Sadly, writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is something that most people want to run away from. They put it off for weeks, they pay people they don’t know to slap something together for them, or even worse than that – they get their hands on one CV in their lifetime, and keep submitting it for every new job.
Ok, so give me 5 minutes of your time and I’m going to eliminate the fear and give you back the power to write your own brilliant CV – because you really should. YOU should write it so that it advertises every reason YOU should get that dream job. Nobody will know YOU better than YOU do.
Firstly, get your job ad, and highlight key words in there. All of the things the employer is looking for. See, this is the great thing, it’s not a mystery. The employer actually puts it out there literally in black and white for you. So use it!
Now start to craft your ‘Professional Summary’. It’s critical to make sure this section is powerful! It really has to encompass a strong summary of your career – and do it in a way that links back to everything you just highlighted in the ad. Draw out everything that ad is asking for and be direct. Don’t waffle.
Onto your ‘Skills Summary’, and you should still be using the ad and all of the highlighted words to drive this part. Focus on the skills the employer is saying are needed to do this job – and then link these to the skills you have. Show them off! This is why there is not one CV. You have to be tailoring it for every job, because no two job ads are going to be the same and so neither should your CV be.
Listing off achievements can be difficult for some people because they don’t realise what their achievements are, but I’m going to need you to do this for the next section – ‘Employment History’.
Don’t just pile on all of the responsibilities you’ve ever had in a job…tell them what you ACHIEVED in that job. I promise that your functions in former roles will be far better exposed and remembered by doing it this way, because at the end of the day, an employer wants to know what great things you’re going to achieve for their business.
If you’ve had a long and wonderful career, its best not to list everything you’ve ever done here, just go as far back as it reflects the job you’re going for now. I say that 5-10 years is a good rule of thumb generally.
Don’t forget to include your Education and your Professional Development sections, and always offer to make Referees available upon request.
Finally, I bet you’ve got all the skills and more to nail that job – so go ahead and show them!
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.