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First things first, ignore those who recommend a competency-based CV. Employers (your target audience) often find them annoying, confusing and downright misleading.
Instead, keep things simple and structure your CV in a straightforward chronological format. Keep it to a maximum of three pages (one-page CVs are only standard in the US), minimize the use of imagery and stick to Word or simple PDF. A little colour does not do any harm but too much creativity detracts from the content, unless you happen to work in the creative industry. As for the order, we generally suggest the following:
• Name and essential personal details - These should include a mobile number with an international dialing code, your nationality, marital status and date of birth.
• A succinct personal profile - A person's main skills and characteristics can be easily summarised in a format that people will actually read. This is your ''elevator pitch'' so it needs to sell you effectively.
• A career history - This should include months and years, in chronological format. Each role that lasted for a reasonable period of time should be summarised, followed by bullet points listing achievements, responsibilities and the skills and experience developed through them.
• Education and qualifications - Include the exact dates, qualifications and institution details.
• A short personal interests section - Ignore those who tell you that these are not necessary. Employers generally want to hire interesting people not robots, but they do not require a full life story.
Getting your CV right in an age where attention spans are shortening and competition for roles is increasingly international is vital. Once written, read your CV through the eyes of the person you want to work for and remember that its aim is to get you an interview. The rest is down to ability, personality, presentation, determination and a little bit of luck.
• Keep your CV logically ordered, informative but concise
• Use action words and relate the skills to the job available
• Bullets catch more attention and make CVs more readable
Find out what to consider before sending a CV
Source: James Wakefield, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Managing Director, Cobalt Recruitment