CV Writing Tips
There are five major CV stlyes:
Targeted CV Each CV style is suitable for different situations.
Inventory CV Follow the links above to learn more about each CV
Chronological CV style.
CV writing Considerations
More important than your CV format is the actual content of your CV and how it
is presented. You only have a limited time to show your skills and capture the
reader's attention. Make sure the most important information is in the top third
of the CV document. Your skills summary, objective or personal profile will
achieve this objective.
A CV must have focus. When a recruiter reads your CV he should understand
your career path. Always keep your objective in mind while writing your CV.
Avoid lengthy and boring job descriptions; whenever possible, write your job
description in bullet point form. Make sure potential employers will understand
how they will benefit from employing you. The employers need to see your
achievements and understand how you are able to implement these
achievements in your company.
Examples of accomplishments would be: save money, increase turn over or
profits, improved productivity, better customer quality. Include actual figures
The chronological CV shows your career progression and growth. The
information flows from the beginning of your career to the present situation.
The CV is easy to read and one can easily go through the career history.
The chronological CV is advised where :
When you have a solid career history, you career has flowed on the same
area and there are no major gaps.
Your responsibilities have increased in each career change
You had high profile Job Roles
Your most recent jobs are the most important in your career history
The job advert specifies these kind of CV
This kind of CV is a way to focus your career towards a particular objective,
within a specific industry or a specific company.
A targeted CV is written in a way that highlights skills, qualifications and
experience that match the requirements of the advertised position. Writing a
targeted CV is effective when:
You know the requirements of a particular position
You know which company you will be sending your CV to
You are sending your CV in reply to a specific job advert
You need to compose different CVs each corresponding to a different
A combination of the chronological and functional formats. It starts with a
description of your achievements, skills and abilities (functional). This shows the
employer "what you are made of". Following is a chronological listing of your
career in chronological format.
This CV format is welcomed by recruiters.
You should consider using it when :
A good and sound employment history
A chronological CV is required for the position you are applying for
You have a strong career history but want to immediately show you have
the right skills for the job
The Inventory CV is used when sending your CV to
When you do not have a specific job objective
This kind of CV is a more general overview of your skills, achievements and
qualifications. A general objective or career strategy behind an inventory CV
helps in being slightly more specific towards your career goals.
General career goals can be :
"a secretary working with a local company"
"a computer programmer"
"a sales man"
Having a general career objective in mind can help you focus on those particular
skills, abilities and experience required for this job. Your CV should show that
your are competent in this job by demonstrating you have prior experience and
qualifications relevant for this job. If are unemployed or desperate to get a new
job, the inventory CV is a good time saver. You can write a custom cover letter
for each job you apply and you can send the same CV to all the recruiters. If
you are interested in several careers write several inventory CVs each for a
particular career goal.
The functional CV emphasises your accomplishments, skills and qualifications at
the beginning of your CV. The timeline is not an issue. Your career history is
positioned at the end of your CV where you could also list small details about
your previous jobs. The functional CV focuses on your skills and
accomplishments rather than your life history. What you have done rather than
when and where.
Employers are not happy with such CVs as they are often an indication that a
candidate is trying to hide a gap or defect in his career history.
The functional CV is used in the following situations
You are looking for your first job
You do not want to advertise your age
Your major achievements happened a few years ago
You have been unemployed for a period of time
You are changing careers
You are returning to your previous career
CV Personal Profiles
A personal profile is a summary of your attributes and is your chance to show
the potential employer your value in terms of skill, knowledge, experience, and
aptitude. This should be placed at the beginning of your CV to attract attention.
A personal profile in your CV will make life easier for your employer. Instead of
having to turn to the second or third page to see if you are a match for this job,
he can now see it on the front page.
The personal profile must be made to match the job description and
requirements. This is used in very specific jobs. If you are applying for various
jobs, this section should be left out.
Write about your achievments in a CV
Getting a job means showing your employer that you are better than the other
candidates. Job application numberss for a particular vacancy vary from tens to
hundreds. You have to be short listed among the first 20 to get an interview.
Only CVs that have impressed the employer will make it to this stage.
When recruiting people, employers reduce the CV list to around forty to fifty
candidates. The difference between the chosen candidates and the others is a
well presented CV and cover letter.
What did they do differently? The way they presented their achievements, in
this tutorial we will explain how you can word your achievements in a better
way. Employers are attracted to achievements because they want the
applicant to repeat them in their buisiness.
How to tackle weakness in your CV
Some employers actively look for reasons not to employ you. It is easier to
find flaws in a person and see which of the candidates have the least, rather
than compare their skills and achievements. This is why it is important to show
them weakness you want them to see.
In CV writing it is important to understand, what is considered to be a weakness
in the job you are applying for. One's job weakness is another job's strength. A
weakness or a perceived weakness by a recruiter can have a huge impact on
your chance to be called for an interview.