Developing Content for Your CV
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When you are writing or updating your CV, you must remember that, your CV is your selling point!
It is reported that a recruiter or an employer may spend as little as 6 seconds when they first see your CV. Those 6 seconds could be the deciding factor in whether they will look at your CV in more detail or whether you will go into the ‘NO’ pile.
Begin with a list of all your educational qualifications, work and volunteer experience, and significant achievements. This will form the content of your CV. Make sure you have a comprehensive and accurate list, to begin with. Put everything in chronological order (have your most recent experiences, qualifications, and achievements at the top of the list and then work backwards through time).
Developing content for your previous work or volunteer experience
When it comes to writing the actual content under each of your work experiences or volunteer work to date, it’s important to stick to what your role and responsibilities were and not to exaggerate.
If you have job specifications for your current or earlier roles, these can be useful as it may guide you in identifying your responsibilities and the type of language to use. If you don’t have a job specification for the duties you carried out, look online for ideas but remember, keep it factual.
Be aware of the power of language and how employers can perceive this. For example, if one of your responsibilities was to lock up the building each evening when the shop closed, you could say “responsible for ensuring building was secure at the end of each day.”
Developing content for your Skills section
This section is a fantastic way of being able to tell a potential employer what skills you have gained and shows what you can contribute to the company or organisation. Look at your list of experiences you compiled to get started. Notice any commonalities between all your achievements and roles that you held. Does a lot of your experience speak to you having a strong ability to work as part of team? Did you repeatedly show good organisational skills and time management?
Start drawing relationships between the activities where you excelled the most and the skills that they drew upon from you. If you have a lot of experience in dealing with customers, this links with customer service skills and interpersonal skills. If you consistently analyse and present data, you may say that you are a logical, problem-solver.
Some examples are as follows:
- IT Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) with the ability to design promotional material using Canva.
- Communication Skills: Excellent communication skills developed through interviewing participants for my thesis and delivering presentations while in college.
- Teamwork: Proven ability to work with a wide demographic of people during my volunteer work with Fighting Blindness whilst being involved in fundraising drives with a large team and the public.
For more information on how to format a CV and get more tips, go to our webpage – www.ahead.ie/yourCV or sign up to our Think Twice workshops via WAMWorks.