Are you thinking about writing or updating your CV?
Many of my clients say they procrastinate about applying for that job because they haven’t updated their CV for years! Am I describing you?
My six CV writing steps will help you identify in your career guidance what to include in your CV to get you noticed, and hopefully get you an interview! And if you get stuck and need help, just ask.
Step 1: Professional Summary / Opening Statement
It’s a great idea to give a quick snapshot of your key strengths, or as a bulleted list of your main skills, talents and selling points. The opening statement also gives you an opportunity to tailor your CV for each job application. Adapt it to be as relevant as possible and create different versions that directly address the requirements listed on a specific job advertisement.
Step 2: Skills Summary or Areas of Expertise
Ensure you highlight your skills in order of the skills for the specific job advertisement. The more senior the role, the more important it is to bullet point your area of expertise rather than provide lengthy descriptions of your skills.
Step 3: Work History
Outline your career history, beginning with your current or most recent role, listing your job title, employer name, dates of employment, responsibilities and skills acquired, and highlighting your achievements. I recommend you choose only your key responsibilities and achievements, and tailor them so they’re relevant to the specific job for which you’re applying.
Use active verbs rather than nouns or passive verbs, e.g. ‘Managed and delivered key projects on time and within budget’ rather than ‘Projects were delivered on time and within budget’ or just ‘Project management’.
Step 4: Education & Training
List your highest qualification first. Unless you’re only recently out of school or university, there’s no need to list your subjects in much detail (if at all). List the institute name, the number of years you attended and the qualifications gained. Keep it clear and simple.
Step 5: Hobbies & Interests
A brief snapshot works best here, to reflect your personality without going into excessive detail. Avoid listing overly personal or mundane hobbies and interests. If you don’t have any interesting hobbies, it’s better to leave this section out altogether. However, if your hobbies are relevant to the company you’re applying to, they could even help you get an interview, so emphasise any interests that align with the company.
Step 6: References
It’s generally advisable, especially if space is an issue, to indicate that references are available upon request or leave this section out altogether. Your referees would generally only be contacted if your application progresses, and in this case, you should contact them to let them know that the hiring manager or recruiter will be in touch.
If you are asked to include references with your application, provide the names, job titles, email addresses and phone numbers of your two main referees. Wherever possible, choose former managers, or people in positions of responsibility in your former workplaces or industry, rather than friends or family members. And don’t forget to let your referees know that they may get a call!
By following this basic structure when you write your resume, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success when applying for any job.
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.