CV / RESUME WRITING ADVICE & TIPS

INTRODUCTION: You will find ips and advice on how you can successfully find a job and handle interviews, links to over 200,000 jobs, the secrets of finding a job on the Internet, recommended books for you to read and much more. The word Curriculum Vitae literally translated means the story of your life. The words Curriculum Vitae are usually abbreviated to CV or C.V. and you will sometimes see it incorrectly written in lower case as c.v. or cv. The possessive form of Curriculum Vitae / CV should be written as Curriculum Vitae's or C.V.'s or CVs, but not as c.v.'s or cv's. Your CV is a very important document; with it rest your hopes and dreams for the future that next step up the career ladder, a better position, more money, new challenges, etc. Your CV therefore has to represent the best you have to offer if you do not want to miss out on that job you saw which was 'perfect' for you. These days employers often receive a lot of CVs for each advertised position - jobs advertised in national papers can often attract hundreds of applicants. So your CV has to be just that little bit special to stand out if you want to obtain interviews. The good news (for you) is that most people do not know how to write a CV and only spend a short time preparing a CV. Writing professional CVs is a skill, which these people have not learnt. Of course your CV can continue to work in your favour even after it has obtained an interview for you. It can help you at an interview by carefully focusing the interviewer's mind on your good points and on your achievements. Once you have left the interview it will continue to work in your favour as the interviewer will probably reread it before making a decision, either on who should be invited to the second interview stage or who the job should be offered to. When it comes to salary negotiations a well written CV can help. If your CV conveys your full worth you are likely to get a higher salary offer than you might have done with a poorer CV. So do not skimp on the time you spend on writing a CV as it will probably be a false economy. In the following sections we will teach you how to write professional CVs and show you a number of CV examples as an introduction to the art of CV writing

so if they cannot find what they want they will not bother to read any further. Poor visual layout The visual layout of your CV is very important. Employers do not want to know your whole life history just enough to decide whether they should interview you or not. Always use a word-processor/DTP package. Organizing the information on your CV If your CV is not well organized then the reader will find it hard to follow and will not be able to build up a picture of you quickly. This should make an employer want to invite you for an interview . Remember the reader will not spend very long looking at your CV .but please be careful that you do not oversell yourself. So put your work experience at the start of your CV.2. Even though the wording you use may be correct. You should use plenty of 'white' space in your CV and appropriate headings and section breaks. preferably 100gram for both your CV and cover letter. Length of CV It is usually best to try and keep your CV to two pages of A4. If you cannot keep your CV to this length then you probably have not understood an employer's requirements. not personal or educational details. Never use a typewriter as you will look old fashioned and out of date. What an employer really wants to know is why they should invite you for an interview. Why are CVs rejected? First impressions First impressions matter. unless someone specifically asks you for a longer CV. if your CV does not attract the reader's attention in the first 20-30 seconds then your chances of obtaining an interview are greatly reduced. unless you have only just left education. An employer may have a hundred or more CVs to look through and probably only a couple of hours in which to make their selection. . if people cannot find the information they want quickly they will move on to someone else's CV. Use good quality A4 paper. For this reason a short summary of your capabilities and/or a list of your major achievements can often be a good idea.

they will therefore have to reject your application. typographical errors. CV makes you look too young/old for the job In general being too young/old can be a real problem and a barrier to future advancement. or even to getting a job in the first place. As you will probably be 'blind' to these errors you should get someone else to check your CV for grammar and spelling errors. Not results orientated You need to shout about your achievements. There are further hints and tips throughout this web site to help you.Overwritten . poor grammar Your CV should be carefully checked for such errors before you send it out to employers. Mis-spellings.try and keep your sentences short and punchy and use bullet points to break up the text under section headings. So do tell them the benefits of employing you. but these can in fact be . If it does not tell an employer why they should employ you then it has failed. To get yourself noticed it is important to use a CV format which will best represent you in the jobs market.long paragraphs and sentences This makes it difficult to read quickly . Too little information A lot of people do not include enough details about their previous jobs and experience and an employer therefore does not have enough information . There are a number of ways round this problem . There are any numbers of ways of laying out a CV. Please remember that your CV is your sales document to an employer.but this depends very much on your individual circumstances and the industry/job you are applying for. An employer will only want to employ you if they can see a benefit in it for themselves. Tiny errors in your CV can detract from an otherwise good CV and make you look lazy or careless not the sort of qualities you want to portray to an employer.

