12th June 2018 - Admin - 0 comments
Craft a Killer CV

Application groundwork completed, it's time to move on and craft a killer CV. Let's dive straight in.

"The writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads." Dr. Seuss

"Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out." George Orwell

What needs to be said? Put yourself in the shoes of your future employer, don't include irrelevant information and limit yourself to 2 sides of A4. It can be done, I promise you. If you're smart about what you write and how you present the information.

The opening statement

A short punchy paragraph to hook the reader at first glance, concise information that you know from your research will be perceived as a selling point. It should be carefully crafted to showcase your most relevant skills and experience. It's good to highlight how long you've spent developing those abilities, including relevant key words. If you've recently completed a project or activity that's directly relevant you can mention it briefly here.

Chronological work history

Create the CV frame, a list of your job titles, with dates and employers. Start with the most recent and work back in time. When you have your timeline you can begin adding in content for each role. A functional / skills based CV is another style worth considering if you're making a complete career transition or have something outside of your work history which is far more relevant to the job. This allows you to front load page one with skills, project details, competencies etc. However, typically speaking the chronological style is still generally preferred. If you're not sure what to do for the best in your situation, you're welcome to give me a call.

Fine tune the content

  • Make sure you've presented the information in order of importance. If you're using bullet points, the most important point should always be at the top of the list.
  • Consider the competencies required for this role and how well you're demonstrating that you have them. If it's possible to quantify and evidence your abilities and achievements then add this information. For example, if you've saved an employer money add in figures. If you positively increased or decreased something measurable, add the data.
  • Your focus should be on; facts, skills, experience and achievements.
  • Try to avoid opinions and narrative description.
  • Reinforce the key words you've used in your opening statement and include relevant projects, tasks, contributions and achievements.
  • Those key words should be the ones most relevant to the hiring manager not the ones you like the most or what you're most proud of.
  • Keywords are important for a) grabbing and holding the attention of your reader b) to ensure your CV is easily searchable (but don't over do it, that's counter productive!)
  • Make sure you've selected a professional font and used it consistently throughout.
  • Take a break so you can return with fresh eyes for a final edit.
  • Spell check and ask someone to proof read for you.

Education

  • If your education is very recent and or essential for the role add it in at the top just beneath your opening statement. If your work history is more relevant that should come first.
  • It's really key to front load your CV, the first page gets most of the time and attention so be clever about the order in which you display information.

Hobbies and interests

This should be a short paragraph at the end of your CV that rounds everything off. It's an opportunity for you to showcase what you do outside of your day job that's relevant or likely to be of interest to your employer. It's also where you can show a little of your personality but make sure whatever you write here will leave a positive impression on the reader.

Craft with integrity

Don't build a boat out of sugar cubes, even if it works in the short term. In the long term you'll sink. There's no excuse for lies or misrepresentation.

Design and layout

It's best to keep things simple, anything too fancy will detract from what's most important. Unless you're applying for a role in a creative industry then there's no need to use graphics or colour. There's also no need to include a photo unless requested as part of the application process; for an acting or presenting role for example.

I hope that's been helpful, best of luck putting it all together and use your killer CV wisely.

It's the key to the door of your choosing.

If you have questions, feedback or would like to work together please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Good luck with your job search!

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