There is nothing like a perfect CV format. What matters to most employers is that you deliver a clear, strong layout. Never make a mistake of choosing a CV format simply because it is close to a format you’ve already got or looks easy. Always find out what your customer hopes to see and put this on the first page. You can get useful ideas from job boards, contacts, colleagues and recruitment consultants.

If your CV isn’t working, it’s probably because it emphasizes the wrong information on the first page. Always watch out for:

  • Wasting the opening lines with irrelevant personal details, a biographical approach distracts readers.
  • An ego trip, focusing on your personal characters more than experience
  • Just making a list of job descriptions, the CV must say what this job required and how you are adding value
  • Paying a lot of attention to your study history and qualifications, rather than work experience
  • A functional CV, listing competencies and skills without providing a clear job history

Qualification led CVs

If you have spent four or three years achieving a degree, you obviously want to mention it. However, avoid focusing greatly on it, you don’t need to give the potential employer the notion that you may be contented if you remain in the academic life unless the job you are applying for is an academic job.

Remember to draw the aspects of your studies that will be more interesting to an employer, such as why you chose your course, exactly what you got out of it and how you believe it would improve your career.

Functional CV

When you need to switch work sectors, it can be very difficult to persuade a new employer that the skills you have are transferable. Listing of your job history might be a hindrance to you; in a tight market the employers often look for those candidates who have completed a comparable job in a similar organization.

If you have once faced this problem you may have been recommended to write a functional CV. This sets out competencies and skills that closely match target jobs and avoids listing a job history. Avoid the work history altogether, however, can be problematic: employers and recruitment agencies often dislike functional CVs because it’s difficult to establish when and where you worked. Always use this CV format with caution.

Profile led CV

The profile led style presents a good compromise between writing something acceptable to most employers and getting your message across. It normally kicks off with a short summary paragraph. If you are going to give the CV in person; it would only need to be a work history since you can tell them a bit concerning yourself before they read your CV. However, when they will be reading the CV you will be absent and so having a short profile at the start acts as an introduction.

A CV is a working document, which has an end, middle and a beginning and thus it needs to follow a more logical structure and always keep the same theme throughout.

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