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CV WRITING TIPS

When searching for employment in today’s market place it is important to understand technological advances in the recruitment process to enable your CV to maximise its potential.   The majority of recruitment companies (including us) have embraced modern technology and become to rely on it as it offers fast and effective ways of matching specific skill sets to our client’s requests.

Databases of resumes have evolved from paper CV’s in filing cabinets to word document format CV’s in computer databases. Advanced search engines that search on ‘key’ word in the documents enable recruiters to find CV’s which include specific experience at the touch of a button.

While these advances in technology have streamlined the recruitment process it is important when writing a CV that you understand the modern processes to ensure your CV achieves maximum exposure and you are considered for all the right opportunities.

Many people perceive a short 1 or 2 page CV to be best. This may be so if submitting your CV to an internal HR division who may sift through hundreds of applications. However, in our experience we prefer a longer CV that allows at least a 4-6 line paragraphs on each position you have worked in. If you have 20 years experience your CV may be 6-7 pages long. This to us is not a concern. While we also may sift through 100’s of applications our client’s pay us a fee to find them a suitable candidate. We only ever present 2 or 3 short listed candidates to our clients to review. As such they are happy to read through the CV in more detail.

If you are submitting a CV to a recruitment company it will be saved on receipt to a database and although will be considered for the immediate role it will often be searched on in the future for other roles if unsuccessful in the first application. This is when understanding the key word search mechanism is important to help you structure your CV effectively. Make sure you include the names of any specialist software, equipment or projects that you have experience in as this will often be specifically searched for. If it’s not on the CV it will not register in the search. Put some thought to this and include any other skills specific to your field of work that you think may be of use.

A well structured CV can be easily read and the key experience easily referenced. We prefer a CV with the name, personal information and qualifications clearly listed at the top of the front page followed by the employment history in reverse chronological order clearly listing the date of employment (from and to – including the months), the job title and the name of the employer. This should be followed by 4-8 lines describing the project and your duties.

The same format should be replicated throughout the CV back to your first job. This may be difficult if your industry is mainly short term contract based. If so I would put into detail the last 10 years experience and just summarise the experience prior to that but always include the dates of employment, the job title and the company name.