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How to “CV”

With recruitment season well underway, the importance of a good CV is as prominent as ever. Essentially, a CV bridges the gap between an applicant and a recruiter; it is a make-or-break opportunity to prove one’s worth. 

In the initial stages of recruitment, applicants are two-dimensional; faceless amalgamations of a GPA, work experience, volunteering experience and other relevant skills. So, with this in mind, how can you put your best foot forward this recruitment season, and convey to industry professionals what really makes you, you?

1. Keep it simple. Recruiters want to find important information quickly. If they have hundreds of applications to review, they are not going to look favourably on those that are not well structured, or that blather unnecessarily. No matter how viable a candidate you are, recruiters will not nit-pick a waffly CV. When it really boils down to it, this is just a waste of their time.

2. Include relevant contact details. Generally, an address, email address and phone number are appropriate.

3. Make sure your contact details are correct! This may seem obvious, but providing recruiters with an incorrect phone number of email address could be dire. What could be worse than missing out on a job not for lack of skill, but purely because the firm couldn’t get in contact with you? Also, this includes making sure that your referees KNOW that they are your referees.

4. Do not include a photograph on your CV! Not only is this redundant, but it is a potential ground on which prejudices against you could develop. 

5. Keep it relevant. A CV is a dynamic instrument, and must be pertinent to the particular position you are applying for. If information on your CV does not sell yourself, or does not show how you will value-add to the particular firm you are applying to, take it out. Also, industry professionals do not care about your burger-flipping experience back in Grade 9, or your achievements on a Grade 7 NAPLAN test. Such information does not indicate to recruiters how you could value-add to their company, so do not put it in.

6. When providing information on past employment, include information about your job description, and any skills that the position taught you. This will allow recruiters to see what skills you come baring, and the kinds of tasks you are already familiar with. Fundamentally, this provides firms with a good indication of how you could value-add to the company.

7. Include the names and contact details of references. Personally, I have one personal reference and two business references on my CV. Note, however, that the number and nature of your references is up to your discretion.

8. Finally, sell yourself. Your CV constitutes your first interaction with recruiters, and often, it is the primary determinant of whether or not a second interaction will ensue. Make sure you put forth the best possible representation of “you.”

So start ‘CV-ing’ fellow uni students. Graduation date will creep up on you before you can say ‘red room’, and you will need to start applying for those grad positions. Take on board the few tips I have mentioned, and you will surely score your dream job. Don’t forget to study hard, and network well too!