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Developing Your CV (Résumé)

An effective Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé is your key marketing tool. It is your opportunity to communicate your capabilities, achievements and attitudes to a potential employer. Your CV is often your first opportunity to make a positive impression.

The best CV is the one which represents you most effectively to a potential opportunity and one which presents your ‘offering’, relevant to the needs of the employer.

Objectives of Your CV

An effective CV will:

  • Gain attention

  • Be easy to read and highlight relevant information

  • Immediately engage, impress and enthuse the reader

  • Clearly indicate contact information and availability

  • Link your capabilities to the employer’s specified needs

  • Promote yourself as a genuine ‘solution’ to the objectives of the opportunity

  • Motivate the reader to take action

It should highlight:

  • offering rather than objectives

  • achievements rather than responsibilities


CV Format and Content

With a wide variety of CV style templates available, format comes down to:

  • personal preference and judgement

  • career stage

  • knowledge of your audience

Consultants and potential employers are interested in:

  • What you want to do (your career / employment objective) – consider a cover letter

  • What you have done (your work history)

  • What you can do (your achievements and contributions to date)

  • What you will be likely to do in the future (potential value to your new employer)

There are various styles and formats of CV. Whichever style and format is chosen, your CV should reflect you as an individual and there are some guidelines as to elements for inclusion -

  • Contact information

  • Profile Summary – key strengths to summarise your ‘offering’

  • Relevant experience and past employment

  • Achievements and areas of effectiveness

  • Education, Qualifications and Memberships

  • Personal Interests

Evaluation / Checklist of your CV

  • Unique to me, rather than an adaptation of someone else’s CV

  • Contact information is clearly stated and offers alternatives

  • Attractive, easy to read presentation, with concise and positive wording

  • Presents a professional representation of my background and my capabilities

  • Relevant, accurate and achievement focussed

  • Information is ordered in an appropriate sequence, targeting the perceived benefits to the employer

  • Abbreviations, acronyms and unnecessary words have been eliminated as much as possible

  • Potential gaps or ‘objections’ have been acknowledged and explained

  • Confidential or negative information relating to previous employers has been eliminated

  • Spelling and grammar has been checked and rechecked – there are no errors!

  • Can I take pride in submitting this document as my marketing tool and as my initial representation in the employment market?


Submitting your CV

Does your email address portray the correct impression? In most situations, it is preferable to use a home address, rather than that of your current employer, unless you have permission to do so.

Consider the benefits of including a covering letter in support of your application.

You may wish to request an email acknowledgement of receipt or, alternatively, you may wish to follow up by telephone (approximately 24 hours later) to confirm receipt and as an opportunity to verbally introduce yourself, demonstrate your enthusiasm and establishing rapport.

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