How to write a CV

CVs are funny things. Most people have one. Very few people understand exactly what they need to contain. Kal Malik gives us his 6 tips to boost your CV and get that interview!

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We have talked a lot about CV creation   Knowing how to create the perfect document that is a true interview-magnet is like finding the Holy Grail! Some people get attention because their credentials are amazing – if you have a 1st from Oxbridge and an MBA from Harvard, that's you!   Some people get attention […]

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Why am I telling you this? Because this also relates to your CV. When you are wondering what out of your extensive list of skills and abilities to list in your four pages think achievement rather than activity. It is commendable that you are able to overcome adversity, but your new boss doesn’t want to know about the 150 times you thought you might have failed. Rather, they want to know about the one time that you know you were able to succeed

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During recent conversations, here and there, I have been challenged on my belief that CVs should match job specs by people that believe that people should stand proudly displaying their experience so that a potential employer can see them for what they are because it is more honest. I thought it was such an interesting point that I would debate it amongst myself and relay my findings

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Try to make sure all of your information is self-explanatory, even if that means leaving out some of the things you currently detail and include additional information on other items. It is better to say more about the things that are relevant and make it a document that speaks for itself than to be vague about a hundred things and try to demonstrate that you can do a multitude of tasks and have diverse experience. When a hiring manager is looking for xyz they want to know what you can do with xyz, not necessarily that you can recite the entire alphabet.

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So, decide on an exact role (if you have more than one repeat this project for each). Now go and find four job specs for this position. Typically Google is able to help you with this, or you might be lucky enough to have some job specs in your inbox from positions you’ve already spotted. You might want to print them out so that you can put them side by side. Or just flick from screen to screen, whichever you’re most comfortable with. Now identify which requirements are in all four specs. These are top of your list to address in your CV. Create a bullet point for each one and list your achievements within that area. For example, if you are a Business Continuity Manager;

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When the job spec from the company looks like the left hand column and the CV you submit looks like the right hand column you look a great match. You might have done many other things that you are more proud of or would typically list but this is not about what you think about you. This is about what they will think about you. If the company wants what is on the left and you submit a list that doesn’t reflect that in any way, shape or form, the fact that you have done all of the things in the right hand column will not even be clear to them. They will not be able to read between the lines that you don’t write and they won’t be psychic enough to work it out. Make it obvious. It is your job to make their job of hiring you easy.

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In CV terms, listing your achievements shows a potential employer what you actually accomplish when you get to work. You know that a job has a list of duties, all jobs do. And you know that to do that job you have to perform the list of duties on a regular, if not daily, basis. So what sets you aside from the rest? The one thing that is going to make you stand out from the crowd of applicants that have a somewhat similar list of past job titles to you is your achievements! Pure and simple. What you actually accomplished when you got to work.

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Your CV should be honest and factual. It should also be relevant. You are creating a document that markets the skills and experience you have gained to date that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Of course you can list some things that aren’t, but keep them in perspective.

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So, what should you put into your CV and what should you leave out. Let’s start with the headings;
Professional Profile – this is a summary of who you are and what you do and should always be tailored to the job you are applying for
Professional Experience – this is your career history. Start with what you are doing now and work your way backwards. Remember dates and job titles will typically be verified if you are offered the job so keep them accurate!

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A CV (curriculum vitae), or resume in some parts of the world, is a short factual document about you, your work history, skills and experience. A good CV is essential when you are looking for a new role and we can not stress how important it is to take your time to get it right. […]

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