Follow a few simple steps to create your own C.V.

There are a great many agencies offering advice with Curriculum Vitae’s, some of whom offer their services for free, and some who charge, some who will write your CV for you and produce it with add-on’s such as pictures, and some will offer only guidance. In the main, the larger employment agencies, such as Reed, offer advice on creating a formatted CV which is practical and can be used broadly.

What is a CV?

CV is short for ‘Curriculum Vitae’, a Latin expression which loosely translates as ‘The course of my Life’. It is a written summary of the details of an individual’s life that are relevant to a prospective employer. They form a document that tells someone seeking a worker everything they may wish to know about an individual looking for a job. It will include details such as how to contact you, where you are living, how old you are, what qualifications you have got and where you got them, where you have worked in the past and exactly what you did, plus who will give you a reference, and other things like other interests you may have, whether or not you have any health problems, or special requirements that may affect your work. Nowadays they also include a brief personal statement and an outline of your key skills.

How to complete a CV

Because CV’s are widely used, and as recruiting agents and employers receive a great many of them, a wide range of styles and layouts are used in order to get a CV to stand out. However, the format’s are all very similar as this makes them easier to process and makes finding any information that is particularly sought easier to find (if looking at 100 CV’s an employer is interested only in those people with a specific qualification, will expect to see educational achievements on the front page, and if it is not there, is he/she likely to sympathetically read through the document until they find it or just move onto the next one? You tell me). The advice of a large employment agency or large employer is invaluable here, because it is their best interest to have well formatted CV’s. Online services and other agencies will offer a wide range of templates and CV builders which may differ in appearance, but all expert guidance will point you in the direction of a widely used format.

CV’s are the initial opportunity you have of bringing yourself to a possible employers attention, and this opportunity must be used to do so not only favourably but also for you to attempt to stand out from the crowd. This is best done by attempting to give them exactly what they want. This will mean that some parts of your CV will need to be rewritten for that employer, and for each and every employer you apply to. It is tempting with today’s technology to take the ‘scatter gun’ approach and send a broad-use CV to a very large number of employers. This has two disadvantages: 1. How do you find a wide range of employers to send them to? Employment agencies, who have prospective employers coming to them, use this approach and even they have to specialise in particular fields of employment, and they advise a more focussed approach. This approach may result in a job, but is unlikely to be a job that you are suited to or will enjoy, and it increases the chance that the work will be far away. 2. Why would an employer offer you an interview over someone who has said that they meet the specific requirements of the job they have to offer? Getting a the right CV to the right employer is essential, and it takes time, effort and skill. Getting good advice helps, but this does not substitute the hard work in writing the CV in the first place, nor of reading the job specification and adapting your personal statement and key skills list (even the details of your work experience) to suit.

Oh, and do put both your mobile and home number’s on it, and a e-mail address – not only useful, it shows that you are open, available and contactable. If you can, put a picture of yourself on the CV – not only will this help make your CV stand out a little, appearance, whether rightly or wrongly, counts for a great deal in any recruitment process.