Writing effective CVs

Writing a killer CV

Writing an effective CV and an attractive covering letter is not easy. There are no shortcuts. However, most people rattle them off without much thought, so think of the amazing competitive advantage you could have over every other job seeker by investing some of your time in learning how to compile, write and rewrite a compelling job application, one that catches the attention of recruiters and gives you the best possible chance of an interview.

Without doubt your CV should be typed – never send in a hand written CV. Presentation is very important – it must be easy on the eye.

Here are more than a few tips:

  • Use clear headings – the information should be in blocks on the paper and easily distinguished.
  • Make plenty of copies for future use.
  • Enclose a copy with your application letter; ensure that it is clean and up to date.
  • Once again be brief. It is not a life history.
  • There are various thoughts on types of CVs – you must use the method that suits you and your style best.
  • Always be honest.
  • A CV should be about persuading an employer that you can do the job advertised. When creating a CV you must learn to see things from the employer’s perspective. The purpose is to persuade, so make sure it does.
  • Use only one, or maximum two, A4 sheets of paper with plenty of white space and bold headings to guide a future employer.
  • Employers are interested in employees who have the ability to communicate effectively and your CV should demonstrate these skills. You can do this by keeping it short and sweet and this will ensure that you get in the essential things pertinent to the job applied for.
  • You will almost certainly have to prune your first effort to make it fit within one page. This editing process is good for you because it will cause you re-evaluate what is particularly relevant for the job you are applying for.
  • Do not forget interpersonal skills. Communication, good relationships, team player, self-motivated, an upbeat cheery person who loves getting up in the morning.
  • If this is not you, start practicing now, you will be amazed at how soon you become this person if you start acting the part, “fake it until you make it”.