In general the Performance CV works best for most people. You should use a Performance CV when you are seeking a job which is directly in line with your past experiences or your last employer was a household name. If this format is unsuitable for you then you could try either the Functional or Targeted CV formats and see which reads/looks better for you. redundancy. Selecting Your CV Format Performance CV In a Performance CV your employment history is shown in reverse chronological order. Functional CV. Job titles and company names are strongly emphasised and duties and achievements are described under each job title. If your work history has been patchy in recent years. etc. If you are planning to stay in the same field/work area. 3.superseded by the Performance CV). there are times when a Functional/Targeted CV may help you secure an interview when a Performance CV would fail. 2. Most people prefer this format to the other formats listed here because it is easy to see who you have worked for and what you did in each particular job. If the name of your last employer is highly prestigious. Advantages: 1. If you do not have many achievements (you could just leave out the achievements section as in a traditional Chronological CV) or your achievements are not in line with what you . with your most recent job first. If you want to show-off your promotions. If you are planning to change career direction. 4. ill health. If you have frequently changed employer. assuming that you are staying in the same field. either through unemployment. self-employment. 3. 2. Disadvantages: 1.reduced to 5 basic examples: Chronological CV (traditional approach . Targeted CV and Alternative CV. Even if you create a Performance CV for yourself. The only difference between a Chronological CV and a Performance CV is that the Performance CV highlights a list of your major achievements near the start of your CV. Each of these formats has its advantages and disadvantages (see below). Performance CV (an updated form of the Chronological CV). 4.

either through unemployment. Functional CV This type of CV highlights the main functions/achievements of your whole career and it can therefore be very useful if you have had a varied career or you are seeking a change of career direction. Targeted CV This type of CV emphasises your abilities and achievements which are directly relevant to a specific job target. If your job has only a limited number of functions. ill health. 2. 3. If you want to include voluntary/unpaid experience.you could include this sort of information on the second page of your CV. 2. If you want to emphasise abilities and achievements that have not been used in your most recent job(s). 5. It is best used when you are planning a change of career direction. If your work history has been patchy in recent years. If you have had a large number of jobs and you would prefer to describe the experience you have gained in total. Advantages: 1. redundancy. Disadvantages: 1. etc. In this format. 3. Unusual CV format . job titles and company names are given less dominance or even omitted in some cases.want to do now . 4. because their name will not be prominently displayed on the first page.either leave out the achievements section or consider using a Functional or Targeted CV. If your most recent employer is highly prestigious. self-employment. If you want to highlight promotions/career growth . You can get round this by putting their name in both the profile and cover letter. . 4.may not be liked by everyone. but it would not be as prominent as on a Performance CV. If you are changing career direction.

redundancy. ill health. If your work history has been patchy in recent years. either through unemployment. If you want to include voluntary/unpaid experience. 2. Alternative CV This sort of CV is suitable for creative careers in. because their name will not be prominently displayed on the first page. self-employment. 6. 3. writing. If your most recent employer is highly prestigious. Disadvantages: 1. 2. 3. Not to be used if you are seeking a management position. but it would not be as prominent as on a Performance CV. 4. If you are planning to apply through normal channels such as advertised vacancies/the Personnel Department. Advantages: 1. If you want to highlight promotions/career growth . If you have had a large number of jobs and you would prefer to describe the experience you have gained in total. 2. If you are changing career direction.may not be liked by everyone. If the job requires exceptional talent in either the written or visual mediums. . If you will be applying directly to the person you will be working for. public relations and fashion designers. It is not suitable for senior managers/executives who would be better advised to use the Performance CV. for example.you could include this sort of information on the second page of your CV. If you have several completely different job targets and you need a CV for each.Advantages: 1. etc. If you want to emphasise abilities and achievements that have not been used in your most recent job(s). You can get round this by putting their name in both the profile and cover letter. Unusual CV format . 2. Disadvantages: 1. 5.

