A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO WRITING A CVIn this next section, I want to provide you with a simple to follow, step-by-step guide to wring an effective CV. The steps that follow will incorporate all that I have explained so far within this guide. Let’s get started:
STEP 1The first stage is to identify which job you want to apply for. Most people will create a CV based around themselves before looking for a job to apply for. This is one of the main reasons for failure. In order to create an effective CV you first of all need to know what job you wish to get! Most employers will advertise vacancies online, although some will still use local newspapers as a source to attract potential applicants.
STEP 2Once you have identified the job/jobs that you want to apply for you should collect the person specification and job description for each post that you wish to apply for. This may simply mean copying the job description from the online advert. Here is an example of a recent job advert that is in the customer service industry:
CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT/OPERATOR
GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE ROLE Interact with customers to provide and process information in response to inquiries, concerns and requests about products and services.Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities
STEP 3Once you have obtained a copy of the person specification/job description I recommend you use a highlight pen to go through the documents and collate a list of the main skills and keywords/phrases that make up the CV. Whilst some of the attributes will be assessed at interview it is your job to provide as much evidence as possible within your CV to demonstrate you have the potential to carry out the job. If you do this, you will get an interview! The following list of skills and keywords/phrases have been extracted from the above job description/person specification.
STEP 4Once you have created your list of skills and keywords/phrases taken from the person specification/job description you should then create your personal profile using as many of the keywords and phrases as possible. Here’s an example of a personal profile based on the above list.
“I am a highly professional and adaptable person who has an excellent approach to work. Having worked in a customer focused environment I am able to interact and deal with customers in a highly proficient manner. I have extensive experience in dealing with customer complaints and pride myself on my excellent communication skills. I can work effectively in highly stressful environments and my attention to detail is excellent. Finally, I am competent at processing customer orders and maintaining customer databases.”You will notice that the above personal profile is deliberately suited to the job the person is applying for. When the assessor/employer reads this CV he or she will soon realise that this person has many of the key skills and attributes required for the job.
STEP 5The final step is to incorporate the personal profile into you CV and also build your previous experiences and employment positions around the skills and experiences required for the post. You will see that the following simple CV does this effectively. Although the CV is only two pages of A4 in length it is highly relevant to the post being advertised.
C U R R I C U L U M V I T A E
|FORENAMES :||Richard Anthony|
|DATE OF BIRTH :||12th of August 1976|
|ADDRESS :||54, Smithtown street Smithtown Smithshire SM14TY|
PERSONAL PROFILEI am a highly professional and adaptable person who has an excellent approach to work. Having worked in a customer focused environment I am able to interact and deal with customers in a highly proficient manner. I have extensive experience in dealing with customer complaints and pride myself on my excellent communication skills. I can work effectively in highly stressful environments and my attention to detail is excellent. Finally, I am competent at processing customer orders and maintaining customer databases.
EDUCATIONSmithtown School, Smithtown Road, Smithstreet. (Dates go here)
|August 2011 – present||Smithtown Retail Shop London Road Smithtown SM15TY6|
|Position -||Customer services assistant Main duties include communicating with customers, taking orders from customers, dealing with queries and complaints and maintaining the customer database.|
|April 2011 – July 2011||Smithtown Warehouse Wholesalers Smith Road Smithtown SM14TY3|
|Position -||Customer services manager|
HOBBIES AND INTERESTSI enjoy walking and looking after my dogs, reading, listening to music, keeping fit, films and socialising with my friends.
|CURRENT EMPLOYER -||Mr R Reynolds Smithtown Retail Shop London Road Smithtown SM15TY6|
|PREVIOUS EMPLOYER -||Susan Chambers Smithtown Warehouse Wholesalers Smith Road Smithtown SM14TY3|
STEP 6Once you have completed your CV make sure you check it for errors. There is nothing worse than receiving a V from a job applicant which is strewn with spelling mistakes. In order to achieve this it may be worth while giving your CV to a friend or relative so they can give it a good check over for you. If you do this, make sure the person helping you out can spell themselves!
STEP 7The final step is to send off your CV with a covering letter or note. The vast majority of CV’s are now submitted online or via email. Here is an example of a good covering note to send with a CV that is submitted by email:
Name: Richard McMunn Email address: email@example.com SUBJECT: Application for Customer Services AssistantDear sir/madam, Please find attached my CV in support of my application for the position of Customer Service Assistant with your company. I believe that I possess the skills, qualities and attributes required to perform the role to an exceptional standard and feel strongly that I would be a great asset to your company. I would very much like the opportunity to prove my skills to you at interview and can be contacted on 07890183XXX at any time. Yours faithfully, Richard McMunn