CV Tips Menu

CV Writing Do's

Make your CV short, simple and concise. Anything over three pages will begin to overload the reader and likely end up in the too hard basket. Two pages is an ideal length but don't be afraid to drop down to a one-pager if that's all you need.

Include only relevant achievements, skills and experience that relate to the position you are applying for. This may mean tailoring your CV slightly for each position.

Use bullet-points, rather than long paragraphs, to make your CV easy to read (employers tend to scan over CVs rather than read them word for word).

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes (these are real CV killers!). Ask a colleague, family member or friend to check for any errors you may have missed.

Focus on the content of your CV rather than its design. Fancy fonts and colours only serve to distract and frustrate the reader.

Take pride in your CV. Spending an extra 20 minutes on your CV could land you your dream job.

CV Writing Dont's

Don't include lies or misinformation in your CV. These often come back to haunt you sometime down the track.

Don't provide unnecessary personal information such as marital status, date of birth, religion, height, weight, etc as it could lead to discrimination.

Don't use a funky or funny email address like cooldude88@example.com. This may impress your friends but rarely an employer.

Don't write your CV like you are writing a txt msg 2 a friend.

Don't write your CV in capitals, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING.

Selling Yourself

By clearly demonstrating within your CV, the difference your skills, qualifications and training have made to organizations that you have worked for in the past, you will vastly improve your appeal to potential employers.

Compare the following two descriptions of the responsibilities of a Sales Managers role:

Description 1

"Communicated with existing customers"

Description 2

"Maintained successful relationships with high value customers (revenue over $120K) through regular sales visits. Increased annual revenue by 15% and contributed to division exceeding growth targets by 6%."

The first description reveals very little about the level of responsibility and nothing about the contribution the candidate made. It is less likely to land the candidate an interview, and if it did, valuable time would be wasted during the interview as the employer would need to ask, "how did you communicate"; "for what purpose"; "who did you communicate with"; and "how did you measure your success in this role"?

The second description is guaranteed to attract the employers attention, and as a result, is more likely to lead to an interview, during which, the employer can focus on assessing whether the candidate's sales skills are transferable to the new environment.

CV Structure

Employers often review hundreds of CVs in a single day, so it's no wonder that recent research shows that during the initial screening process, recruiting professionals spend as little as 6 seconds on each CV. That's why it is so critical to optimise your CV structure in order to get short-listed for the interview!

The most accepted CV format is chronological, which highlights your work experience, qualifications and education in reverse date order, listing your most recent item first. This structure provides employers the most efficient means of reviewing your past employment and educational achievements, as well as following your career progression.

Including more detail when describing your most recent positions will also help the employer understand your logic, and avoid creating confusion as to why you are applying for a particular role. Too much focus on an older job for example, even though it may have been a more satisfying and senior role, may cause the employer to believe that your career has peaked and is in decline.

How to write a CV

Use job specific language or 'buzzwords' where possible witin your CV, as well as action words to engage your audience and avoid ambiguity. Words that end in "ed" such as 'achieved, delivered and devised' help keep your CV brief, and when used in your responsibility and achievement section, convey a sense of power, influence, and level of accountability.

Use bullet points where possible to describe your responsibilities and achievements as these are easier to follow during an initial scan.

Sections you should include are:

Contact Details

Start with your full name, address, contact phone number and email address.

Objective or Summary

Use an objective when you know exactly what position you are looking for and have specific career goals. If you are unsure of your immediate career goals, use a summary to describe your previous skills and experiences.

Education

List all your relevant school and academic training you have gained including high school and university degrees. Always start with your highest educational achievement, or current studies, and highlight projects or courses that will interest the reader.

Employment History

List your previous job roles, including your current role if employed. Describe your key responsibilities and achievements within each job role. You may wish to include volunteer work here as well.

Qualifications/Certifications

List professional qualifications and certifications that you have acquired. These demonstrate your willingness to further your education and gain valuable new skills that directly relate to your working career.

Skills

Employers scan a CV looking for key skills, so take some time to describe your skills and areas in which you excel. Remember to focus on those skills that relate directly to the job you are applying for.

Achievements

List achievements and accomplishments to add credibility to your CV. You may describe awards and special commendations that are outside your professional and educational experiences.

Hobbies/Interests

Hobbies and interests give a valuable insight into the type of individual you are. Remember to only mention activities that you actively involved in.

Referees

A referee is a personal or professional contact who can provide additional information to an employer to give an insight into your work ethic and work-related abilities. They may be a close family friend or a previous manager/senior colleague.

Tailoring Your CV

Employers see a lot of CVs and find it easy to identify those that are part of a standard mass job application. By tailoring your CV you allow the employer to quickly establish your suitability for the role. You can do this quite simply by picking out key requirements from the job advert and addressing them prominently in your CV's list of responsibilities and achievements.

