is common practice with a number of fortune 500s! Anyone who looks to use this technology now may be seen to be ahead of the pack, maybe seen to pioneer the process and further impress a potential employer!

Create a one minute video about yourself, your experience and your skills that you have to offer. Some CV builders such as the ASAP CV online service include this functionality within their service and make the whole process easy to create a video and linking it correctly within your CV.

Some suggestions to create your video are:
  • find a quiet place with a neutral backdrop
  • dress as if for a real interview, as that is what it is!
  • be prepared and rehearse what you wish to say
  • don’t just recite what is in your CV, this is an opportunity to further highlight your skills and experience
  • importantly, mention what you can offer the employer, and why they should employ you for the job
  • review your video until you are happy with it

2 - SPECIFIC CV HINTS TO HELP COMPILE A GREAT CV

2.1 – Basic CV Details

2.1.1 - A Typical CV Design

An example CV design is shown below as one of many designs available, albeit only headings are shown in this image as a guide to a typical layout, good relevant concise contents needs to be inserted below each heading.

The design choice is quite personal; care must be given to ensure the CV contents are both relevant and presented in a concise manner.

Online CV / Resume builders are a great way to remove the guess work out of a CV design and layout, as well as providing content advice to produce technically great looking CV’s.

2.1.2 - Inserting a Photograph into your CV

A photo in your CV is always a good idea and you should consider uploading one.

Ensure you dress accordingly for the photo, i.e. as you would for an interview. We recommend a bust shot photo with your shoulder forward facing as this looks professional and warm.

2.1.3 Email and Mobile Phone Number

Inserting an email address nowadays is considered essential, as is a mobile number.

2.1.4 - LinkedIn Address

LinkedIn is a professional career information sharing site it is a good idea to insert your LinkedIn address in your CV if you have one. However you need your content to be up to date, accurate and presentable to stand up to scrutiny from a potential employer, who may ask you questions about it at an interview.

Having a LinkedIn address in your CV is a nice professional touch.

2.1.5 - Facebook Address

Inserting a Facebook address in your CV is very much a personal choice, it really depends whether you feel you want to share what is likely to be your personal discussions and friend network via your Facebook page with a potential employer. It maybe that the employer would find your Facebook if it is publically visible anyway, in which case it is always a good idea to ensure the information on your site could not cause you any embarrassment with a potential employer.

2.1.6 - Inserting Other Website Addresses

If you have other website addresses that contain information about you that is relevant to the job you are applying for, such as a site where you won an award, then it may benefit you to insert it.

2.1.7 - Input a Job Title under Your Name

It presents well on a CV explaining up front your work title and status, and is a good idea to place it on the top of your CV adjacent to your name. It does need to be an honest and accurate reflection of your work and status, and needs to be an understood title by the employer reading your CV.

2.2 - CV Content

2.2.1 - CV Profile

A CV profile is a short introductory summary of you and a window into your CV content.

It should contain brief and concise information of your qualifications, work experience, career objectives, and personal objectives, presented in an impacting personal statement fashion. It is unlike a covering letter which is generally a one page letter in more detail specifically for a particular job application.

Focus on your attributes, skills and achievements, explain who you are and what you can do, focus on your specific competencies such as but not limited to, staff supervision skills, persuading and negotiating, lateral thinking, time management, planning, decision-making, business awareness, goal setting, ability to meet or surpass targets, trade competencies and any other skills you can offer the employer.

Whilst it is a statement of your expertise, try and present it from a perspective of what is in it for the employer, what you are going to bring to the table, what expertise you can offer them!

2.2.2 - Qualifications

The Qualifications section of your CV should reflect any and all 'work related' information of your qualifications, certifications, accreditations, awards, and other work related training and work related achievements.

Present it in chronological order with the most recent qualification first.

It is also advantageous if it can be presented to reflect a clear plan of training, achieving end goals in relation to your working career.

It is important, where possible, to reflect the qualifications (keywords) you perceive in the 'job advertisement within this section as business nowadays often use automated Recruitment Software to search and rank an application based on specific keywords.

2.2.3 - Education

Show details of your formal education in your CV under this heading. Show your highest educational achievement first, then work your way back to high school, although if you have a degree no need to show your high school information.

Detail any distinctions, honours, or other high achievements.

As a suggestion only show any scores if they are higher than the industry average.

It is your choice to show dates or not, if you are concerned of any possible age discrimination, albeit being open is often the best policy, also by not showing them you may be marked down!

2.2.4 - Work Experience

The work experience details of your CV are very important in impressing a hiring manager to offer you an interview. It not only offers a history of your work experience, but needs to include relevant points, where possible, of related aspects to the position you are applying for. Remember, you are looking to present specific reasons for, why a hiring manager should short list you for the job vacancy on offer!

It is also advantageous if possible to point out areas where you positively contributed to an organisation that you worked for, and demonstrate the benefit, i.e. such as you saved the company xx dollars in implementing a change etc.

Keep it concise, but don't be afraid to promote yourself well for all of your positions worked, more so for your most recent roles. More information is actually better, but concisely presented.

The most recent job should be shown first, and if you are still employed in the recent job insert "Present' for the 'Finish Date'.

Very old unrelated jobs, i.e. maybe a job you did while studying, at a local pizza shop does not need to be shown, unless relevant to the position being applied for.

After reading your description, a prospective employer should know exactly what your responsibilities were, what skills you have developed, where your strengths lie, and what you have achieved.

