Your CV is the major tool in your personal marketing efforts. Its purpose is to open the door for an interview by demonstrating your skills and achievements. The CV serves as an enticement for the reader to invite discussion. During the interview it will often form the basis for the interview structure. Your CV will highlight what you can do for the company, your knowledge skills and talent, your career history, previous accountabilities and scope of positions held, as well as your achievements, education and training, personal details and outside interests. Your CV should have a format, content and appearance that accurately reflects you as an individual. Your aim is to produce a CV, which has impact, is factual, and brief.
Although there is no set format, two general ones are most commonly successful:
The Chronological CV
The chronological CV lists your various positions or employment in reverse order, beginning with the most recent. The advantage of this layout is that it presents your background in a clear-cut, straightforward manner, and therefore enables the reader to assess you quickly.
The Functional CV
The functional CV emphasises your experience and achievements in skills areas, and plays down your employment record. Thus you can de-emphasise work areas that you do not wish to highlight.
The chronological CV format is generally recommended unless your employment history is erratic or the career change that you seek requires departing radically from past history or experience. Either format will be strengthened by noting achievements, or what resulted from your efforts, as opposed to a list of duties.
- - Present yourself accurately and positively.
- - Include enough information to encourage the prospective employer to want to find out more.
- - Include brief descriptions of employers: size, sales and products.
- - Achievements: Include examples and figures to substantiate claims whenever possible.
- - Omit anything that might show you in a negative light.
- - Do not send a photograph.
- - Include current salary package details, i.e. base, bonus, car, pension etc.
- - Include educational and other important personal data.
- Do not include references. These will be asked for when there is interest in making a job offer.
- - Do not exaggerate. You must be able to support every statement made in your CV at any subsequent interviews.
- - Have a couple of colleagues proof read and comment on your CV.
- - Never have someone else write your CV.
- - Aim to fit the CV onto 2 sides of a single A4 sheet of paper.