Writing a Winning CV

A CV is your first point of contact with an employer. From the employer's perspective, it's the only available information with which to assess your skills and suitability for a job.

How To Write a CV

So your CV has to be tailored for that employer. All jobs are different, and so are all employers. It's important that your CV speaks directly to the job, addresses criteria, and above all else is relevant to the position.

The CV needs to be interesting, as well as clear and concise. It should make a good first impression. You can fit a lot of information into a paragraph.

Making Your CV More Interesting

There are standard CV formats, most of which cover basic information requirements, but to stand out, a CV needs to distinguish the applicant. The idea is to create an identity for the employer to see.

One of the best ways of doing this is to show what you've accomplished in your work. This is very similar to listing skills, which is a common format in many CVs, but here it means showing what you've done with those skills.

Everyone has a storehouse of what they've done, things they've achieved on the job. What's important is to be able to quantify those things as a work value measurement. The employer needs to see results which relate to the job.

Remembering that this CV is being targeted to a specific job, you need to show a potential employer that your previous work has been both productive and impressive.

What is a Targeted CV?

Think about your previous work, and how it relates to your CV.

Say you were on a production line, and you managed to come up with a way of speeding up production by eliminating some wasteful or unnecessary part of the process. Or, if you were in a government job, if you found a quicker way of processing applications.

Note that this all equates to a clearly defined situation. It took 20 minutes on the production line, now it takes 15. Applications used to take three days, now they take one.

If you're in a money-making job, prove you know how to make money, when listing what you've done. If you can say 'My section took in million in revenue in the course of our project' you're saying something that means a lot to your employer. If you can say 'My register takes in ,000 plus per day,' it's a quantification of your level of responsibility and your experience.

The whole idea here is that your CV is a very interesting document to anyone reading it. There are clear indications of what you've done, how you did it, and these are tangible proof of your skills.

Compare this to a colorless, drab, statement like 'Worked on production line' or 'Processed applications' and there's a bit of a difference.

Note that without these identifying characteristics, your application can get lost in the crowd quite easily, and quite understandably. What's to distinguish one process worker from another?

Because that's exactly what the employer has to do. Somehow, with only the CVs to guide them, employers have to try to find the best people for the job.

Every word on a CV is valuable.

You have to produce an advertisement for yourself and your skills. Like any advertisement, presentation matters. How you describe your experience and skills is crucial.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Do not ever falsify information, or give any misleading information to an employer under any circumstances whatever.

It's illegal, it's self destructive, and it's just plain stupid.

Don't even think about it.

You can say goodbye to any job like that. It's certain death.

Don't put yourself in a position where your statements can't be trusted. Only give verifiable information, and do not exaggerate.

In some cases you may be going for a promotion or a position which is above your previous levels of experience. In these cases, your prior work record, and your hard facts, are far more important.

Remember that you're competing with other people. Quality of information is what really matters on any CV. Keep it real, at all times.