Name. you do not need to use "I" in a CV because its use is implied. Section headings should be in BOLD UPPER CASE. rather than the third person (i. It is not really good enough these days to produce your CV on a typewriter and it will make you look very unprofessional. capabilities and achievements.they can be misunderstood.e. When you are creating your CV you should ensure that you have all margins set to one inch. Always ask for a proof copy of your CV so that you can check that it meets your needs. Dot matrix or inkjet printers are not really good enough and the ink from an inkjet tends to smudge fairly easily. such as Microsoft Word. 2.3. Yes. These days you should write your CV in the first person (i. 3. This CV format may fail utterly if your ideas are not well received by the recipient of your CV. I have). then you will have to pay someone to do this for you. WordPerfect or Lotus WordPro and printed on a high quality laser printer. If you do not match the picture you have painted with your CV at the interview. address and telephone number should be included in the first page header. You can oversell yourself. However.e. 4. then your application will not be taken further. Don't mention things that you are bad at or say negative things about yourself in your CV. but do not go over the top. If you are not happy with your CV or you only seem to get rejection letters then please get a professional CV writing service to write it for you. Be careful when you use abbreviations . Make sure that the CV you write conjures up the right image of you and your skills. but you may not want to pick them out in bold in a . or using a computer is one of your worst nightmares. 6. it could save you a lot of time. out of date and out of touch with the modern world. lead to you getting less rejection letters and hopefully you should get an interview that much quicker. If you do not have access to this technology. 5. But. Do mention things you are good at. In a Performance CV you should pick out employers and job titles in bold text. you will have to pay for it. General CV / Resume Tips 1. If you get someone else to prepare your CV make sure they print it out on a laser printer. Word-Processing & Printing Your CV should be produced using a modern word-processing package. he/she has).

Doing so for every statement is repetitious and clutters your résumé with unnecessary words. it's the preferred method. Action words spruce up your résumé.do not squeeze things in and make your CV looked cramped. preferably 100gram weight and you should also use this paper for writing any letters on. You may need to do this several times before you are completely satisfied with the final version. Please ensure that you use enough 'white space' (empty space) on each page . we're taught to write complete sentences. When you are sending your CV to someone you should always send it in an A4 envelope rather than folding it. Interview is how you might state your skills and achievements during an interview. without writing I and my. you don't need to write the words I and my. . When you are happy with it you should get at least one other person to check it over and give you some feedback. which makes it relatively easy to avoid writing the words I and my. but a simple omission. except to separate them if you write two or more on the same line. Some people might have a problem with this. But it's perfectly acceptable to construct your résumé with incomplete sentences. Avoiding I and My in Your Résumé Because your resume is about you to begin with. Unnecessary words just get in the way of the scanning eye. One of the tricks is not really a trick at all. Just leave out the words I and my. In fact. You can use brilliant white paper or if you want to be distinctive and different you might try cream or vellum paper. When it comes to printing your CV out you should use good quality paper. The other trick is to start your sentences with relevant action words or keywords instead of I or my. In each. keywords are important to make your résumé searchable by computer. In this age of electronic résumés. You should check your draft CV thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors. but its good idea to resist the temptation to overdo it. You don't need to include punctuation at the end of incomplete sentences. Résumé is a suggested way to present the same statement in your résumé. Most recipients scan résumés in under 60 seconds before reading them. because from grade school through college. You should then re-draft it and show it to them again.Functional or Targeted CV. Examples Below are simple examples of skill and achievement statements.

Résumé: Successfully managed staff and resources within budget Interview: I received a research grant for $100. and Excel very well. PowerPoint. PowerPoint. Excel Interview: I have worked with UNIX and Windows NT.5 GPA. Résumé: Computer platform experience includes micro. Résumé: Earned $100. Résumé: Instrumental in launching new products Interview: I easily understand technical matters. mini and mainframe computers.5 and I graduated with honors. Graduated with honors Interview: I have researched and written online help and user manuals. Résumé: 3.Interview: I have a lot of experience programming in C++ and Java. Résumé: Proficient with Microsoft Word. common formats. Interview: Launching new products was an important part of my job. mini and mainframe Interview: I know Microsoft Word. Résumé: Highly experienced programming in C++ and Java Interview: I have worked on micro. Résumé: Developed online help and user manuals.000 research grant Resume Formats All resumes share similar components in three. Résumé: Working knowledge of UNIX and Windows NT Interview: My GPA was 3. . Résumé: Demonstrated ability to grasp technical matters Interview: My staff performed well under my supervision and I always made budget.000.

