So just how do we go about creating a document that will grab the reader’s attention and increase the likelihood of getting an interview?
It’s not an autobiography
Your CV should not be used to list every single job, duty and responsibility you have held since you left school. Your goal is to create a document that persuades and convinces the reader to make a hiring decision and should be designed with the intent of getting you in front of the decision maker in the form of an interview.
It’s not about you!
That’s right – it’s your CV and it outlines your experience and skills but it’s all about how it helps the decision maker solve a business need. The fact that it may well fulfil a lifelong dream of yours to work for an organisation such as theirs is of little consequence in the initial screening process. Without a doubt, once employed, your ‘dream’ could positively influence your long term future with the business and how you perform in the role, but in the first instance, it is about their needs – not yours.
Professional not tedious
Somewhere along the way we have been led to believe that a resume must portray your skills and experience using a language akin to that of Royalty. Writing a CV must surely rate in the top activities to use clichés and it’s well and truly overdone and outdated! The chances are your resume is going to be read by a human, and as humans we tend to use conversational language. Make your CV professional and yet engaging, using a language that will appeal to the reader, and showcase your unique talent and skills.
There is no perfect length
Time and time again I have come across CV’s that have been chopped and cut because the writer has felt compelled to make it fit on one page. Then at the other end of the scale are the CV’s that seem to go on for an eternity. Your CV needs to be easily deciphered and understood, and relevant skills and experience should be immediately apparent to the reader.
The key to a great CV is that it says what it needs to say without omitting key information, or including information that is not relevant. Every word should earn its place.
Author: Lyndal Clark
Lyndal Clark is a highly knowledgeable and approachable Career Coach at My Coach, and is well known for her ability to relate to and interact effectively with young adults. With significant experience in HR, Recruiting, Training and Employment Coaching, Lyndal is extremely successful in helping young adults transition into employment.
My Coach provides expert coaching in all areas of employment including creating compelling cover letters and stand-out CV’s and provides tailored 1:1 interview training and support. For further information: www.mycoach.net.nz, www.facebook.com/CoachLyndal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.