Here we are in the 21st century and the CV i.e., Curriculum Vitae is still the most common and most used document when it comes to job applications and applying for jobs. Whether it be an organisation putting a job advertisement online or in a newspaper and you applying for / submitting an application with the hope of securing an interview, the CV is the conductor that gets you and the organisation communicating with each other.
Yes, public sector organisations disbanded the traditional CV many decades ago in favour of competency-based application forms for reasons of consistency, ease of screening and ease of interviews; however, most private sector organisations still request the CV as a job application medium, whether it be online, email or on paper.
There is no hard and fast rule book about writing, structuring and narrating a CV for a job that you wish to secure an interview for. However, what is key is that it needs to be tailored around the job that you are applying for.
Instead of talking about how to write your best CV, let’s look at it from a different angle i.e., what mistakes are commonly made when writing a CV?
Don’t make it too long
A CV should be no longer than 1-2 pages long; though, three can be accepted too, as long as there is a summary section prefacing the CV. Many CV screeners do not read your CV in detail.
Don’t be generic
A general CV i.e., a generic CV is developed for recruitment agencies, who require a general CV from you that covers your main job options/job interests. You should not send a generic CV to an organisation for a live, open job opportunity.
Avoid time gaps
When an HR person, recruiter or hiring person sees gaps in your CV, i.e., in the career history or employment history sections, questions can develop as to where you were, and what had you been doing during these periods. Also, when there are no months provided i.e., just years, can also draw questions.
Have a summary/skills section
As said earlier, a summary/skills section should be included in your CV and be located after your personal details. This gives the reader an overview of how you meet the criteria/expectations of the role on offer and being applied for.
Make sure it is tailored to the job you’re applying for
Finally, your CV needs to be tailored around the job you are applying for. Study the job description and the organisation’s website and use words and statements from these key information sources throughout your CV, especially in the summary and career/employment history sections.