do place a list of your skills up front. it's a summary of qualifications typically organized by education. emphasize your education. with the most recent first. You might also hear of other formats. with little emphasis on employer history. with the wording tailored to closely match the job qualifications an employer requires. it's a composite of the two above. Functional .Chronological . service-oriented people . But all resumes are focused on landing interviews. Do tailor your resume for each employer's job description whenever possible. advancement opportunities . it's one of the formats above.Also called a skills resume. medical. in the form of keywords. I'm most at home in a high-energy workplace with (ambitious. Others call it a targeted resume. educational opportunities. It shows that you've done your homework and might be the ideal candidate for the job. For example. Combination . But always place your contact information first. Focused or targeted. followed by your objective. academic and overseas jobs require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) instead of a resume. this technical resume is a simple chronological resume with a Profile heading up front. with some tweaks. regardless of format. It's organized in reverse order by employer.) . state in your objective that you are specifically seeking "a career position as a Windows NT Administrator" rather than generically.Also called a hybrid resume.. Some resume writing services refer to a focused resume as though it's a fourth format. For example.. skills and experiences that are in tune with the employer's job description. "a position in an MIS department. like those above) are only guidelines and there are an endless number of variations. stability. Phrases for Body heading: 1. I want to be part of an organization that offers (growth potential.. goal-oriented people.) 2.Presents job history and education by date. compassionate. Which format is best and in which order the components appear depends on your career situation. There's more about keywords in the Electronic Resumes link below. Resume formats (and fancy samples. such as a technical resume. When creating a technical resume. a better name for the purpose. if an employer is looking for a Windows NT Administrator.. Some scientific. But it's not a format either. experience and skills. But they too are essentially the formats above." Under appropriate headings in the remainder of your resume. travel opportunities.

" 4. I am motivated to spend my summer gaining broad exposure to (industry or field) and valuable practical experience. introduced.. suggested I get in touch . Eric and I worked together for three years at Network Enterprises Corp. although I was employed in the (name of industry) industry some years ago... team efforts... I'm motivated to be part of an organization that values (commitment to excellence.." 3. creative problem-solving .. implemented. 4. 7. "In your recent interview with NPR. Eric Anderson. dedication.. 8.) would complement your firm's (strategy. . 7. I want to apply my skills in an environment that (inspires. In recent discussions with colleagues in the (name industry trade group. "Your speech at the Tech 2000 Conference in New York last month was right on target .) would be an asset to your company's work in .. or association)I learned that you may be looking for a new (name position).. 11...3. revamped. you raised several key issues . . rewards) (initiative... "One of my proudest professional accomplishments was .... pioneered...) 5.. " 2. My most recent experience has been managing a household. CEO at Lindstrom Associates... individual initiative .... 10. I enjoy working with a team to meet management goals . Phrases for Introduction heading: 1. goals. "Ben Jacobs.. 5. "I enjoyed speaking with you when we met at . Use verbs such as: developed. With just six weeks to go until my graduation from (school) with a (type of degree or certification) degree in (area of study). My skills in (. projects .) would seem to be an excellent fit with the hiring criteria mentioned in your ad...) 10. 6. organized. produced... at Tech Support Inc.. designed. "Your recent article in Hospitality Industry drew my attention ... created.. mentioned that your are looking for an experienced person to develop ." 8. ) 9. " 6. My previous experience in (.. I am eager to earn some practical experience and apply my skills.. encourages... " 9. My background in (.

As a (volunteer. meeting) and will introduce myself then. PowerPoint slides 2.) in (name location).. Thank you for your time. Phrases for Enclosure heading: 1.. The prospect of working with the talented staff at (name company)is exciting.. I look forward to meeting you. Enc: 3 copies of resume Should You Lie on Your Resume? Some studies estimate that as many as one-third of all job seekers provide false or exaggerated information on their resumes. parent. Thank you for your consideration. public relations. conference. I will call you next week to see if we can arrange a meeting.. 3. At the recent (trade show. 3 writing samples 3. Enclosed: Resume. paying attention to details. tutor.12. fundraiser . being well organized. ranging from innocent omissions to blatant lies. Other studies estimate that it occurs much more often. I plan to be in your area the week of (. your company’s name surfaced repeatedly as one of the hot-growth prospects in the (name industry or sector).. Yours truly. I will call (specific date) to see if we might arrange a meeting.. Sincerely yours.). . . Regards. Best wishes.) I am known for (following through on commitments. 8. etc. 2. project managment. Enclosed: Resume..) 13. 7. 4. 5. Phrases for Closing heading: 1. 6.. One such study indicates that men do it more than women. 9. I plan to attend the (speech. Enclosure: Resume 4. I'd like a chance to convince you that my skills and energy would be an asset to your team.) I have developed my skills in (team motivation. Sincerely. conference. 10..

