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A small CV tutorial

Writing a CV often seems like a doable thing and without much effort you would do it yourself. But a natural question arrives when you have your qualifications and want to get into some better company – perhaps which is receiving tons of CVs every day. In a short time span you get into the point – how to make my CV convincing enough, in order not to get it thrown right into the bin by employer after the first reading? The better job place is, the more stressful situation we have. Imagine when you get an advertisement of a company and – maybe not in the first moment – you think that this company may be yours for all life. Of course that writing a good CV in that case is a matter of life and death.

We can call writing a CV – without exaggerating – advertising yourself. This process begins with your visit at a photographer. Yeah, don't laugh! The photo, perhaps not the most important element of a CV, but without doubts a significant one. So if you do your CV photo, pay attention to look good. Not wonderful, but good. There's a thin line of balance where you want to aim on – so shave yourself, put some make-up on but don't go too far. In the photo, you want to look modesty but neat. There were too many people who looked either like going to miss world contest or like not caring about the job. Mind that when going to your photographer.

Now, let us go to the writing section. Before we say something here, you may search in the Internet for some CV examples. The Google graphic search covers this issue, so all you want to do first, is to type CV in your search engine to have some first look over how this should be done. It is also a great idea to consider writing with friends of yours, especially with those who have some experience in Human Resources. The best situation is when you have a friend who is already in the company as he surely knows the company in-depth matters. Once you have done it, here is a couple of advices:

First, writing a CV, you need to know, that the CV has to be divided very clearly. So have in mind that when you don't care enough about fonts or bold text, the wholeness may seem too chaotic at first glance which can weaken your chances to get into.

Next thing is, as I already mentioned, the CV and covering letter is an advertisement about you. Make yourself clear what the employer is really looking for and thus get what is really required. It's not like that you're only overlooking requirements. In some cases it's better to know exactly what an employer wants to avoid disappointment later. Be keen what is your job like, what skills are really needed in practice and what can you offer a company. That is vital. A great addition is also to map your skills out. These don't have to be tightly correlated with the job you're about to CV; just map them out and think what would probably useful to write in. Even having some record about babysitting may make you look better in HR department.

Don't make the CV too long! Although it is good to have a lot of qualifications, write in only those most important and most vital. Most of employers don't have time to read all of this; in fact the employer can give you about five or ten minutes, reading your references and checking the covering letter. While including basic information is necessary, make the personal profile short enough to add some details to your CV, but not too long. Yes, personal profile and interests are important – this is what distinguishes you from masses of people who want to get employed, but again – no-one actually wants information which doesn't say anything. Throw off that garbage without remorse.

Another thing related to the letter and the CV is importance of information. Group the information which you have by importance. Then allocate it properly by spending more space for significant info and less for second-importance matters. Avoid putting records in chaotic scheme. Rather, let them have some logical construction which simply means not putting incoherent points together. Don't build too long sentences as it distorts the sense of information. When needed, break your text up with bullet points(also not too many: 5-6 is an absolute maximum) but keep in mind that too many points, paragraphs, changes in font, capitals or so may make your situation worse.
Some people like to put colors and shading to their CVs – that's totally OK and may look even more professional. But remember – too much fancy colors is the last thing you need. Besides, CVs are photocopied from some point so think twice if you're really going to do it.

The most effective structure is like this: First comes education, then work experience. Next come skills and proficiencies, and here you have finally some space to use your imagination. When something may seem useful in your future job, write it. It's the matter of how an employer may use your potential out. So when you hear that a company has some Internet site, it wouldn't be bad if you put your HTML or PHP proficiency on as this may result in work between sectors – which is usually a better-paid job or having multiple jobs in one company. Finish it up with a couple of your interests.

Now more about the structure itself. You have to reserve most space for degree. Also note that the chronological order should be reversed here. Don't put any schools below your secondary school. Clearly, you employer doesn't have interest in your primary-or-whatever schools. Only schools which give you some real skills count. You may think that's funny, but again – there were quite many people who put their primary schools into CVs. That's not a joke. The next thing could be subjects or relevant modules. It is also a good idea to put them there with uni exams with full grades as employer wants to know which skills you actually have. Remember one thing – things you write down there should be coherent with your job and have at least facilitating function.

Concerning work experience: When writing your documented jobs, get rid of duties or job description. The hypothetic employer doesn't really give a damn about your duties as being a salesman. Instead, feel free to write which actual skills did you develop. That's vital. Don't forget about dates. If you have long work experience, write only these most recent and most relevant – for example a work in a well-known company which is overall recognized. An average employer won't ignore your previous work for the Nike company or Puma – just for example. Working in well-recognized companies always results in better job perspectives.

Tired enough with reading this stuff? Just a couple of things before I end. Now, we shall be concerned with skills-based CVs, transferable skills and last but not least – covering letters.

What is skills-based CV? The main structure of the CV's type goes like this: You provide your personal info, standard application formula and then come your practical skills. And that's all.
You may sometimes want to write a skills-based CV. Of course, not always. Writing CVs like this is usually done when you have a lot of work experience and mastered your practical(also transferable) skills. For me, this is the only situation when you want to write a skills-based. There are advantages which you may consider: First, as I mentioned, if you have a lot of work experience you look like more qualified worker. If you've just graduated it's quite useless for you as your university makes your advertisement and provides documents. Next pro is, if you enlist your practical skills, this makes the work of an employer much easier because you ascertain him what you really can and what not. As you may have noticed, writing this requires you to be more prepared; if done improperly, may seem to be unfocused and kind of chaotic. Still, when you're a pro in something but don't have academic documents this is the option for you.
If you have a lot of transferable skills, this suits you better, too.

What are transferable skills? If you work in a job and gather some experience, you may want to have some change. Then you fear that changing your job implies starting everything from scratch. In fact, it isn't like that. This is where the transferable skills come in. Think about it. A skill is transferable when it may apply to some other job and believe me – there's no job where transferable skills don't occur. Some examples of transferables are: Researching, designing, foreign language, tech-use or computer proficiency, job assessing, multitasking, etc. If you plan on changing your job list them down and think if some of them are transferable skills. These are skills used in multiple jobs and can help you change yours.

The last thing is covering letters. Let's get along with this. Write your covering letter on a quality paper. The scheme goes as following: introduction(why do you want to get the job in the company?), then summarize your background(that means your pros and strengths), finally sum up the covering letter and end. Now some hacks: If you can, write to some individual; writing for Dear Sir/Madam makes you impersonal, thus the letter has weaker chances to get spotted. A covering letter, we can say, is an advert of your CV(yeah, which is an advert of you). Typewrite it, as handwritten covering letters are old-fashioned. Tell them where you have seen their job offer. Then tell them who you are and what do you want and why. Your language has to be formal, but don't pretend to sound like your lawyer. Of course, try to sound positive. Don't write more than 1 side A4 – it's no essay. And don't write more than three-four paragraphs.

Going to an end, writing a CV is not that bad as you may think. Be well, not too long, organized, to the point, correct and relevant. Think seriously about your skills and how to exploit them. Try to be convincing in your CV and covering letter. Once you get it, you will know that it's nothing scary and each CV which you will be writing shall be some sort of copy consisted of constant elements.

Hope you enjoyed this short tutorial.
Dodał/a: wild_nausea
Dodano: 2009-01-24 12:47:29
Wyświetleń: 2454
Wydruków: 645

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