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Further reading:
The Interview

Writing A CV

Curriculum Vitae is usually just referred to as a CV and means "The story of my life". Your future or potential employer will read your CV before they decide to interview you, so it must represent you in a clear and compelling way. What is often not appreciated, is that your CV should change for every job application you make. Each job has unique qualities, some very subtle, but an employer may want to see that you appreciate these subtleties and thus you are right for them. Adapting the CV to clearly highlight relevant information required for the specific position is very important.

You will rarely if ever be the only person applying for the vacancy. You will probably be one of many hundreds. With online applications, the numbers become overwhelming for the employer, with many being ridiculous. Human nature dictates that the employer will scan your CV, so you need to make clear the important points for that specific job and why you are suitable. The short listing of the applications may not be created by your future employer but someone who may not know much about the vacancy, and has been given a list of keywords to look for! Thus, you need those keywords to be loud and clear on your CV. Reading through CVs can become very boring, so keep things short and precise.

A good sequence for your CV is as follows:

1) Personal Information
2) Education
3) Work Experience
4) Personal Skills
5) Previous Responsibilities
6) Hobbies/Interests
7) Referees.

Here are some tips to improve your CV:

1) Adapt your CV for the Job you are applying for.
2) Keep your CV to 2 pages only.
3) Write short sentences.
4) Give lots of details on previous work experience.
5) Use bullet points to emphasise important information.
6) Spell check
7) Use quality paper, perhaps white or cream. Don't bind the CV like a book, but make it neat.

Remember to include a covering letter with the CV with a few bullet points showing why you are suitable. Don't repeat your CV but highlight keywords from the job ad that you saw. At a glance the person reviewing the CVs will notice that you have the relevant skills and will hopefully give you an interview.

Here's an example of a CV which shows both honesty and humour! It is from The Financial Post in Canada (Toronto) and appeared on 23 February 2001.

CV

Employment Required: Former Marijuana Smuggler

Having successfully completed a 10 year jail sentence, without incident, for importing seventy five tons of marijuana into the USA, I am now looking for legal and legitimate employment to support both myself and my family.

Business Experience: I previously owned and ran a successful fishing business including several marine vessels, one aeroplane, one small island and one processing plant. Simultaneously owned and operated a fleet of trucks conducting business throughout the western United States of America. During this period I also participated in executive level management of 120 'employees' across the world in a successful pot smuggling operation with gross annual revenues in excess of US$100 million.

I took full responsibility for my wayward actions and received a 10 year sentence in the US while others walked free for their cooperation.

Atributes: I am an expert in security. I have extensive computer skills, out going, well educated, reliable and sober. I have spoken in schools to thousands of children and parent groups over the past 10 years on the consequences of choice, and received public recognition from the RCMP for my community service work. I am very well travelled and speak several languages including English, French and Spanish.

References available from family and the U.S. District Attorney.


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