The perfect CV. You know, the one that stands out to recruiters, clearly conveys your skills and competencies, delivers an impassioned, original, eloquent personal statement, and shows a hint of creativity–all while staying under two pages. A unicorn in the mist? Actually, the perfect CV is not the mythical, elusive creature you may have imagined.
It’s quite easy to attain, if you ensure that it answers the following seven crucial questions:
1. Who are you, and why are you a fit for this particular job?
Your CV should give potential employers–who will spend about
perusing it before deciding which pile it lands in–a good idea of who you are and whether you may be a good fit for the position. The best way to make a quick impression is to employ a well-written, authentic, buzzword-free personal statement at the top of each CV you send out. Hint: the statement must be tailored for each job you apply for. Each position is different, so your CV should be different each time you send it out, too.
2. What are your skills?
Be sure that you accurately describe what your competencies are and show how they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
3. What is your practical experience?
Provide a clear, detailed inventory of your professional experience complete with full company names, location of the job, accurate dates and your job title(s) while you were there. This is not the area of the CV to show your creative flair. Providing anything less than clear, accurate information can be frustrating to the recruiter. If you have any long gaps in your professional history, be prepared to explain them in an interview.
4. How have you grown?
After each professional experience listed on your CV, include a sentence or two that highlight your achievements and best practices learned therein. This shows the recruiter how you have grown during your professional journey as well as your capacity for self-awareness.
5. How were you trained?
Be sure to list each diploma, certificate and relevant training experience that you have achieved. If you are a new graduate with only internships to show for your professional history, your education and training should come first on your CV. If you are an experienced professional, the education section of your CV should come after your work history.
6. What languages do you speak and what is your international exposure?
Don’t forget to include this information, perhaps in your personal statement if you have truly mastered a foreign language and it will help you in the job you are applying for. If you have experience working abroad, even as an intern, it will be valuable to highlight it.
7. What are your non-professional interests?
Recruiters are also assessing your potential culture fit with the company when perusing your CV. Don’t forget to include a short section that lists any hobbies, volunteering activities, or amateur competitive sports you may partake in. Leave out religious or political affiliations.