Skills You Need (2)

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I promised to teach you how to re-write your CV in my last article on the Skills You Need. If you missed the first article you can read it here What is a CV? • In simple terms, your CV or resume sets out your skills and experience. Your CV should demonstrate to any potential employer why they should hire you above any of the other skilled candidates who have presented themselves for employment. • Technically a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a detailed document outlining all of your life achievements, qualifications, associations, awards and skills. Curriculum Vitae means ‘course of life’ in Latin. What is a Resume? • A resume (spelt résumé, with accents, in its technical form), is a more concise document; an abbreviated version of your CV that focuses on specific skills and achievements, usually in relation and relevant to an employment opportunity. • However, for the sake of this article the terms CV and résumé are interchangeable. • In the UK and Ireland, job applicants are usually required to produce a CV whereas in the US and Canada the word resume is more frequently used. • In India, Australia and other English speaking counties either term may be used – for the purpose of applying for a job CVs and resumes are the same thing, it just depends on where the job is! Follow these 6 tips doggedly in order of importance. 1. Decide whether you want to start with a personal statement • This is optional, although many CV-writing companies recommend it. If you decide to include one, it needs to say something real about you, and not just be an anodyne statement that could apply to anyone. Try to avoid jargon such as ‘forward-thinking’ or ‘strategic’ and use this to showcase your strengths, if possible focused on action. 2. Include sections on Key Skills, Knowledge and Achievements, Work Experience, and Education • Precisely how much to include in each section depends on the sector to which you are applying. Try to get some advice from someone in the sector if you don’t already work there. Start with the most recent achievement, experience or training, and work backwards in each section. 3. When discussing achievements, focus on what you’ve actually done and the end result achieved • Your statements should be in the form “In situation x, I did this, and the end result was that”. For example:- • In an unexpected funding crisis, I organised and carried out a cross-departmental review with colleagues, and managed to find savings which addressed all our funding concerns and gave us £x to put towards contingencies. or • As president of the climbing club at university, I sought out a commercial sponsor from contacts made during work experience and successfully obtained funding for new equipment. or • As chair of the college fundraising committee, I successfully organised an event which more than 200 people attend, and which raised xxxNaira. It has gone on to be a regular part of the social calendar. Concentrate on your personal actions, the precise outcome, and how you knew the action was a success. 4. Include everything relevant in ‘Work Experience’ and ‘Education’ • Once you’ve got plenty of work experience, it’s OK not to include the paper round you had when you were 16 and the summer jobs you had as a student. • If you’ve taken a career break for some reason, or had a period out of work after redundancy, say so. Otherwise you’ll be asked about it, if they don’t just assume you were in prison and bin your CV. • You don’t include every last course you’ve ever done, but do include everything that’s relevant to the job. If you’re going for a job as a forklift driver, they won’t want to know about your catering qualification, but your Health and Safety certificate might be relevant. • Check the essential requirements for the job, and make sure you’ve included anything that’s mentioned. 5. Include your contact details last or at the top. I always recommend that this comes last, because that’s less important for recruiters who have no time for stories. Your skills and achievement should be more pronounced than your personal details like home address, hobbies etc. 6. As much as possible make your CV 2 pages. You can follow me on twitter @lg1702 or email me:-