Key points to remember when writing a CV

  • When listing your work experience, commence with your most recent or current position. Some people erroneously start from the beginning and go in chronological order when they are writing a CV. Such bizarre practice has your first listing as say a simple administrative job you held after college instead of the impressive head of operations post you currently hold. Please note that the readers hold the primacy effect in their minds. They remember the first of what they read, which forms their general impression about you. Human resources departments spend also spend only an average of 7-10 seconds per CV to determine whether a candidate proves interview-worthy, then throw out your document therefore it is important that you list your most impressive accomplishments first in each section. Since recent positions likely stand as more impressive than long ago roles. Every credible career coach recommends listing your newest experience first. Key Points to remember when Writing a CV
    • Incorporate your work experience items into tables, not utilizing tabs and spacing to separate jobs, work locations and dates of employment. Then list your major duties and accomplishments for each current and previous position using bullet points.  Pick a bullet point style and stick with it throughout the entire CV. Avoid changing your format.
    • Do not include so many details by over writing. Have brevity in your writing, by showcasing the necessary interesting facts, not everything you did in your job. A CV should ideally not contain more than 3 or maximum 4 bullet points per position.
    • Understand the right balance between too many pretty details about your previous jobs versus outstanding responsibilities and skills acquired. Most job seekers take up one or two of their valuable allowed bullet points by listing meaningless tasks involved in each of their  positions. Example: A business development manager might erroneously list the following tasks next to his/her position: Answered phone calls, Interacted with clients, and drove to clients meetings. This entire sentence proves meaningless, since these are obvious tasks that accompany a business development job. What should be stated must include actual accomplishments such as I led my department to over $1M in actualized sales during my first fiscal year. Then follow-up with major skills utilized like: Mitigated client unrealistic delivery expectations with a calm negotiation skills that let to a 60% increase in customer satisfaction.
    • When emphasizing your work accomplishments, utilize action verbs, not simple verbs. Avoid simple verbs such as: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, do, did, does etc. Instead bring your text to life with action verbs: achieved, exceeded, served, empowered etc.
    • Do not just list all the trainings  you’ve undertaken unless one might result in  a major international accreditation or stands out as highly and strongly desired by your employers. Instead highlight actual accomplishments.
    • Incorporate proper tenses when listing your accomplishments and main responsibilities or work experience. Make your verbs current ( oversee, plan, Supervise) or past tense( oversaw, planned, supervised). Only utilize present tense when discussing your current role: Manage a large diverse team, involve employees in bottom-up strategic planning etc. When you are presenting past jobs, state everything in past tense: Disciplined errant field supervisors, advised board of directors on appropriate client acquisition strategies etc.
    • Once you have some years into your career, you’ve held substantial responsibility-laden posts, remove low-level campus jobs from your CV that you held during your university days.
    • No one enjoys reading a long CV. So watch out your CV length and realize that less detail often results in a more positive reader experience.

You can also read: Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make.

    • Lastly, always proofread your CV before you send it to a prospective employer. If you do so, you will likely notice a mistake or a way to better phrase an experience on every single line. Spend some extra time proofreading and reap higher employer response rates.

Author: John Mulindi

John is very passionate about Digital marketing. He blogs on topics ranging from Social Media marketing, Search Engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Email Marketing, to Personal Development. In free time he likes watching Football, Reading, Listening to music and taking Nature walks.

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