Use Your Curriculum Vitae As A Master Key To Great Jobs
What is a master key? This is the key that can open all doors. Similarly, you can use your Curriculum Vitae to open all the doors that lead to a great career for you. So let us start at the beginning.
- The Cover Letter - many people do not consider the cover letter part of the Curriculum Vitae. However, it is vital that you understand that the CV is not complete unless it has a cover letter, which summarizes its contents and explains why the applicant is the best find for the job.
- A great concept called AIDCA - this is a concept that should be applied everytime you send your Curriculum Vitae to a prospective employee - whether you send it by email or as a hard copy. The term AIDCA implies A- Attention, I-Interest, D-Desire, C-Conviction and A-Action. Let us see how this concept can be translated to the Curriculum Vitae you write.
- Attention - this is the first thing that your Curriculum Vitae should attract. This is done through a catchy subject line. It would not be sufficient to write in the subject line 'CV' or 'my application' when you send it by email; it would not do when you write 'application for so and so position' in your cover letter subject either. This is because everyone would be writing the same thing. What you need to write is something that would attract the attention of the reader and make him/her want to read what you have sent in your email/ cover letter. A good example would be, 'Experienced Accountant with CSA Accreditation'. In order to grab the attention, the reader should be given to read what they would want the most. Hence, learn to put your qualifications, best skills or your experience in an attention grabber one-liner.
- Interest - does your cover letter/ first part of the Curriculum Vitae kindle sufficient interest to make the reader want to read more? Ensure that the most vital and important information (put in the most attractive format) is there on the first page of the Curriculum Vitae. The cover letter (both over email and hard copy) should summarize and present these qualities to the reader with vivid clarity.
- Desire - Your Curriculum Vitae should make the reader desire you as part of their company. How do you achieve that? Simple. You will need to match your skills, qualifications and experience as much as possible (if not completely) to the job requirements applied for. At the same time, you should highlight your best achievement with action verbs so you would shine out as an outstanding achiever, a person who knows what to get what they want.
- Conviction - this would be your recommendations and referees. You need not include these in your Curriculum Vitae outright; however, when you do the referees you choose should give the HR person (who would make the enquiry about you) an excellent review of your performance and work. Even without looking up the recommendations and references, the recruiter should get the conviction from your Curriculum Vitae that you are the right person; a person their company would profit from employing.
- Action - this is where you are asking the recruiter to take action and contact you, i.e. call you for an interview. Hence, it is always good to repeat your contact details at the end of the Curriculum Vitae with a tiny request to contact you. 'I look forward to hearing from you today' would be a great example.
- Perseverance - let us say you did all these and you have a winning Curriculum Vitae in your hand. You send to the company you wrote it for - remember it has to be tailor-made for each company you are applying. Thereafter, you repeat sending that CV every 3-4 months. After a while, the recruiting desk would feel like they have known you forever. This would help you getting the first thought when a job that matches your requirement falls vacant. Hence, perseverance always pays.
- Space the written matter well - many people are not aware of the importance of having sufficient white around the written matter. This makes the matter easier to read and calms the reader. A cluttered page or one that is filled from edge to edge gives an unpleasant feeling, which will work against you.
- Current and up-to-date information - The Curriculum Vitae need not have only what has happened. You can also include the skills, certificate courses, degrees, etc that you are currently acquiring. Hence, if you are learning something at present (even if it not completed), mention it in your Curriculum Vitae.
The cover letter concept does not apply only to the hard copy Curriculum Vitae, but also to the ones sent by email. There are many people who send their Curriculum Vitaes as attachment without anything written in the body of the email. Not only is this highly impolite, but also confusing to the person who receives it. As the hard copy cover letter, the soft copy too would be used to prepare the person for what they would see in the Curriculum Vitae.
Those who send their Curriculum Vitaes without a forwarding email or without a properly worded letter would risk having their Curriculum Vitaes deleted by the recruiter. After all, why should the recruiter take the trouble to download, save and read your Curriculum Vitae, if you have not had the courtesy of writing two lines of introduction and a request to peruse your application to him/her?
There is another reason why recruiters would not read your Curriculum Vitae in this case. This is because it shows you as a person who does not bother for details and is plain lazy. Hence, such workers would never be of much use for any company. This is the hidden message you are sending when you commit this mistake.
These are the main factors that would make your Curriculum Vitae a real master key into any company. When your Curriculum Vitae is written keeping in mind the reader and their interest, it is much easier to score than when you write what you think is important from your point of view. If used well, the Curriculum Vitae can be your greatest ally in finding the job of your dreams.