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The real-world Guide for writing a killer CV
 
 

Different types of CV

CV’s are a very important document to have. They must be concise, clear and easy to read. If it’s not, then potential employers won’t even except your CV and it will be put in the No pile. Many people don’t realise that there is a big difference between CV and Résumés.

CV’s are generally including everything that you have done in school, work or any outside of work activities. A CV follows a format, making it about two pages but some take up to 5 pages. But the shorter it is, the easier it will be to read. A CV is always accompanied with a well written cover letter, just to have that last chance to sell yourself to the employer.

Functional  CV
A functional CV is usually two pages long, it is important to make sure that all your relevant skills are relevant to the job you are applying for. Always focus on relevant aspects within the job you are applying for.

Functional CV’s format are useful if:

  • You have a lack of experience or gaps in your employment
  • You have changed jobs frequently or you had unrelated work experience
  • Promote your skills and experience obtained from college or volunteer work
  • You are changing careers or re-entering the career path after a break
  • Your most recent work experience is not relevant to the job, but past experience is
  •  You have been working freelance or in temporary work
  • You do not want to advertise your age
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The layout of a Functional CV-

  • Functional CV’s start with a few sentences creating a profile about your skills, attributes and achievements
  • Grouped under sub-headings, you should then present your range of skills and abilities starting with the most recent. Make sure you present functions in bullet points. Demonstrate that your abilities in such a way that shows that your skills are transferable to the job applied for
  • Following this section is a list of employers and employment dates
  • Qualifications are next
  • Conclusion of this type of CV is finished with a few sentences explaining your hobbies and interests

Performance CV
Basically a performance CV highlights your performance from the beginning, so it is self explanatory.

The break down of this type of CV-

  • Profile/Summary
  • Achievements
  • Experience
  • Training
  • Education/qualifications
  • Additional content
  • Interests

Profile - this should be no more than 6 lines of text, do not include irrelevancies. Listing only the attributes that are to do with the job that you are applying for.

Achievements - list 3 to 6 achievements. Start with your strongest and work your way backwards.

Experience - Reverse Chronological order, you need to include the year that you started and the year that you finished that job. If you have many jobs to record, you may need to group some together to make it easier to read.  If your title name doesn’t represent the job that you actually do, consider changing it. When describing your experience for each position, start with the strongest point that works in your favour and then work backwards. If you have too much information, then it may be worth while splitting the information up underneath different headings. Make sure you stress your achievements and attributes but do not repeat things in your CV as this will just bore the reader.

Training - only include the most important training courses on your CV.

Education - Only list, the most important qualifications. You may want to put this before the training section, unless you have just completed an MBA. This section should go after work experience. Putting your work experience first is a good way of getting your skills across to the employer pretty quickly.

Additional Information - Do not put your martial status or your date of birth on your CV although make sure you put that you have a clean driving licence.

Interests - Make sure that you report any key responsibilities that you have held over the past 3 years, for example if you were a captain of your local football team.

Targeted CV
This type of CV is a way of focusing your career towards a particular purpose within a distinctive industry.

  • This is written in a way that highlights your skills, qualifications and experience that match the job description
  • This type is effective when- You know the particular requirements of a job
  • You know what company you are sending too
  • You are sending your CV in reply to a specific job advertisement
  • You need to compose different CV’S for different applications

Student/ Graduate CV
If you have just come out of university and you are just at that stage of finding full time work in the sector of what you had studied, this is the type of CV that you will need to use. You should have gained a lot of skills and experience during your university life which will now be very useful.
What goes in to a Student CV -

  • Profile
  • Achievements
  • Education/ qualifications
  • Experience
  • Additional information
  • Interests
  • Referees

Profile - This should be a short summary of about 6 lines of text, explaining your skills and attributes.

Achievements - many students don’t always have any achievements, if you can think of any then list up to 6 of them, which you feel will match the description of the vacancy.

Education/ Qualifications
- Only list your most recent qualifications. You don’t need to list your GCSE’S or A- levels, just need to indicate how many were gained.

Experience - This should be in reverse chronological order, Including, the year that you started and finished that job in. When describing your experience make sure you start with the strongest point first then work backwards. If you have lots of points, then it would be a good plan to maybe split these up into a smaller manageable bite size pieces.

Additional information - Do not put your martial status or your date of birth on your CV although make sure you put that you have a clean driving licence.

Interests - Make sure that you report any key responsibilities that you have held over the past 3 years, for example if you were a captain of your local football team.

Referees - You should include two referees, one of which should be your recent employer and the other should be a non family member/ friend, but maybe a tutor or teacher.

Alternative
This type of CV is used if you are applying for a creative job, such as an advertiser or a Graphic Designer. As you want to show your layout skills to the potential employer before they even meet you, so it has got to be striking and individual.

  • You could lay the CV out into an advertisement with you being the product to show your advertising skills and with your qualifications.
  • You could maybe design your CV into the style of a magazine cover page, using your design skills and graphic design skills.
  • You are including all the normal parts of a CV but just making it that extra bit original.
  • You can also include testimonials from clients if you have been working freelance.
  • You can include your software skills and abilities.
  • You could include your logo.
  • You could use different colours for parts of the CV to make things stand out, but only keep it to a minimum of three colours. As you don’t want to overwhelm the reader.
  • Choosing the right type of paper stock is also important, because if you choose the correct type, then that already is showing that you know what types of paper stock should be used. So if you were going for a print job, then this could be a key thing to know about.
 
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