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How a CV should flow

We all know the purpose of your CV is to get invited to interview. Do you know how a CV should flow?  There’s lots of information out there. What to include and what not to put on your CV. The do’s and don’ts!  It’s not a complete record of your employment history.

The challenge is to give enough information so that the hiring manager understands what you have to offer but keep it concise. Concise but not vague. It’s also giving a little information for a hiring manager to understand your potential as well as what you can do today.

What about the purpose of each section of your CV? Writing a powerful CV takes time and skill. It’s about gaining attention and then keeping it. A good CV takes dedicated time and effort to create.

Profile

The profile is approximately 5 sentences. This is your personal introduction. It’s a summary of what qualifications, skills and knowledge you can offer the organisation. It also gives the reader an idea of who you are in the workplace. Giving the reader a sense of your highest characteristics and values. It’s just a synopsis to entice the person to read more.

This summary can also include a sentence about your career aspirations. This optional sentence must be tailored to each job you are applying – otherwise it may not be relevant and could potentially screen your CV out. Even your profile needs to be tailored to each and every vacancy.

Key skills and strengths

This section gives you an opportunity to expand on the claims you’ve made above. Giving a little bit of flavour to the information. Rather than using all the usual buzzwords. Buzzwords used in isolation on your CV don’t really prove anything and are particularly vague in terms of application.

For example, if you are claiming to be a good communicator you need to add some detail. Who are you communicating to? What information are you communicating? Is it highly complex, sensitive or confidential?

What method are you using the communicate? Workshops, reports, presentations or telephone? You might say all the above! This is where you need to be selective and choose the most relevant.

Employment history

So, your profile and key skills have given the reader an idea of what you can bring to the company. However, what it hasn’t done is given any evidence. At the moment the profile and key strengths are just sharing a brief summary of what to expect. In your career history you’ll need to include examples of where you have applied the knowledge and skills you’ve claimed above.

The best way to do this is to share your achievements. You still don’t have the luxury of pages and pages. You’ll still need to be concise with sharing your achievements. Try to share specific examples. It is possible to get your main points across in 1-3 sentences.

1. Describe the main objective
2. Give a little detail about how and what you did.
3. Share the results of your input.

Ask yourself these questions.  Did you save money? Reduce waste or time? Automate a system or process? Did you improve something?

A well written CV will flow from start to finish. The information will be relevant and threaded through the entire document. Starting from the profile and expanding little by little. Keep this in mind when you are tailoring your CV to that ideal job. Good recruiters can see when someone has made the effort. It shows that you’ve spent time making it really easy to read and find key information.

About Dawn Moss

Dawn has worked in a corporate environment for over ten years providing Recruitment & Selection Services, and has been involved in Coaching & Educating Business Leaders, Managers and Employees in all aspects of the recruitment process.

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