Make sure that you demonstrate the difference your skills, qualifications and training have made to the organizations for which you have worked.

Before sending your CV off, do a final check and remove any information that is irrelevant to the advertised role. Having multiple versions on hand makes the job of tailoring your CV much more convenient. You are then able to simply select the most suitable version as the basis of your tailored CV, saving yourself valuable time and effort.

Updating Your CV

Updating our CV is easily overlooked when employed, and regularly put off until the last minute when considering a career move, which all too often means that key achievements and successes are omitted.

Updating your CV regularly ensures that you are not left scratching your head, trying to recall specific details or contributions about past projects and work environments. It is far easier to stay on top of your key successes by recording them as they happen and remain fresh in your mind.

The same is also true with references. Research indicates that employers rely heavily on references when narrowing down final candidate choices. Gathering references and keeping referee contact information up-to-date is therefore vitally important.

A small personal commitment is all it takes to keep your CV up-to-date... and your career on track, and by doing so, you ensure that you're ready for any job opportunity, no matter how unexpectedly it may arise!

Writing Cover Letters

It is normal practice for a cover letter to accompany a job application unless requested otherwise by the employer. It is often a good idea to prepare a generic cover letter and then customise it for each job you apply for.

Your cover letter should be separated into the three key areas outlined below:

Introduction

In this section you should clearly define who you are and why you are writing the letter. It is important to name the position you are applying for or the field you are seeking employment in.

If somebody else has referred you, mention their name and acknowledge their recommendation.

Middle

This section is where you demonstrate how your previous employment, education, knowledge and skills match the requirements of the position you are applying for. Also explain here how you believe you will make a substantial contribution to your potential new employer.

Remember to be positive and use professional language. Keeping your sentences short and simple will allow you to get straight to the point.

Wrapping Up

Be confident and pro-active in your conclusion. If you feel that you have the required skills and experience, show your interest and confidence by requesting an interview.

Remember to review your letter and ask a friend or colleague to check for spelling or grammatical errors. Small typing mistakes could mean the difference between landing your dream job and just missing out.

Using Your CV

CVs have more traditionally been forwarded in response to a job advert, however statistics indicate that these days up to 70% of jobs are filled without ever being advertised!

A ConnectCV CV is perfectly at home in a traditional job application, in fact its optimised layout and interactive features will give your prospects of landing the role a significant boost!

Applying for a job with your CV

Most job ads these days require applications to be emailed. An emailed application would typically consist of a brief introductory email with your cover letter and CV attached.

Your email should include the job title and any job specific information such as an employer job code in the subject to ensure that it does not get lost in the employer's inbox. When attaching your CV and cover letter, make sure they are virus-free and in an acceptable format. A PDF is generally regarded as the safest and most acceptable format for attachments.

If you do not have access to the internet then you can always mail or fax your CV, or even hand it over in person. When using these methods, remember to include a cover letter clearly explaining the position you are seeking, and print your CV in black ink on clean, white paper.

Security Tips

We recommend that you that you take the time to read the following advice regarding internet security and protecting your personal privacy. Being aware of these issues further protects you whilst operating online.

Choosing the right password.

Choosing the right password is crucial in preventing identity theft and potential online fraud. It is important when choosing a new password to consider these general Do's and Don'ts.

Password Do's...

Choose a password that is a combination of letters and/or numbers. Ensure your password is unique and difficult to guess. Is longer rather than shorter. We recommend at least 6 letters. Use different passwords for all your web accounts so that if somebody has access to one account they don't instantly have access to all your accounts.

Password Don'ts...

Avoid the use of family names, pets, street addresses, license plates, work-related names, etc for passwords. Avoid general common names or titles such as '123456', mypassword, password, or your username. Choose a password that is difficult to remember or needs to be written down.

Fraudulent emails.

ConnectCV will never send emails requesting personal information such as contact details, bank account details, passwords or credit card numbers. As part of our security policy ConnectCV emails will never offer quick links to any of our login areas. If you are unsure whether or not an email has been sent to you via ConnectCV please contact us and we will advise if we require any additional information from you.

Protect your personal identity further by not giving out your personal details to 3rd parties. Be aware of scam operations where 3rd parties request personal information relating to your bank account details, credit card numbers or your Tax File Number for example.

Keep your device clean.

Be on the lookout for the common signs that your device might be infected with malware-malicious software designed to harm your device or network-and keep your computers antivirus software and avoidance practices up to date.

Update your Browser.

Keep your browser updated to the latest version as malware often exploits browser weakness to gain access to your device and personal information.

Protecting your transactions.

All of your personal information is encrypted with industry leading SSL Web Server Certificate. SSL ensures that your information is kept secure and protects the use of your credit card to when making a payment online. However, whilst we use our best endeavors to protect all such information at all times, we cannot be responsible for any unauthorised access to information on our site.