Writing Your First CV
Of course you know you need to write a CV before you can start job hunting in earnest but like many things writing your first CV may seem a lot easier said than done. Thankfully CVs are just documents, so you can draft and re-draft as many times as you like before sending yours out to anyone.
Use your first CV to highlight your skills, qualifications and experience, and be sure to use strong verbs to make it really pop. When you’re done writing, proofread for grammar and spelling, and format it so that your CV is crisp and clean for the reader. No sense making all of the effort to devise a great CV and then lose points for presentation!
What to Include In Your First CVIf you’ve only ever worked student or part-time jobs, it can be daunting to imagine making a full CV out of these positions. The good news is that this is not all that a CV should include. In fact, a CV is your chance to let employers see everything that you can offer them, including your skills, qualifications and experience. This means that in addition to previous employment you should be mentioning your education, voluntary positions and outside interests or skills as well.
Draft your first CV to include:
- Name and contact details.Include home and mobile phones, email address and postal address.
- Education. Include secondary school as well as university history.
- Professional experience. Include the duties you were assigned in each position and any major achievements (for example, employee of the month, promotions, etc.)
- Interests or miscellaneous skills. Include language skills, computer or technical skills, or any outside certificates or qualifications that you have achieved (for example, full clean driver’s license, ECDL computer qualification, Business French certificate, etc.)
How to Write Your First CVWriting a CV can be hard for many people because you must use every single word to form a complimentary picture of yourself for future employers. If you find it hard to discuss your talents and achievements then most likely writing about them will be hard as well. Unfortunately, you must move past this.
If you don’t make yourself sound employable, then why will anyone else think that they should hire you? One of the best ways to write a glowing CV is to use strong verbs, so get your thesaurus ready. Most CVs will include a smattering of verbs such as:
- Entrusted (with).
How to Format Your First CVEmployers and recruiters will skim every CV that they receive, so make sure that there are no formatting issues that could lead to your CV being discarded from the very start. Instead, make sure that your CV looks neat and can be read clearly and crisply so that it will go straight to the “interview” pile. Be sure to:
- Run a spelling and a grammar check on your CV.
- Read each draft of your CV out loud to see how it flows.
- Have others proofread your CV to catch any minor errors.
- Ask others if your career objective is clear and your skill set matches this objective.
- Use clear margins to make your CV attractive.
- Print your CV onto good quality paper.
Writing your first CV can be a tense time, but it doesn’t need to be. Start writing your first CV before you ever leave school and university so that there is plenty of time to get help from others and look at templates no doubt stored in the career guidance office.
Unfortunately, even once you perfect your first CV you’ll need to keep updating it every six months or so to add new achievements and skills. And if you’re ever tempted to lie or embellish your history? Don’t. It’s better to lose out on a job that you’re not ready for right now than to be branded a liar forever.