CV - Frequently Asked Questions
Q What's the purpose of a CV or Resume?
When I ask participants on courses ‘What's the purpose of a CV or Resume?’ I normally get responses such as:
- to present yourself in the best way
- to help you get a job
- to highlight your skills and experience
All of these are of course correct but the real purpose of a CV is to get an interview. Many people still think that the purpose of a CV is to get a job but the number one aim is to get invited to that all important interview.
Our focus is not to just to help you to create a CV but to get you onto the interview list. This approach ensures that we structure every single CV in the very best way.
Once you are in front of an employer you can then convince them of your skills, experience and expertise. In the interview you'll be able to impress them with your personality, go through your work history, emphasize your achievements, etc. But stage one is to get the interview and that is the purpose of your CV.
So the challenge is to make sure that your CV or Resume stands out from the crowd and is better than all the others on the desk. Our CV Resume Experts will show you exactly how to do this.
We can help you with writing your CV or Resume. We can deliver CV Resume workshops for your staff, students or colleagues. We can offer one to one support to help you to build your career.
We look forward to working with you.
Q Can I send the same CV to every potential employer?
A delegate on a course recently said to me that she had sent out forty CVs in the last three months and didn't get one interview. I asked if she sent the same CV to every organisation. She said 'yes'. Did she really think that these employers were going to read through her whole CV, analyse her skills and match these up with the job specification?
The priority of the employer at this sifting stage is to get an interview list. They are not deciding on the best person for the job - just the seven or eight they are going to call for interview. Your task is to make sure that the decision to select you is easy.
Think about how you could improve your current CV especially if you are still using black text. What could you do to make it more visually appealing? Could you have a better layout, more creative headings or use graphics?
Here's a point worth noting. Sometimes Word documents get messed up when sent by email because of different computer settings so save your CV as a PDF (Portable Document Format). Usually you can do this in a word document by clicking Save As PDF in your Word menu. This turns your document into a publication and is perfect for emailing as it will stay exactly as you want it to look.
If you'd like some help with writing your CV or would like to come along to one of our CV Expert orkshops with your local CV Expert then please contact us. If you would like to have a one to one CV Coaching session please complete the form.
Q Do Employers read all of your CV?
It's important to know that employers do not read all of your CV. They do not have time to go through all that information and then work out whether your skills are relevant to the particular job at hand.
In reality employers scan the top third of the first page and it is here that they will find infortion to either reject or interview you. So the first part of the first page is where were you must say that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
It's no use filling up this vital space (top of page 1) with your address or your education details!Newspapers have a strong headline to attract attention at the top of their front page. They don't put the address of the newspaper in this prime spot.
Write one sentence that says exactly why you are perfect for this role or shows that you are the key person that they must invite for interview.
Q Is my CV presentation out of date?
If you are still using black ink on two sides of A4 paper then the answer is probably 'yes' to this question.
A modern CV is more like a brochure which reflects the best of you. It is in reality your marketing document. Effective CVs are now colour brochures. They have sections with articles about our achievements and skills. They have photos showing us at awards ceremonies or doing community work. They have features on our achievements, the impact we have made and the results we have delivered.
Your CV is a sales document - not two pages of your life history. It's a brochure to sell you. You know what an effective brochure looks like. It's colourful, well laid out, attractive, good headings, photographs and of course a call to action.
The call to action in any brochure is normally to complete an Order Form, call Customer Service or Book Online. Your call to action is getting the recruiter to put your CV on the interview pile and thinking this one's worth talking to or having a look at.
So think of your new CV as a brochure promoting you specifically for the job or organization. This thought frees you up to be creative in the way that you gather and present information. If you need the support of a graphic artist to help you lay out your CV then check out your friends with graphic skills or click on 'upwork' or 'fiverr' where you'll find plenty of people keen to do this for you. CV Resume Expert can also help you to design your CV.