If it comes out later that you lied on your job application. you'll have to follow suit on your job application or risk immediate exposure. except decline to hire you. you can't possibly land the job. you're trapped pretty deep inside a rapidly growing snowball. right? Understandably. But if you lie on your resume. Maybe it'll come out when you're asked specific questions during your interview. . some don't. but what about later? Can you take the pressure of knowing you lied? Are you willing to suffer exposure. If you get busted for that too. humiliation. You'll likely have to lie to your next employer. employers are wising up. you're under a lot of pressure to make yourself look good. Some hiring manager is going to scan your resume and make a determination in about 60 seconds or less whether or not you're qualified. there's a big difference between sprucing and lying. Employers expect you to jazz up your resume a bit and tailor it for their jobs. embarrassment. even if you've performed well. What if an employer does check up on you? Maybe you won't get busted right away. Other common lies include: • • • • Stretching dates to cover employment gaps Enhancing job titles Embellishing job duties and achievements Inventing employers Resumes are all about presentation. After all. Job applications are legal documents.The most common resume lie is about education. about getting fired for lying to your previous employer. But now that the word about resume fraud is spreading. Then it begins to snowball. your employer has the right to fire you. maybe it won't. The anonymity of Internet resumes has made it even more tempting. if you don't get to the interview. why shouldn't you? Who would know anyway? Maybe no one. But of course. That's one of the reasons it's common practice. so it's tempting to embellish. so there's not much an employer can do if you lie. What's acceptable? A little resume sprucing is part of the process. Ask yourself if it's worth it. If everybody else is doing it. and maybe even termination or blacklisting? Resumes are not legal documents. Some employers conduct background and reference checks.

Carefully chose action words that convey clarity.For example. If you helped to launch only one new product in your entire career. Instrumental in launching the widget product is a better way to write it. Look beyond the usual for the strongest and most accurate action words. then the statement above is not entirely true. Sure. not direct participation as the statements above imply. accountants crunch the numbers and technical writers create user documentation.less is more. So when making your pitch. Naturally. remember -. It's a sales and marketing tool. on the job. If you weren't truly instrumental. then Assisted in launching the widget product is more appropriate. Some examples: Adapt Harness Initiate Quadruple Analyze Enhance Interpret Streamline Collaborate on Familiarize Leverage Synthesize Cultivate Foster Nurture Target Defuse Navigate Persuade Triple . and it's honest if you were truly instrumental. it's not a job description. then any statement on your resume that implies you have is at least an embellishment. For example. which is not the case. It implies that you launched several new products. But this is incidental involvement. If you've never helped to launch a new product. your resume will get about 10 seconds of attention from your prospective boss. focus and enthusiasm. Simply writing Regularly attended new-product meetings doesn't pack much punch. you'll want to highlight anything in your employment history that translates into such experience. If it gets your phone to ring. where you've been and where you're going. Here are a few ways you can help yourself decide what's important to include for maximum impact: 1. How to Write a Resume Your resume is not intended to list every task you've ever performed. intended to quickly give readers an honest sense of your skills. let's say you're going for a job that requires you to participate directly in launching new products. But Instrumental in launching new products does. it has done its job. It may catch up with you during an interview or worse. If you're lucky. Direct these eyeballs carefully. all employees do their part to get new products out the door.

10. before the elevator arrives at the employer's floor? Think about it. What's your "elevator speech"? If you ran into a prospective employer in an elevator. 8. such as "which." "there. if you're changing careers. voila. past tense for all previous jobs. As an employer. Instead of explaining big changes at your current employment in detail." "have been" and "responsible for. write "use" instead of "utilize." "that. Pretend you're the reader." From this brief sentence. Once you've figured this out. readers can easily infer your flexibility and relationship skills. Keep sentences brief. write "Thrived amid four mergers/acquisitions." "were. Start every sentence with an action word." "is. "Managed office" is more direct than "Was responsible for office management. you have the blurb for your present position. "Transition to and establish career in X. In what ways does your job affect the overall success of your employer? This core focus is what really matters to any employer.2. 5. 6." Stronger verbs and tight descriptions make your resume crisp." It's natural and more easily read. Keep it simple. how would you describe what you do in three or four concise sentences. Page 15 of 15 Appears as a courtesy from Guariru ." 7. For example." "was. For example. 4. 3. Use present tense for your present job. what would you want to know? 9. drop the word "I" from each sentence and." "has been." For example. Eliminate unnecessary or weak words. you may want the first sentence of a brief goal statement to read.

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