A resume that works

Applying for a job is always nerve racking as often there is an urgency surrounding the whole process. Whether you call it a resume, curriculum vitae or simply a cv there is always something you can do to make it just that little bit more effective. It might be that little touch that you need to get yourself over the line.

One of the best hints you can receive if you are in the stage of creating a cv or rewriting your old one is that you must put yourself in the shoes of who would be reading it. Ask yourself the question of what would they like to see. Obviously when you apply for a job you have a basic idea of what the role would entail. Base your cv aimed at impressing the right people with listing skills and experiences related to the job vacancy. This will not only make your cv in some ways customised showing the reader that your are initiative and keen in getting the position but it also makes sure the right information gets across.

On average the person who has the job of reading over all the applications will only stop and skim over the cover letter and cv. Because of this there is a real need to keep things short and sharp. Unless you are applying for a particular job or education position in which it is requested to provide extra information going over two A4 pages is unnecessary. A good hint to give yourself more space is to use the borders of your page to the max. This does not mean that you should have your text from one edge to the other (this plays strange games on the eye and makes it harder to read) but you can steal those half centimetres on each side giving you a couple of extra lines at the end. The header and footer are also good places to place information. It is a good idea to put basic contact information in the footer such as name, email and phone number. Numbering you pages is good and often numbering the page and the total pages makes sure that the reader knows if they are missing a page or not e.g. page 1 of 2 etc. Nothing would be worse than having that vital experience left in the printer or on the reverse side of the front page.

It is common for people to write in a big bold font at the top, ‘Curriculum Vitae’. The person who has your cv in their hands is most probably aware what they are reading. Place your name in this space and promote yourself not latin words. Your list of referees is often the key to getting the job or not. Make sure you list the appropriate people with contact information if you wish. It is highly recommended that you warn these people as it can be very damaging to your application if your possible future employer rings an old high school teacher only to receive a blunt, “umm… who are you calling for again?”. Getting them to answer the phone or email in a positive constructive way for your application makes all the difference.

Put time in to perfecting your cv and do realise that every cv is different and therefore don’t worry if yours is not as full or as fancy as someone else’s. Just make sure that you put 100% effort into your own and the right job offer will come knocking. Good luck!


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