Saturday, July 23, 2011

Writing A C.V/Resume - 101

Everybody has their own opinion on how the 'perfect c.v' should be formatted. To be honest though, it's best to find what works best for you and what you feel reflects your personality and high-lights your strengths. Personally, I like to go with a minimal approach. Short and sweet. This could be a reflection of my personality, or possibly because I'm very lazy and don't want to invest a lot of time in writing a C.V... We'll go with number one for now.

1) Basic Info
You'll want your correct name, current address, telephone number, and email address. Something like this.

32 Suffolk Avenue,
Suffolk City,

Jeremy Jobsworth
Contact: 03838383

As long as there's some logic to the way you lay stuff out, it doesn't matter too much how you do it.

Next up ...

2)  Education

Self explanatory really. A list of where you went to school and what grades you achieved. This is also a good place to include any qualifications you have that may increase your Employability. This includes things such as;

1) Lifeguard qualifications
2) Qualified first-aiders
3) CSCS card/trade skills
4) Computer skills
5) Second languages

Just a few basic things that can help beef up your C.V.

But o.k, back to the format...

Again as long as it's logical, you can display this how you like, but I usually go for something like this...

Brown School, South Street, Suffolk (2002-2009)

G.C.S.E's                                                               A-Levels

Biology - A                                                             English Language - A
Chemistry - A                                                         English Literature - A
English Literature/Language - A                               History - A
French - A                                                              Sports Science - A
History - A
Geography - A
I.T - A
Maths - A
Physics - A
Sports Science - A

3) Work experience/previous employment

A lot of people like to write short accounts of what each job entails, what their duties included and any transferrable skills they learnt from these duties. Again this is entirely down to you. As I said, personally I tend to opt for the minimal approach - on the basis that your employer will have the basic intelligence necessary to grasp what working at McDonalds may have entailed.

*Side note* I do however tend to include a bit about the experience I gained from previous jobs when writing cover letters. For example: "You require the ability to 'think creatively and with ingenuity' in the job description. My work at Job X required me to use ingenuity and creativity to solve problems on a daily basis. I was required to think objectively and creatively to market material to a hard to reach demographic, this required guerilla methodology and the ability to see beyond the norm so to speak".

Back to basics, this is generally what I would include in my work experience section...

* Sales Assistant at McDonalds, 2008-2010
* Challenge of Management Course, Summer 2009
* Work Experience Harris & Son Solicitors, Easter 2010
* Content Editor Website X, Summer 2010

As you can see, simple and to the point. Try and keep it chronological if possible, it seems more professional.

And, to top it all off, I think it's always nice to include a little 'About Me' section. This is a good opportunity to include positives about yourself. If possible, try and contrast any weaknesses you have with your strengths, or, turn your negatives in positives - i.e, my only character flaw is I work too hard. Try not to go too over the top though, be intelligent with it!

4) About Me

I am easy to get along with, always happy to meet new people and can generally get on with pretty much anybody. I’m a hard worker, probably more of a perfectionist – if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. However, I can also work well under pressure and to tight deadlines, a skill that has been refined through several previous Sales Assistant positions I have held.

And voila! 

C.V writing 101. Done and dusted.

If you found any of this helpful at all check back in a few days for another article!

NEXT UP - Cover Letters Uncovered 

A look at how to write a good cover letter, not just general waffle about what it should look like!

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