Going on my own personal experience of the final year of high school, I can only assume that this is how it is across the board as far as it goes with the introduction of learning how to compile a CV into the regular school curriculum. It’s about time that we moved away from a system which focussed more on pumping productive workers into the institutions built around the Industrial Revolution, simply because of the vastly changed landscape as far how the economy works today.
And sure, you might have even landed on this particular post as a result of your efforts to search online about the correct way of writing a CV, but it’s a lot more complicated than what you might think.
That said though, the process is only really complicated by our focus on what we’re made to believe potential employers want to see so we tend to focus more on the wrong aspects of the presentation of our Curriculum Vitae than the functional aspects. That’s the right way of writing a CV – presenting it with more of an emphasis of its functional aspects, because ultimately the information prospective employers are looking for is that which will give them an indication of whether or not you are a possible match by way of candidates for the job opening they have listed.
Get to the point
Fortunately for the environment as well, pretty much all employers advertising for a job opening require that an application be sent in digitally, including the CV and supporting documents which bear information such as proof of qualifications and the likes, so it would be archaic somewhat to be expected to send in a CV physically. Now, if you can attach a PDF version of your CV or indeed if you can merely include a link to your digital CV stored somewhere online, all the better because then you can most easily honour this requirement of getting straight to the point.
Prospective employers often have hundreds and sometimes thousands of CVs to have to sift through, so you need to make sure you give yours the best chance of being noticed and as I keep emphasising, it’s about more than the visual appeal as far as your presentation goes.
So get to the point. The very first line read should be that which indicates just how good of a fit you are to be short-listed, so do-away with the likes of the graphically-rich cover page which is synonymous with CVs as they were constructed a mere decade or so ago. The PDF or online version of your CV should give the reader the option of jumping to a specific section as easily as they can click a link, because sometimes prospective employers tasked with sifting through all the CVs as part of the pre-screening process don’t want to read about your hobbies, your interests, where you grew up, etc.
Of course all this information should still be there nevertheless, just in case they do indeed look that deep and consider that as an important part of their consideration of your application – which they probably should do, but we know how it works in the real world.
Information to include
If you feel the need to play around with the layout a bit in order for the information required by the people who advertised the vacant position to access the most relevant bits first, then so be it, but that’ll soon get very tiring. This is especially true when you consider that on average you probably have to send out many applications in order to even make one or two short-lists as the first hurdle towards possibly being hired. You can’t tweak all the information for the 300-odd applications you send out per year, can you?
So after all is said and done, the information which should form part of your CV should include the following:Your personal details
– Your qualifications, including the latter years of your basic schooling
– Your interests and hobbies
– References to back up your qualifications
If needs be, you can then elaborate on each of these elements to be included based on how you think they relate to the requirements of your prospective employer. These days it’s also somewhat of a standard to include a recent picture to form part of your CV, preferably one which represents you as someone who is professional and is ready to serve in a professional work setting.