There is no doubt that the job market is very competitive, a good CV means you are very likely to get a chance of job interviews which can then translate to gainful employment opportunities. The possibility of actually getting the job depends on two other factors which are competencies (also referred to as skills) and interview approach.
Employers and recruiters are inundated with the numbers of applications they received from job applicants. As a result, there is no time to go through every detail on every applicant’s CV. The first few lines will determine whether a CV is going to be read in details. It is, therefore, imperative that a good CV is written and designed in an impressive manner.
How do you write a CV in an impressive manner? Most job seekers know that the abbreviation ‘CV’ stands for Curriculum Vitae, but what they fail to understand is that it literately means ‘the course of one’s life’. It is a way of communicating your values which includes your personal details, objectives, skills, work experience, qualifications and education to a prospective employer. So, if you want to stand a chance it is important that your CV should be well structured, Clear, concise but detailed and relevant to the job you’re applying for.
There is no one way of writing or designing a good CV, but there are a number of important information that must be present in a good CV. A good CV should begin with the applicant’s personal details such as name, address, email, telephone, a photograph which is optional but a developing trend depending on industry trend, and finally, a job title only if your CV is industry based or tailored to a specific job vacancy. At the recruitment stage, employers are usually not interested in applicant’s DOB, religion, country, Marital status, etc.
Example of a CV personal details of a software tester
A clear and concise career objective (s) which is not more than four lines should be written in a good CV. These are your aspirations for your career and if possible, should be aligned to what the employers are looking for if you know them or you can carefully speculate it based on the job title/roles. From the employer’s point of view, if an applicant’s career objective matches what I am looking for in a candidate, then I will be compelled to carry on reading the applicant’s CV.
Example of a career objective of a software tester
Career summary is the next very important section in a CV that will grab a prospective employer’s attention. It is a way of highlighting the entire CV at the very beginning. High turnover of job applications means that employers and recruiters alike have no patience and time to read a Lengthy CV. It is your presentation, coherence and structuring that will serve as an appetiser to make them read more. Keep each point on a single line if possible to avoid boring the reader, and ensure you only make six points at most, except if you have more relevant key points to highlight.
Example of professional summary of a software tester
Again, your summary will vary from industry to industry but the most important thing to bear in mind is, what is it about your entire career and experiences that may influence the employer or recruiter decision to employ you.
Next, a good CV should highlight your Skills. Depending on the industry, skills can be labelled as any of the following; Core Competencies, Technical skills and Professional skills but they all mean the same. Whats important here for applicants is to demonstrate to the employer all of their abilities and (or) qualities relevant to successfully carry out the job you are applying for.
Example of Skills of a software tester
Work experience or professional experience is another very important aspect of your CV. Without the relevant work experience, it may be impossible to get a job. You should always start by highlighting your work experience from the most recent job and in some cases the most relevant job experience. You should be wary of leaving any gap between the dates of your work experiences, however, if there are unavoidable gaps like studies or illness, you should be prepared to explain why the gaps are there in your CV.
Each work experience should have a start date and finished date or till date, if you’re still that employment. It should also include the name of the company, the position held, role and summary of accomplishment if there are any. See example below;
Example of work experience of a software tester
A good CV should also highlight the applicant’s education and certifications. Again, they must be in the order of the most recent from the top to the oldest at the bottom. In the case of certifications, they must be relevant to the job you’re applying for, otherwise, they may see you as ‘Jack of all trades’.
I’ve seen a lot of job seekers writing all sort of interest and hobbies ranging from reading, travelling, cooking and all sort of things for the fun of it. CV is not a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter, whatever interest you have chosen on your CV should always be relevant to your job roles. For instance, it will be relevant to say that you like reading and (or) writing if you’re a nurse, a lawyer or even a teacher because these jobs require reading frequently to stay up to date.
Gone are the days when you have to indicate who your referees are on the CV, employers are not interested in that at this stage of the employment process. The only time your reference is required is when you’ve been offered a job, therefore, it should be enough to write ‘available on request’ in your reference section.
In addition to all the analysis above, there are 5 golden rules you should always observe when writing a CV;
- Keep it simple, clear, concise and well laid out.
- Use simple applications like MS Word to type your CV.
- Spell check for grammatical and spelling errors.
- Keep your CV to 2 pages if possible or at most 3 pages.
- Make sure your information is accurate and honest.
The skills needed to write a good CV seems simple but sometimes it can be overwhelming. A lot of job applicants get confused with what to write, how to write and sometimes how to structure their CV. This is especially true of applicants searching for their first job, applicants changing career and applicants with language challenges. Applicants with language challenges should visit http://en.bab.la/phrases/ which provides multi-language phrases to help people with language difficulty when writing their CV.
Whatever challenges you are facing with writing your CV, the good news is that we can help you write, review and design your CV. Visit our website at or simply email your CV to email@example.com for a free CV review (charges may apply if CV needs re-writing and designed template).
Whether you are just looking for your first job, changing your career or you’re climbing a career ladder, the time to search for your job is now. The UK office for national statistics have just reported that;
Between the 3 months to January 2016 and February to April 2016, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell, and the number of people not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) fell slightly.There were 31.59 million people in work, 55,000 more than for the 3 months to January 2016 and 461,000 more than for a year earlier. http://tinyurl.com/zqtc743
I encourage to be more determined and confident in the hunt for your desired job. Perhaps, it is not your CV that is letting you down. If you lack the skills that employers are looking for or maybe you are struggling with job interview techniques, subscribe to our blogs to keep you informed or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org for any employability help.
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