It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this article, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential tells you how to go about writing your CV the right way…here’s Lynn!
Now it is down to some serious work. You have to imagine yourself as a small business; how are you going to attract business and what are your customers likely to come to you for, or will you look for them?
You are looking for your next employer and your next employer may also be looking for you!
So – ask yourself – just as I am reluctant to buy anything without seeing it first, so I may not get my next job without someone seeing me first. If my promotional literature fails to attract then I may not get a second opportunity to make a good impression in person.
Your CV is YOUR promotional literature
It is not a confessional box nor is it a life history. It promotes you.
- What you have to Offer?
- What you have Done?
- What you have Achieved?
Is your CV working FOR YOU, or against you?
The most important thing to remember is that your CV has only one objective
And that is to get YOU an interview.
It is your personal advertisement and the message must be clear and easily understood. Don’t expect the reader to “read between the lines” or spend too much time reading it.
Go for IMPACT – get yourself in the selection pile, invited for interview and BE SEEN.
You need to tell others what YOU have to offer.
YOU are the product, the CV is the advertisement selling the product.
A prospective employer will give more attention to your CV if it is pleasant to read and easy to select the relevant information from. It is also your first chance to make a good first impression.
When writing your CV take into account the following guidelines in order to ensure it is given the attention it deserves:
- Your CV should be produced in one of the more “standard” fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, or Times New Roman
- Use a medium sized font (10 to 12)
- Do not be tempted to try and cram more on to a page through the use of a smaller font as this makes a CV difficult to read
- For the same reason, ensure that you have spaced the CV appropriately. It is easier to find information on a well-spaced CV. Make use of headings, new lines, paragraphs and bullet points to separate the information you give into useful chunks for the reader
- Do not use too wacky a format or any wild colours
- Maximum length of a CV is 2 pages single side printed
Even taking this advice into consideration you must ensure that you know something of the requirements and expectations of the person to whom you are sending your CV and use your discretion accordingly.
For certain roles, or with certain companies, you will need to adapt these guidelines. For example, if you are applying for a particularly creative role, then it may be a good idea to use creative fonts and colours…
Watch out for Lynn’s tips next week!
Now: let’s make sure you get that job…
“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)