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What is a CV?
Your Curriculum Vitae is essentially a selling
tool, and it’s selling you. It outlines
your skills and experience so that a potential
employer can see at a glance how you might perform
in a given role. It's an opportunity to present
yourself in the best possible light.
Do I need a CV?
Yes. Definitely. Writing an effective CV is
one of the most important things you will do
in your professional life. Quite simply, it
will increase your prospects of getting the
job you want. Most advertised vacancies on the
internet or in newspapers ask for a CV, so having
one prepared in advance will allow you to respond
quickly whenever the ideal job comes along.
Most of your CV will be generic…the vast
majority of it will apply to all positions you
apply for. However, you will still need to tailor
your CV to make it relevant to each job. We’ll
have more about this latter point very shortly.
How will having
a CV help me find a job?
A good CV will get you interviews that lead
to job offers. If properly produced, it will
highlight your skills, accomplishments and work
experience in a way that distinguishes you from
the hundreds of other candidates in the recruitment
market. It will position you as a serious contender
who is worthy of being interviewed. Recruitment
agencies will often ask you for a CV so they
can submit it to companies who are looking for
your skills. And when you are called on to complete
application forms, your CV will act as an excellent
How should I prepare
and write my CV?
There are no universal formats or rules for
writing CV's but, here are a few suggestions.
Start by jotting down notes on your education,
experience, skills and any professional or academic
organisations you belong to. When recalling
your previous employment, don't simply give
job descriptions: think through the purpose
of each job, the responsibilities you handled
and the specific results you achieved.
Write down the details of when you started and
finished each job. Take care to avoid unexplained
jobs. If you had spells of unemployment, describe
what you did with your time, for example, you
may have been travelling, working voluntarily
or even developing your skills on formal courses.
CV for better results
Matching your skills and experience to the
employer's needs will improve your success in
securing an interview. What aspects of your
education, experience and skills are most attractive
to an employer? Remember, a CV is like a personal
brochure. It must promote your strengths and
aptitudes and demonstrate the benefits you can
bring to the employer's organisation. That means
tailoring your CV to a specific position wherever
possible. It means finding out as much as you
can about the company and the requirements of
the role. Above all, it means thinking like
an employer, in other words, what are they looking
for? What key elements did they ask for in the
job description? How specifically are you suited
for this particular role and organisation? Go
online if they have a website, check the company
details, this will equip you with knowledge
about each company.
Always be honest and accurate in your information.
Often a prospective employer will use your CV
as the basis of your interview and for references.
How should I present
Once you have identified the key information
to be included in your CV and decided on the
most important elements, you need to write and
organise your points. Here are several suggestions.
your CV as simple and clear as possible. That
means keeping descriptions brief, factual
and to the point.
CV should be no longer than two sides in length.
clearly the type of work you want and why
you are qualified.
verbs that describe your skills, abilities
and achievements. For example, "I can
contribute / have experience in organising
/ am trained in..." Use such verbs at
the beginning of each sentence (managed, developed,
created, coordinated, etc.) to make them even
clear and logical format. You could organise
your CV by job titles, with the most recent
position listed first or arrange your employment
history into sections that highlight key areas
of skill and achievement.
Since your personal career history, achievements
and academic credentials are unique, the way
you organise and express them may be equally
unique. Whatever your choice, make sure that
you highlight your strongest points. Also use
clear headings, simple language and adequate
margins and line spacing.
REMEMBER - THIS
IS NOT A TIME TO BE MODEST! YOU WILL NEVER GET
A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!
TOP TIPS FOR INTERVIEW
The key to success at interview is often in
yourself - Identify your skills
and abilities, strengths, achievements and any
areas for improvement. Think up the phrases
and descriptions that 'sell you'.
your answers - Questions you'll
be asked fall into these main categories:
as a person
work history, skills and experience
you can bring to the position, why they should
you already know about the company
Try and anticipate topics and questions you
may face. Write them down and then list the
crucial points you want to make in response.
Don't learn phrases parrot fashion, as you won't
sound natural, but think of specific examples
from your prior work experience you can use
in the interview to show how well you fit the
Transferable skills are one of the most important
factors to highlight when looking for a new
For example, if you're looking for a call centre
job, even if you haven't worked in this environment
before, make sure you emphasize your customer
For clerical jobs and administrative work,
describe how organised you are as a person.
If possible, practice your answers, so that
you are comfortable and confident in responding
to different types of questions.
Prepare your questions
- You're sure to get the chance to ask questions
yourself, so prepare some in advance. Asking
questions will make you sound interested in
future plans are there for this position?
opportunities are there for development and
the people you would be working with?
Try not to ask questions that have already
been covered during the interview. If opportunities
for development are limited and that doesn’t
pose an issue for you…tell the interviewer!
Research the potential
employer - as an employment agency that
aims to offer you the best customer service,
we'll provide you with as much information as
possible, but you can add to this by contacting
the company (customer service or marketing departments)
for brochures and information, or by checking
their website. Make sure you know what the company
does, its size, turnover, locations and its
market position and competitors. The more you
know about the company, the more you will be
ready to answer questions in a positive manner.
This will also increase your confidence as you
go into the interview.
Your consultant will help you prepare for the
interview. Make sure you're aware of:
they have your CV or skills evaluation results?
there be a practical or skills test at the
format to the interview?
and where it is and how to get there!
Personality Test for Job Seekers
- Your Free Report will tell
you about Career Planning
- Inside your Free Report
you will discover what Employers think about
- Hate your job? Discover
your ideal work environment.
- Discover how to use your
report to find your perfect job.
- Read how an interviewer
may interpret your results.
- The report will reveal how
you can do well in interviews & write your
- Play up your strengths,
minimise your weaknesses and write a CV that