What You need to Know before writing Your First Resume

The process of writing your first CV may seem very daunting. Your CV needs to tell employers what you’re good at, what you are interested in and what you’ve achieved in life so far.

Each time you send out your CV or apply for a job, it’s your chance to tell the Recruiter/Hiring Manager why you are a good match for their company. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this by what to include and how to portray this effectively.

Begin with the Basics.

First of all, you need to ensure you include the obvious; your address, main phone number and email address. Don’t use email addresses that look unprofessional.

Think about Layout

Your CV needs to be 3 things; Simple, informative and professional. For first time job seekers, you may not have a lot of professional experience to include so you may want to look at dividing your CV into 3 sections; academic experience, work experience and community service/extracurricular experience. There are thousands of layouts/templates available online to help you with constructing a CV.

Experience and Skills

If you’re struggling with including work experience on your CV, don’t panic, you have a lot more skills than you realise. For example, if you have worked in retail, your skills include customer service skills, communication skills, the ability to work as a part of a team and experience in managing money. Were you once a babysitter? This means you coordinated schedules and were extremely responsible. Many skills learned in part-time positions are quite relevant to the corporate world.
Don’t underestimate the skills you have gained. Charity/volunteer work, summer jobs, work experience, they all count! Ensure to write about the work you did in a way that shows future employers what you’d be good at. For each bit of work experience, include the name of the place you worked, how long you worked there and what your main tasks were.

Grammar Check.

Avoid spelling mistakes. Use the spell check on your computer but don’t rely on it to find every error. Ask someone with a good grasp of grammar and spelling to check your CV.

Tailor each application

If you are very open minded in the type of job or industry you would like to start a career in, then you need to make it a priority that with each application you make, your CV is clearly relevant to each particular vacancy you apply for. Be sure to include the key words and skills that are included within the advert. For example, if you are applying for an admin position and the company require someone with excellent communication skills, experience with diary management and answering and directing phone calls, and you have all of these mentioned skills, then include them! The person reading your CV wants to be able to clearly see the matching link between you and the job role. If, however, you do not possess any of the mentioned or required skills, then do not lie! Either refrain from applying for the position, or if you feel you could offer alternative and relevant skills and experience to this position, then include this within your application instead. Put the most important information for this particular job is at the top.

References on your CV

A reference is someone who can vouch for you when you are applying for a job. This could either be a teacher or a previous Manager. You are not required to include the contact details and information of your references on your CV, you can instead state “References available on request” on the bottom of your CV.

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