Keeping it fresh, today I want to talk about 5 key areas you should consider and look to avoid when writing your CV.
- Assume that everyone will know what it is like working at your current / previous places of employment – huge and easy mistake to make, every company is different and even departments in larger businesses work differently to each other. Simply declaring a job title and a couple of bullet points stating something like; “planning” and “reporting” is a futile exercise – planning what? Using what kind of planning tools? Complex pieces of work or straight forward? How big is the project and the team… See, it just doesn’t tell the CV reviewer anything they need to know.
- Terminology, we’ve all done it – working in certain environments we adopt a different language and a plethora of acronyms. Make sure you translate these into English for your CV – no reviewer will spend hours trying to decipher the code so make sure it is readable by all.
- Using past tense – keep the document positive and in the present. It may sound crazy to say that our employment history should be past tense but try changing your CV on just one role (i.e. managed to managing, reported to reporting etc.) and read it out – you’ll notice how positive and active it reads in comparison to the rest of the CV. Now apply it to all of the CV and see just how changing the tense can really make a difference to your resume.
- Copy and paste your job description – your CV is a personal document about you, taking your JD and placing it in your remit you are selling yourself short, by all means use it as a starting point but make sure you add the reality of what each competency actually means in your role.
- Just throw something together – it doesn’t work. Spend time researching online about what employers expect to see in a CV; then start by structuring and performing a skills audit. Really work hard to make sure the CV is selling you in the best light, check the basics such as spelling and grammar as a minimum. You only get one chance at making a first impression.