Put to­gether a per­fect CV

Menno Ol­sthoorn of­fers up in­sight on cre­at­ing a CV guar­an­teed to make an im­pact

net magazine - - CONTENTS - Menno is an en­tre­pre­neur from the Nether­lands. He is now CEO of Re­sume.io, one of the largest on­line re­sume builders in Europe and the US.

Menno Ol­sthoorn of­fers in­sight on cre­at­ing a CV guar­an­teed to make an im­pact

You are a web de­signer and you need to get your CV done. Not only do you need to get it done, you need to make sure it stands out and im­presses hir­ing man­agers. No prob­lem!

Al­though there are an in­fi­nite num­ber of ways for cre­ative peo­ple to con­struct their CVs, there are cer­tain as­pects that set win­ning ones apart from the re­main­der of the herd. Here are the most im­por­tant things to ac­com­plish when cre­at­ing your CV:

1. Clar­ity & Con­ti­nu­ity

No­body wants to be con­fused or dis­ori­ented when read­ing through a CV. You need to en­sure that it is as clear and con­cise as pos­si­ble. It should flow well and have con­ti­nu­ity. So if you use bul­let points in one job de­scrip­tion, be sure to use them with ev­ery job de­scrip­tion af­ter that as well. Clar­ity and con­ti­nu­ity are key.

2. Brevity

I’m not telling you to leave out im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion but I am telling you not to write a book. Hir­ing man­agers of­ten have to sift through hun­dreds of CVs. Don’t let your CV scare them off with lengthy para­graphs and run-on sen­tences. Say what you need to say in as few words as pos­si­ble. Qual­ity over quan­tity!

3. Proof of Ex­per­tise

Ob­vi­ously one of your most im­por­tant goals when writ­ing a CV is the ef­fec­tive con­veyance of your skills and ex­per­tise. The hir­ing man­ager is on a mission to hire some­one who can do the job and do it right. Be sure to prove that it’s you!

4. Rel­e­vant Ex­pe­ri­ence

The key word here is rel­e­vant. While it is true that most ex­pe­ri­ences help to shape and mold us in some way, you re­ally are bet­ter off list­ing rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ences for a few reasons. If you are cur­rently try­ing to find em­ploy­ment as a teacher, there is sim­ply no rea­son to list your ex­pe­ri­ence as a DJ circa 2007. You want your CV to flow well and have con­ti­nu­ity. That be­ing said, if you feel strongly that a work or life ex­pe­ri­ence, though un­re­lated, par­tic­u­larly lends it­self to your cause, then feel free to list it. Sim­ply be care­ful about in­clud­ing too many irrelevant pieces in your CV.

So how should you go about cre­at­ing this per­fect CV? Let’s take a look at a few of the op­tions out there.

Op­tion 1

Draw your CV in Il­lus­tra­tor/Sketch and ex­port it as a PDF

Pros: The choice of tools and vis­ual el­e­ments are seem­ingly end­less with this op­tion. You are free to de­fine and cre­ate your own vis­ual style.

Cons: This process can be quite time con­sum­ing. When us­ing this method, it may also be dif­fi­cult to keep the struc­ture op­ti­mised for re­cruiters. Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies, re­cruiters tend to spend most of their time on se­lect ar­eas of a CV. This means that the struc­ture of a CV and the po­si­tion of el­e­ments in it truly mat­ters. Al­though it could at­tract more at­ten­tion with its unique look, re­cruiters might miss im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion if it’s not placed in an ideal lo­ca­tion.

Com­plex­ity: 4-10 hours on av­er­age, de­pend­ing on your de­sign skills.

Op­tion 2

De­sign your own port­fo­lio web­site us­ing web-based site builders You can use ser­vices like Squares­pace or Wix to build your own web­site. They of­fer a col­lec­tion of ready-to-use site tem­plates that can be cus­tomised.

Pros: On­line port­fo­lio web­sites give you greater op­por­tu­ni­ties to pro­mote your­self. Web­sites are search-en­gine op­ti­mised, so your web­site might be in­dexed by Google, giv­ing you more of an op­por­tu­nity to get no­ticed by em­ploy­ers and po­ten­tial clients alike.

Cons: These func­tion more as on­line port­fo­lios and it’s worth bear­ing in mind that some com­pa­nies will only ac­cept printed CVs. I would rec­om­mend that you know your au­di­ence be­fore tak­ing this bold step! Com­plex­ity: 3-5 hours of work on av­er­age.

Op­tion 3

Use con­ve­nient on­line CV builders with pro­fes­sion­ally de­signed tem­plates There are lots of on­line CV builders avail­able but many of their tem­plates aren’t par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing and, in some cases, can be down­right bor­ing. This is why any builder you choose needs unique de­sign tem­plates, a friendly user in­ter­face and should be care­fully struc­tured to fol­low the ex­act ‘CV rules’ hir­ing man­agers look for.

Pros: This is by far the fastest and most ef­fec­tive way to cre­ate your CV. There is a wide se­lec­tion of tem­plates from clas­sic and clean styles to edgier and more cre­ative ones. There is truly some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Cons: You can­not ad­just any of the styles. If you think that you will need this kind of con­trol over vis­ual el­e­ments, choose op­tion 1 or 2.

Com­plex­ity: 15-20 min­utes of work.

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