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C.V Tips & Writing Techniques

The Anatomy of a CV

Field of work notwithstanding, all CVs need to have a few key elements:

An Objective / Opening statement: Describe your career objective and say a little about yourself in 4-5 sentences.

Education: List any degrees completed or in progress, and relevant certification and course work.

Experience: Beginning with most recent position, list your past employer’s, and any projects/studies that relate to the position you are applying for.

How do I write mine?

Keep active keywords at the forefront of your mind. Employers search their databases using certain keywords, so it’s important that you include these keywords when you submit your CV. Usually you’ll be able to find the words you need in the job description, e.g., job titles and skill headings. All it means for you is that you tweak your CV slightly for every job that you apply for. Moreover, using numbers to describe your achievements and responsibilities can greatly expand and elevate your image. Using numbers and quantifying creates vivid images in our minds when we read them, whereas general statements are easy to skip over or forget. Typically, the more specific you can be in describing your duties, the better.

How long does it need to be?

Long enough to cover the length of your relevant experience but short enough so that doesn’t make prospective employers fall asleep.

How do I get it out there?

Use the power of networking and the internet to aid your job search. While job boards are a good source, use your online and offline social networks. Consider posting your CV on a personal web site or on social networking sites like LinkedIn.

The First Impression

Common sense helps when you’re applying for work. Before you submit your CV, take the time to spell-check. Incorrect spelling and grammatical errors do not help. Get a second pair of eyes. Ask someone – a teacher, a supervisor, a straight-talking friend – to give your CV a quick look to make sure you have done everything right.

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