How to Create an Effective CV (Resume)
In today’s very busy society and competitive job environment, it’s critical that you have a CV, regardless for which job you’re applying for. And, it’s not enough just to ‘throw something together’; for it to be of value, it must follow certain guidelines and structure.
To help you (and ourselves), we’re providing some advice on this.
Make yourself attractive to them
First and foremost, employers have limited time to read and review your CV, so you need to make a good first impression with the limited window to do this.
With this in mind, here are some basic guidelines you should remember as you create your CV:
Positively reflect on you as a brand.
- Poor grammar, typos and ill formatting can translate to ‘this person doesn’t pay attention, to detail, is not profession or well educated, is messy and/or doesn’t take the opportunity seriously.’
Ensure that you’ve positioned yourself well for the role.
- Based on what the hirer has said is required in experience, skills, etc, you need to make sure that these are clearly reflected in your CV (and ideally cover letter). If they ask for people who have ‘purple’ then you tell that you have it and how and for how long.
- Sometimes you may not have exactly that they’re asking for but if you genuinely feel that they’re beneficial or ‘transferrable’ then you can make a case (e.g., you have red and blue experience so that translates into purple and even gives the added value of red and blue experience.
- Some recruiting agents use software that scan documents for keywords that match those in the position description.
- While you should always be honest in a CV, you should accentuate your value. For example, I’m a Herd Manager is a bland but true statement but saying that you achieved this role in one year from an assistant role is a lot more powerful and a strong indication of your potential and motivation.
Be genuine and honest
- Promoting is good; fabricating is not. Don’t misrepresent your experience or skills. If this misinformation isn’t obvious on your CV, then it will be uncovered at interview, reference check or worst case scenario, on the job. If for no other reason then for your prospective job satisfaction (and ideally your professional integrity), be forthcoming.
Remember that Employers have access to social media as well
- Checking social media has become a standard for employers to get a more rounded view of who you are. You might want to think about creating a LinkedIn page and making sure that your Facebook page, if public, doesn’t reflect poorly on you. For example, don’t post stories about how you skipped work because you were too hung over from all the drinking you’ve done lately!
Make your CV stand out and work
There are various ways that people prefer and advise on structure but for us, we prefer the following:
1) Contact Name and Information
- Address, phone, email, LinkedIn
- If you’re a migrant worker, include your Visa type and conditions
2) Summary of who you
- A couple of sentences are who you are and what you’re looking for.
- For instance, I’m energetic and motivated, starting out as x and moved my way up to y in just z years. I’m looking for my next challenge and particularly at x role.
3) Skills Summary
- Bullet point a few of your notable skills. For example:
- Dozer Operation (scoop or blade) D6-9
- Herringbone and Rotary Bail
4) Experience Summary (optional)
- If you have been in the business a while and have more than 5 jobs, you might also want to provide an experience summary, just roles, company, years e.g.,
- Sr Marketing Manager | ACME Co | Jan 2014 – Dec 2017
- Marketing Manager | Buy All Co | Feb 2011- Nov 2013
- Communications Manager | TellMe Co | Mar 2010 -Feb 2011
- Start from most recent and work backwards
- Include your role, company, term of experience (months and years), summary of the role and bulleted responsibilities.
- Use action words: If it’s a past role: Produced, managed, planned, budgeted, etc or for present: Produce, manage, etc
- You may also want to note any meaningful achievements here, e.g., Managed milk quality during which we were grade free
- Start with formal education, most recent to past and then note any additional and relevant courses, certifications.
- Here you can note any standout merits if you haven’t listed them against applicable jobs. For example, Young Farmer of the Year 1999.
- Provide the name, company and role of your referee; or,
- Just note that they are Available Upon Request (but make sure you have them and they’ve agreed to act as a referee for you.
- Make sure that you give a referee that is able to support your ability to perform the role for which you’re applying, i.e., not your mom, mate, etc.