How to write an excellent CV?

cv-writingImage source: Aspire Education Academy

If you’re reading this then you are probably looking for a job, you may have noticed employers asking for a CV. A good CV, or Curriculum Vitae (a Latin phrase for the ‘courses of my life’) can get you far in life, and it is a very important document to have with you if you’re on the job hunt. Don’t worry if you have not written a CV before, or have little knowledge on how to build your CV. This article has all the information you need to get the ball rolling on your CV writing.

 

It might be useful for you to follow a CV template when figuring out what format/style to use. Typically, there isn’t a fixed format for a CV, and you will be able to find many examples on the Internet. It should be fairly easy for you to find examples of CVs for students looking for part time jobs.

However, acquiring the template is only the beginning. Here are some helpful tips for you to write a robust CV:

• Highlight your skills/ talents e.g. IT skills, communication skills, good team work, fluency in multiple languages etc. (Be prepared to provide examples before the interview)

• Don’t be afraid to brag about your education. List your education and academic qualifications, including the subjects and grades. Include academic details that will be relevant to the job

• List your hobbies/ interests. This is a great way to boast about your fun, creative and vibrant personality.

• Make sure you list your employment history. Here you can include any volunteer work, internships and/or work experience that you have participated in.

• Be mindful of your grammar and vocabulary. Try to use exceptional words and choice phrases as an indication to the employer that you are a true professional at heart.

 

As a student you should definitely make use of your university’s career services and book an appointment with an advisor to review your CV or attend CV workshops.  They can give great advice on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Once you have submitted your CV, you may be required to attend an interview before the employer decides whether you are suitable for the job or not.

 

Image source: The Next Web

 

Interview Tips!

According to some research, it takes an interviewer just 385 seconds (that’s a little over 3 minutes!) to determine if you are right for the role, so first impressions are very important! Here are some things you can consider before your job interview to ensure you’re ready:

 

Pre-interview

• Research the company as much as you can beforehand (e.g. mission statement, core values, brand information etc.)

• Think and write down any skills/experience that you think are relevant to the job and have some examples to back them up.

• Let them know why you are interested in that particular job

• Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview

 

At the interview

• Rule of thumb: It’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed to an interview

• Avoid excessive cologne or perfume

• Be punctual (5-10 minutes before the interview), but don’t be too early

• Inform the interviewer ahead of time if you know you’re going to be late

• Make good eye contact with your interviewers, keeping in mind that a firm handshake gives off a good impression.

• Remember to mind your Ps and Qs!

• Articulate your speech fluently and don’t speak too quickly

• Don’t be afraid to pause and think of your response to a question

• Try to avoid using too many filler words such as ‘uh’, ‘er’, ‘hm’…

 

When answering interview questions, the STAR method is a great structure to follow.

Situation: Set the scene

Task: Describe the purpose

Action: Explain what you did

Result: What was the result?

Keep in mind that employers look for confident applicants, so stay cool, calm and collected. Don’t forget to show off your pearly whites with a bright smile.

 

If you do get the job, congratulations! If not, don’t be discouraged. There are thousands of job opportunities out there. As the saying goes “When one door closes another one opens”, so don’t be afraid if you are not employed immediately. Finding a job takes time, be patient and learn from your mistakes. Your persistence and hard work will certainly pay off eventually.

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