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The real-world Guide for writing a killer CV
 
 

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The real-world guide for writing a killer CV.

Part 1 - “About Me”


We have all at some stage registered on a web site and been stumped by the section “tell us about yourself..”. Do I go for humour or explode into an orchestrated series of bullet points highlighting how brilliant I am? If it’s difficult to do on Facebook for friends who already understand your brilliant wit and personality, how are you supposed to know what to do on a CV‽

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The About Me section is an introduction and an opportunity to break free from the confines of a CV to add some individuality to your profile – not to be confused with personality; save the happy smiles and jokes for the interview.We recently examined a study that used eye tracking software (!) and I can tell you, this section is important. In fact, the “gaze tracking” technology shows that recruiters spend 80% of their time viewing only your name, introduction / about me, current title/company, previous title/company, previous start and end dates and education.
So, waxing lyrical in your work experience is probably going to go unnoticed. Whereas it is crucial to add keywords into your introduction/about me section and dangle some interesting “bait”.

First of all, forget words like ‘enthusiastic’, ‘team player’, ‘energetic’ and so on. They mean absolutely nothing and you might as well say ‘former ruler of Britain’. You need substance; you need PROOF!

Next, your proof does not need to be ground breaking and could be something simple. You must not be concerned with putting something that, to you, might seem minor, because to an employer it can actually say a lot about you. For example; “consistently exceeded sales targets selling spectacles at Boots” (sales awareness/ability), or “Consistent employment from 2009-2012” (dedication/ persistence, reliable), or “Played in two University sports teams” (confidence, team player, competitive).

You don’t actually state what the skill is, but instead allow the reader to interpret it from the evidence.

When it comes to quantity, try not to exceed more than three lines on a normal paper CV – Imagine that you are writing something to fit onto a business card. However, if you’re using an online CV hosting tool (such as We Connect Students) you can increase this to two short paragraphs of about three to four lines each, because the employer will filter it down using a keyword search.

For example, you could go for:


2:1 Business Studies from X University | consistently exceeded sales targets in previous job | no gaps in work history from 2009-2012 | played in two University sports teams | vice-president of university society |

Finding a job that suits you is just as important as the employer finding a candidate that suits them. If you are the the most disorganized person in the world, and your desk is a volcano don’t put on your CV that you have shown examples of organizational skills. You won’t be well suited to a job that requires you to keep a tidy desk and files. Don’t try and work out what keywords an employer is going to get turned on by. Insdtead think about what talents and experience you really have and advertise them with examples.
 
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