It does not matter if you are entering the work place for the first time or going after your 50th job, you are going to need a CV.
CV is short for the Latin phrase Curriculum Vitae which means “course of life” but lets rather think of it as “course of one’s professional education and career. In short your CV tells the reader who you are, what you have studies and where you have worked in the past. If you need an awesome free CV template checkout this link.
I want to mention at this point in time that to many people take the above explanation way to literally and send prospective employers boring and dull CV’s. They feel that as long as their CV contains all the required facts they have a chance at securing an interview. Here’s the problem with this, your average employer only spends about 10 seconds scanning each CV, if your CV does not GRAB their attention in these first 10 seconds you wont get that interview. Think of you CV as an advert, the product you are advertising is you and the customer you are selling to is the employer. Your advert needs to stand out over all the other products (Candidates) out there and ensure that the customer buys from you.
Right so what should you include in your “sales pitch” when compiling your CV? Obviously the content of your CV will be affected by the specific position you are applying for, however below are the essentials that should appear in each and ever CV;
1) Personal Details : Here you should give your full name, address, contact details (Email and Phone number,) in the hospitality industry it is also a good place to list the languages you are fluent in. Please also always include a professional looking photo of yourself.
2) Personal Statement : This might be the most difficult section of your CV to compile. The aim here is to write a brief paragraph that emphasises your strengths and notable achievements in a way that they compliment the position you are applying for. This section should ideally be between 80 – 120 words in length and must really grab the reader attention.
3) Education : List all of your qualifications stating with the most recent and working back to your oldest. List the qualification, the institution from which is was received and the year you completed. You can also list any qualifications you are currently working towards, as long as you make it clear at what stage you at. You can include any additional training or skills that you have acquired in this section as well, but try to keeps these relevant to the position you are applying for.
4) Achievements / Leadership roles / Community work : In this section you can list any extra mural activities or achievements that you are particularly proud of. This section is more valuable to the person entering the work place for the first time and does not have any or much work experience to list on their CV.
5) Employment History : This section should contain all the information about previous positions that you have held. Start with your current or most recent position first and work back from there. Include the following information for each position, name of the company, the position you held (job title,) the dates that you were employed here and briefly list your duties and responsibilities associated with the position. Try to write the responsibilities in such a way so as to compliment the position that you are applying for. Be honest in this section, you will be caught out if you are dishonest.
6) References : Every Cv should have contact details for 2 – 3 references. These are individuals usually in a position of authority that can comment on your character, work ethic and ability to perform a task. These references are usually previous managers or supervisors, but they could also be a professor from university, 2IC (2nd in charge) or even a co-worker. The more qualified and experienced your references are the more credible the reference will be. Please remember to always get permission from someone before using them as a reference on your CV.
Well thats a great summery of what you should include in your CV, please keep the following tips in mind when preparing your new CV;
- Don’t complicate it. Keep it simple, keep it uncluttered and make it easy for the reader to browse over the important information.
- Make sure it stands out. Emphasis your achievements, skills and experience that makes you better then the competition. You can do this by taking some time to find your USP (unique selling point) but make sure your USP is something that the employer needs.
- Read though your CV at least 10 times to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. When you are 100% certain that it is correct give it to a friend or family member to check as well. Bad spelling and grammar makes a very poor first impression of you.
- I am sure by now you have realised that each position you apply for is different and therefore each CV you send out need to be a little different to compliment the job description of the vacancy. The best way to do this is to keep a basic CV template for yourself on file and just make the small adjustments before sending it out.
- Find a good recruiter and ask them to evaluate your CV. Find a recruiting company in your industry and send the recruiter your CV asking them for a CV appraisal. Most good companies will be quite happy to help you with this.
I really hope that this article has given you some helpful advice and gets you pointed in the right direction. Let me know in the comments below if you will be redoing your CV or not after reading this article. Remember that if you would like to have a professional assist you with your CV or Cover letter you can check out our awesome CV revamping service here. Good luck with your CV preparation and always remember, if at first you don’t succeed try and try again. Your perfect job is out there!
Also check out our blog on Application objective statements, it might give you that little edge to ensure your CV stands out.