2.2.5 - Skills

A short summary or a few dot points of some standout skills you can offer in relation to the job being applied for is all that is required in this section of your CV. They could include but not limited to your ability with: communication, teamwork, planning, strategy, problem solving, technical, management, inventiveness, flexibility, adaptability, coaching, leadership, sales capabilities, computing skills, organisational abilities, customer service, etc.

Keep these short as some CV templates styles open with the skills at the top of page.

It is important, where possible, to reflect the skills (keywords) you perceive in the 'job advertisement within this section as business nowadays often use automated Recruitment Software to search and rank an application based on specific keywords i.e. skills!

2.2.6 - Strengths

Employers will be looking to see if you have the strengths required to do the job, here you can list some of your key competencies related to the position being applied for, such as but not limited to, accuracy, attention to detail, supervision skills, technical skills, management skills, trade skills, culture, loyalty, efficiency, enthusiasm, interpersonal, leadership, mentoring, negotiation, networking, organisational, people skills, problem solving, sales, speaking, resolution, results driven, diplomacy, etc.

It is important, where possible, to reflect the strengths (keywords) you perceive in the 'job advertisement within this section as business nowadays often use automated Recruitment Software to search and rank an application based on specific keywords.

2.2.7 - Interests

A well compiled CV should provide an employer with a detailed perspective of what skills and abilities you can offer in the job; at the same time there are certain aspects you can include to add some personality to your CV, such as referencing some selected interests like, Clubs, Sports, and other interests.

Some positive points to mention:

  • Reading - Highlighting not only an interest but reference some job related books
  • Travel - This can indicate an ability to experience new cultures and environments
  • Sports - either playing it or following it is often a positive trait to list
  • Child Care - can indicate you are responsible and care for others
  • Music - a good indicator of your willingness to learn new things
  • Clubs - can indicate the benefit to work with other like-minded people

Possibly some negative points to not include:

  • Collecting - such as stamps, coins, cars, antiques, etc. may be a negative, as it could be a distraction in the job indicating a passion for things outside of work!

Most of the interests in your CV should be relevant in some way to the skills and abilities to perform your new job.

2.2.8 – References

Suggested Format:

  • Referee Name
  • Title in the Business
  • Business Name
  • Relationship to you
  • Work Ph.
  • Mobile Ph. or Email:

It is always advisable to ensure your referees are happy to reference you and is best if they are still employed at the business listed.

3.0 - COVER LETTER

Your cover letter should be written specifically for the job you are applying for, highlighting your strengths and skills that you can offer to perform the job being advertised.

The cover letter format can be as follows:

  • Your name and contact details
  • Their name and contact details
  • An introduction
  • Mention the job you're applying for
  • Match your skills and experiences with the skills and experiences listed in the job advertisement
  • A summary of why you're right for the job
  • Encourage the reader to read your CV
  • Finish with a call to action requesting an interview

But keep it to one page and keep it concise, do not copy and paste it from your CV, make it read differently, make it exciting to read, motivate the reader, and inspire the reader!

You should never use the same cover letter for different job applications.

Your cover letter needs to show that you know what the job involves and what the organisation requires. To do this you need to be as specific as you can about your skills and qualities and how they match the job or organisation's needs.

As a hint, list the 'desired' and 'essential' skills and experiences required from the job advertisement, match and include as many of these items that you have within your cover letter as an indication that you are suitably skilled for the job being offered.

Demonstrate that you've researched the company and have knowledge of their brand. Describe what attracts you to working for them, show enthusiasm for their industry and show an interest for their work.

4.0 – ANCILLARY INFORMATION

4.1 - Word and PDF CV Formats

It is best to email off a PDF version of your CV unless requested otherwise, as the potential employer will then be able to view it exactly in the layout you want them to see it.

However a Word document may be opened by a different word version on different computers and alter the formatting to the reader, negating all that time that you spent carefully putting it together!

Using a CV builder that offers downloads of your CV in both Word and PDF is essential nowadays, and often removes any concern of layout as the CV builder manages all the formatting and CV layout for you automatically. Also downloading a Word copy is good for backing up your CV on your own device.

4.2 – Getting Your Application past Recruiting Software!

Many companies today use recruiting software to pre-screen applications, these programs use detailed algorithms based around searching for specific keywords in your cover letter and CV / Resume.

Many of these keywords searched for by the filtering software are generally reflected within the job advertisement, so it is crucial to read and understand the job advertisement requirements to the letter, particularly highlighting the required and desired skills requested and reproducing them where you can accurately do so within your application.

It is not uncommon for 50% or more of applications not even to be presented to the recruiting personnel!

Online CV Builders are available to help here, some offer a free service but generally provide limited functionality; others attract a small charge where generally a much better result is obtained.

4.3 – CV Maintenance

It is becoming the norm today for individuals to maintain and update their CV on an ongoing basis, whether that is once a year or once a month! It is highly recommended that people do maintain their CV regularly so important information is never forgotten, and their CV continually mirrors their ongoing career path and their aspirations.

Today the average period of employment in the same place is some 3-5 years, which means your important CV document is required regularly. The worst thing to do is only look at it every 3-5 years, panic and try to remember every important employment highlight for the past several years.

Maintaining a CV regularly also has a tendency to focus the individual around their career more, where they have been, how they got to where they are, and where they would like to go?

“It is said that focusing on your job as a career can change your life!”
Another excellent reference document is this ‘Job Seekers’ Rule Book’ – a free eBook to download: HERE

5 – QUICKLY GET A BETTER CV

It is becoming more of a science today in compiling a high quality CV, and to support applicants wanting a better CV there are online CV builders such ASAP CV Online available to significantly help.

ASAP CV Online can make the whole process quick and easy, ensuring a high quality CV is produced every time.

 

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