Group HR – CV Writing Tips & Tools
This is a useful booklet developed by Group HR, which is full of suggestions and recommendations for successful CV writing … from new graduates to senior executives … there is something in here to help you! You will find some useful tips, tools and practical suggestions to help you design an appropriate CV for the position or career path you are seeking.
What is a CV?
A CV (or curriculum vitae) is a marketing tool all about you which you present to prospective employers so that they can consider you for an existing or future vacancy/opportunity. More formal than a resume, and more common in Australia, a CV is usually no more than 2 pages for those job-seekers with limited experience, and no more than 4 for more experienced job-seekers. The CV is a document which contains some limited personal information and a summary of your eduction/qualifications, work experience, interests and achievements. Some professional CV writers also suggest the inclusion of a career objectives or goals section, but it really depends on where you are in your career or what sort of role you are applying for, as to whether that is appropriate. Using a well designed CV, you will be able to promote yourself to an organisation where you would like to work. Imagine the CV as being a brochure that will list the benefits of purchasing or using a particular service (in this case … you!).
Why is the CV so important?
When developing and writing your CV, look at it from an employer’s point of view. Would you stand out against the competition (ie. other candidates) and would the recruiting manager want to talk you based on the content in your CV? When starting out in the early part of your career, gaining an interview is essential so that you can expand on your CV and sell yourself despite having limited experience. Your CV is the first contact point with potential employers and a critical step to getting your ‘foot in the door’ for an interview. If you are invited for an interview, you are then in a fantastic position to explain and expand on what is in your CV and use your interpersonal skills to help secure the position. When you are fairly advanced in your career path plan, the structure of the CV may seem less important because it is the background that you assume recruitment managers are looking at. A poorly designed CV which doesn’t impart the relevant information, may restrict your ability to secure an interview. Additionally, networking skills become more essential at this stage in your career.
What are the critical elements of a CV?
The major critical sections of a CV are: • • • • • Personal Information Education / Qualifications Job / Work history Achievements & Skills Career Objectives (optional)
Let’s expand those areas and clarify exactly what at a minimum, should be included in each section. Personal Information - Name (first & last name only) - Local address - Email address - Phone number (if applying for an overseas role, include your international dialling code) - Mobile number Education / Qualifications List all of your qualifications in this section, including the year of graduation and the name of the institution where you may have obtained any tertiary qualifications. Include all of your education, including certifications or courses from non-academic institutions, especially those that are related
to the job you are seeking. Make sure you include the year of study. Highlight clearly those courses which are more relevant or directly related to the job you are applying for. If you have tertiary qualifications which are not necessarily related to the role you are seeking, then highlight any specific subjects or aspects of the course which may have been. If specific academic titles or qualifications are required, then you should highlight your achievement in this important criteria. Here is a general guide in inverse chronological order: • • • • • List institution name, all post-grad...
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