Seven tips to make a job-win­ning CV

Can’t find work? Fol­low these tips from Erin Reilly to im­press a prospec­tive em­ployer.

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Land­ing your dream job starts with your CV.

The cur­ricu­lum vi­tae, or CV for short, is your fu­ture boss’ first im­pres­sion of you.

This is your one chance to im­press them enough that they want to pick up the phone to set up that in­ter­view. It needs to in­clude the best things about you pro­fes­sion­ally (but not be so long they’re still read­ing three hours later). So how do you give your­self the best chance of get­ting an in­ter­view?

1. DON’T MAKE YOUR CV TOO LONG

Keep your CV as short and con­cise as pos­si­ble; an ideal length is 2-3 pages. If you’re strug­gling to con­dense all your awe­some­ness to just a few pages, cus­tomise your CV to the job you’re ap­ply­ing for by omit­ting ex­pe­ri­ence that isn’t rel­e­vant. On the flip­side, if you’ve just left school or univer­sity, or haven’t been in the work­force for long, and don’t think you’ve got enough ex­pe­ri­ence to re­ally sell your­self, think about adding school or ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar achieve­ments.

2. USE HEADLINES

CVs aren’t easy reads, so be kind to the reader by lay­ing it out in a way that’s pain­less to nav­i­gate. Use headlines to sep­a­rate each sec­tion (like ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment his­tory and awards). Colour does not achieve any­thing; mak­ing it clear and easy to read with a well laid-out for­mat does.

3. USE BULLET POINTS

Don’t be tempted to write a novel. Bullet points are eas­ier to read than big chunks of text, es­pe­cially when there are hun­dreds of other CVs vy­ing for the reader’s at­ten­tion.

4. AL­WAYS SPELL-CHECK IT BE­FORE YOU SUBMIT IT

CVs that are full of spell­ing mis­takes make prospec­tive em­ploy­ers ques­tion your at­ten­tion to de­tail in real life. Al­ways spell check your CV – and never use txt lan­guage. If in doubt, ask for a sec­ond opin­ion and have some­one else check it over just in case.

5. DON’T GET TOO PER­SONAL

CVs that are too for­mal make it hard for the reader to see what you might be like in real life, but CVs that get too per­sonal, like how many kids you have or what you like do­ing on Fri­day nights, aren’t se­ri­ous enough. Re­mem­ber, you’re try­ing to get a job, not a date.

Find the fine line be­tween show­ing that you re­ally want the job and ex­press­ing your per­son­al­ity.

6. DON’T IN­CLUDE A PHOTOGRAPH

In­clud­ing pho­to­graphs in CVs is com­mon prac­tice over­seas, but it’s not com­mon in New Zealand.

If you do want to in­clude a photo, don’t use pass­port pho­tos (these can look like mugshots!) or pho­tos taken by glam­our pho­tog­ra­phers.

7. DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR CON­TACT DE­TAILS

Fi­nally, double-check your con­tact de­tails be­fore you submit your CV be­cause, as ob­vi­ous as it sounds, no one can call you if you for­get the last digit of your phone num­ber. Also, if you’re still us­ing the same email ad­dress you made when you were 16, it might be worth set­ting up a new one – ilike­beerand­chips@hot­mail.com isn’t very work-ap­pro­pri­ate. Don’t for­get a pro­fes­sional sound­ing voice­mail.

Look­ing for a job? Neigh­bourly is a great place to find in­ter­est­ing work that’s close to home – and you might even find a lo­cal CV ex­pert too.

123RF

Stand out from the crowd with a short, ac­cu­rate and easy to read CV.

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