Writing Your CV
A resume is more than a summary of your professional experience, it is a tool with which you market yourself and it can be the key to securing an interview. Adecco offers some simple ways to ensure your resume markets you well.
Recruiters can sift through many resumes at a time. Ensure yours will catch their eye for all the right reasons. Arrange your information so that it is practical and easy to read.
Chronological vs. functional
The format you choose should be based on your work experience and the job you’re seeking.
- By date
Chronological resumes are ideal for those with extensive experience in one field, who is searching for a job in that same field. This type of resume will include an objective (summary statement) about the job you are seeking and list your employment history, starting with the most recent position.
- By relevance of information
A functional resume focuses on your abilities. This is ideal for people new to the workforce, such as college graduates and those changing careers. By directing a prospective employer’s attention to your relevant skills, you place the emphasis on your potential, rather than your experience.
Your resume is a success snapshot, not an autobiography. Its goal is to market you to the specific job you want, so include only the information that is key to the position you are applying for.
While there is no strict standard resume length, you can base this decision on your experience and the job you want.
- When less is more
New to the job market or transitioning between careers? Aim for a short, sharp one to two page resume.
- When extra is OK
Those with several years experience related to the job they are seeking, or anyone whose field requires technical skills, may require up to three pages.
- Licence to spill
Academics, executives or senior managers with a long list of accomplishments in their field may require a resume that is three pages or longer. An addendum can be used for additional documents.
Content is key
While formatting is important for a successful resume, no amount of dressing will make a weak resume strong. List your skills and accomplishments first and tidy the document later.
Place your postal address, telephone number and email at the top of your resume. Your current work telephone number and work email address are not appropriate.
What is your objective?
A career objective makes your intentions clear. This may be appropriate for those with a long list of accomplishments in their chosen field or those changing career fields.
If you choose to include an objective, follow Adecco’s guidelines:
- Advertise your value
Emphasize the value you would bring to the company; not the reason you want the job. Employers are looking for someone who will enhance the organisation, not their own resume.
- Clarity is critical
Be specific about your career goal.
- Stay on target
Keep it succinct with a job title or target, and brief description.
- Working words
Choose language that communicates that your strengths match the job. Use active words like ‘develop’ and ‘contribute,’ or include terms from the job advertisement to ensure that you address the employer’s needs.
Grossly overstating your accomplishments can trip you up during an interview or eliminate your chances of securing an interview at all if they arouse suspicion. Even if your embellishments make it past a recruiter, you set yourself up for failure by misrepresenting your abilities.
Skip job descriptions
There is no need to detail the job description for each position you have held. The details of your performance are more important.
Where possible, use figures to quantify your achievements. If you managed a large budget or team, mention this. Numbers show employers exactly what you have done and what you are capable of achieving for them.
Highlight any skills, community work and additional training that a potential employer might view as an asset. Include any relevant professional awards, recognitions or accomplishments.
Including photographs, hobbies unrelated to the job, or personal information is unnecessary.
Watch your words
Use language to your advantage:
- Power words
Include any words that convey your ability to work with others, be proactive and get the job done regardless of circumstance. These include ‘teamwork’, ‘flexibility’, ‘detail-oriented’ and ‘self-motivated’.
- Weak words
Abbreviations and acronyms may confuse a potential employer who is unfamiliar with the terms. Personal pronouns are also unnecessary — don’t waste space with I, me or my.
- Back to basics
Simply the best
Keep the format clean and professional. Employers typically spend 15 seconds or less scanning resumes, so use bullet points and a bold font to highlight key information. Avoid italics, as they can be difficult to read.
CV - Template 2010.doc