In this socially networked world of ours, the CV is proving to be an exercise in longevity and of absolute necessity as regards seeking a new job or an upward career progression. We have already produced a number of CV articles and there are millions more out there just a Google away. So why write another piece on the art of producing a good CV ?
For the simple reason that an awful lots of CV’s produced are very poor and in no way indicate the unique skill-set that is the author of the CV. In many instances the CV has been written by a third party, which we would not recommend as the “impersonal CV” will usually not be an adequate reflection of your true self. By all means get help, but the CV construction should always be started in your own hand. We see all sorts of CV productions of varying standards in our recruitment agency and believe me when I say that because you are reading 100 to 150 CV’s per day, when a good one comes along, it is like a beam of light shining down on an otherwise ordinary administrative HR day. Yeah, recruitment can be very rewarding and worthwhile, but the recruiter’s day does involve an awful lot of donkey work.
I cannot stress enough the importance of making your CV stand out because always remember that the first and only opportunity to make a lasting impression with a recruiter will come within the first 30 seconds. In that 30 second CV window as we refer to it at PPL, we recruiters must be able to grasp your CV career to date during that glimpse. Within the window, we expect to learn your Qualifications, Skill-set, Work Experience and CV Objective. What we are looking for is a “must read on CV” because our clients will go through the exact same process, so it is absolutely worth investing the time up-front in producing a captive CV which will get you noticed.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, a couple of CV pointers would be:-
• Keep it short and punchy – two pages is sufficient – Bullet points are good
• Avoid padding – do not use waffly sentences
• Do not use fancy rulers, tables or graphics – keep it simple
• If you are using a Photo, make it a business type shot not family outing
• Save as FirstName LastName.doc, not CV.doc – make it “searchable”
• Order should be, Personal Details, Skill-Set/ Profile, Education/ Qualifications, Work Experience (Last to First)
• PDF is great for security but terrible for “searchability”
• Trust the Recruiter enough to send Word version – it’s illegal for a Recruiter to edit but some do
• Include your Social Network profiles – the recruiter will look for them anyway
• Make yourself readily contactable by including all contact points
I hope that you find these pointers useful and that they will assist in the preparation of this so important document.