write a good CV...
Text: Stein Tore Nybrodahl ©.
yourself as a recruiter with an overloaded time schedule. You
have 10 "must do"-cases on your table, many of them burning
operational issues you need to handle before you break for the
day. At the same time you need to go through the list of
applicants for the last position as a SW engineer in your
company. Your company has a web-based recruitment system, and
it's easy for you to find the CV's and applications - they are
just a click away. You open the inbox and see 40 applicants.
How long time will you spend reading the individual CV and
answer will of course vary from recruiter to recruiter, but
think of this estimate: If you spend 15 minutes on each
applicant it will take you 10 hours to go through everyone.
Will you have time for this? For almost everyone the answer
will be a clear NO! Let say you will use maximum 2 hours. This
means that you will spend 3 minutes on each applicant, reading
both the CV and the application. Let say one minute for the
CV, one minute for the application and one minute to rate the
application in the recruitment system. When you do the rating
you think three categories; "Not applicaple" - "Questionmark/
wildcard" - "Candidate". In this first round it's all about
getting in the "Candidate"-category, and be invited to an
interview. No interview = no success...
So let's have a look at some important
things related to the CV. How to catch the recruiters eye -
either in a positive or negative way - in your one-minute
attention from this person who will decide your future
Max two pages: How much are you able to read in one
minute? Not much. This is your personal ad! "Myself Inc."...
Do not overload the CV with needless information. Be
informative, concise and objective.
2. Do the company use CV-forms in their recruitment system? There is a reason for this: they want all information from you in the same format. It makes it much easier to overview and compare candidates. Many applicants bypass this extra work by uploading their existing CV and just write "See CV". How will the recruiter interpret this answer? You are not willing to take your time = you are not enough interested in the position. But don't overload this information in a recruitment system. And always upload your CV (in a pdf-format).
The CV must be accurate in content, spelling and grammar.
Writing errors and "bad language" gives you negative points,
and could be the small details making the decision tipping in
your disfavour. Ask someone else to help you check!
Headlines - not details. Give the recruiter the big
picture. Details is for the interview.
Too many details showing inability to structure things and
lack of ability to prioritize.
Structure. It should be easy for the recruiter to follow
the red path in your education and work experience = your
career. Use sections, bullet points, bold/ cursiv text = easy
to overview. And make space in your CV.
Do not lie or hide anything obvious. The recruiter is
especially looking for "black periods" ("holes") in your CV.
Periods not described related to education and work history.
This could be periods of unemployment, periods after loosing
your job etc. Don't try to hide anything. The recruiter will
find out in the interview anyhow.
List just relevant jobs in your CV. Consider if you
should list all summer jobs/ internships/ part-time jobs. They
need at least to be a bit relevant to be at the CV...
Try to link keyword from the position to the CV: In the
recruitment ad you will find a lot of information what the
company is looking for. This could as an example be work
experience, education or personal skills. Try to match this
keyword as best as you can in your CV. Another source for
information to this keywords is the contact person mentioned
in the ad. Make a phonecall, ask relevant question, and take
notes of what is important. Use this information to "tailor"
Show your key competencies: Many people
start their CV with a summary of their key competences. This
is a nice way of presenting yourself from a "bird-view", but
be sure that you check and change this key competencies
according to the job you are applying for. Many people always
use the same CV for all different kinds of jobs, but if you
choose this way to make a summary of yourself you maybe do a
bad shoot. (The recruiter don't see the direct link between
your key competencies and the actual job position).
Exclude "Tribe-language" and proffesional terminology.
What you have written may seem simple and obvious to you, but
not to a recruiter. Have someone else to look through your CV.
The recruiter is not the expert and acronyms could be a real
Include a picture of yourself? No good answer to
this one, but; never try to oversell yourself by chosing a
picture showing Mr. or Ms. Wonderful. This only creates high
expectations before the interview and a possible bad start
when you meet in person. Another better way is to show
yourself from an untraditional angle by the picture, giving
you a bit of the x-factor. Examples could be yourself in an
sporty "outdoor-environment", showing your hobbies etc. This
could be the little detail bringing you in to the interview.
References: Could be both in the CV or in the
application. If the CV is long; put them in the application.
References should be independent and credible. Examples of
good references are managers/ supervisors. Examples of bad
references are customers and collegues. You should also have
references from several former employers - in acsending order
for the last ten years or the three employers - if
are several ways of structuring a
CV, but some quick guidelines i right order:
How to structure your CV:
At least: Some creative tips: