Writing a CV
Your CV and cover letter are your rooftop announcement to the job market saying ‘you must employ me, I’m fantastic and I’ll be a great addition to your company’.
If they don’t accurately portray you, your attributes, skills and personality, the chances of you getting the job you really want diminish. This won’t come as a massive surprise to you so it’s imperative to make sure that the first impression you make is one you want to make.
You can imagine how many CVs and cover letters we receive here at Asset Resourcing so if there’s any group of people qualified to know what separates good CVs and cover letters from bad (and sometimes downright shocking) ones, it’s us. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your CV or cover letter, please ask. It’s what we’re here for.
The CV (aka Curriculum Vitae or Résumé)
First off – as with every aspect of Asset Resourcing’s service – we are here for you to help you make sure your CV is perfectly formatted and its content sells you. If you need any help at all, all you need to do is ask.
Your CV is a personal advertisement that creates a first impression and it should be written with the reader in mind.
- What does your potential employer want to know about you?
- What sets you apart from the (potentially hundreds of) other applicants?
- What experiences and skills make you perfect for the role?
- Is your CV well presented, clear and interesting to read?
Think of your CV as the Home page of a website. If a business included every detail about the company on their Home page, there would be no reason for the reader to click through and read on. A good Home page teases the reader with just enough information and makes them NEED to know more – hence the reason for an interview.
As far as the layout is concerned, the cover letter sets out the important rules – use high quality white paper and one typeface in black ink (no smaller than 11pt font); use headings, bold type or any format that clearly presents your experience and qualifications; make sure it’s no longer than two sides of A4 and as always, check and double check for grammatical and spelling errors.
We’ve all watched The Apprentice so we know how easy it is to get caught out lying on your CV and trying to backtrack is about as embarrassing as it’s possible to be. Be honest and factual. Why would you be anything else?
- Include enough personal information to make sure you can be contacted easily
- Include a brief, yet attention-grabbing personal statement on your best attributes (in relation to the position you’re applying for)
- List a summary of your career history, including all key achievements
- Include relevant qualification, professional experience and any professional memberships or industry bodies you may hold or be affiliated to
- Don’t include any negative or irrelevant information. It will both bore and turn the interviewer off very quickly
Your CV represents you. Be comfortable with it and be happy and willing to discuss any aspect the interviewer chooses to talk about.
At Asset Resourcing, we see perfect CVs and cover letters, we see abysmal CVs and cover letters and we see CVs and cover letters that sit somewhere in between.
Below are some of the most frequent mistakes we see. Again, if you’re not sure, you need help or you simply need an extra set of eyes, contact your Asset Resourcing consultant.
1. Less is more – Listing every role, achievement and qualification in painstaking detail will lead to a lengthy document and smack of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your job search. Tailor your CV to the position and industry you are applying for.
2. Are there gaps in your story? – Make sure that you list all your previous roles and positions to reflect your employment history and do not leave any periods of time unaccounted for. If you were not in paid employment be sure to detail what you were doing (e.g. career break, re-training or full time carer) and highlight any transferable skills gained during these periods that will help your application.
Smoke and mirrors – Being vague about your goals or achievements (‘I am looking to stretch myself’) and using clichés without substantiating them (‘I work well with people’) will pad out your CV without telling the reviewer anything. If you make a statement ensure that you clearly back it up with examples and measurable evidence. Make everything in your CV count for you, not work against you.
The devil is in the detail – Check, double-check and then triple-check the details, spelling and grammar throughout your CV. Then get someone else to check it for you in case they see something you may have missed.
This document is your first impression to your potential employer. How ridiculous would you feel if you missed out on your dream job through bad spelling or because you incorrectly typed your phone number or email address?Back to Candidate Clinic