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How To Write A CV - Fuse Journey
We see and hear the phrase 'CV' all around us. This is because sooner or later, everyone has to write one. Starting out and writing a CV from scratch seems pretty impossible, but it doesn't have to be. Most people find writing their CV a bit daunting. This is because it is an in depth timeline of their job history. It presents details about what jobs they have done, when and where, why they left, what they learned and the other skills they have too.
CV is short for Curriculum Vitae; a Latin phrase meaning 'course of life.' This could be part of the reason why CVs traditionally seem so scary sometimes! In the US a CV is known as a résumé. Now and then that word creeps in and British employers use it too. Whatever you call it, your CV is the single most important tool in your job search.
We will guide you through every stage of how to prepare, write and use your CV. We will work on maximizing your chances of getting to the next stage of the job search process - getting invited to an interview. The CV is the first step, and then it's your time to shine. Confused? We understand!
But they told me...
"The Jobcentre made me do it that way", "My teacher told me to do it like this", "My friend said this is how to write a CV", "A recruitment consultant insisted I used their template"...
We have heard countless similar tales from people with CVs that simply don't work - they do not sell them to employers. The single most important thing to remember about your CV is it is YOURS. It showcases YOU to the best of your ability. There is no right or wrong way! You need to do it YOUR way!
The only way to judge if your CV is 'right' is whether it is getting you regular interviews - that is its purpose after all! There are no set rules, no magic bullets; no single phrase is right for every person's CV or for every job. Think about it; if everyone's CV's were the same, nobody would ever get a job!
Of course there are guidelines, hints and tips that can be extremely useful to consider as you are developing and writing your CV (we will go into these later) but at the end of the day the only questions that matter are... "Does this document do a good job of selling me as a potential employee to a potential employer?" and "Has this document been getting me interviews?" If the answer to either is no, something is wrong and this set of articles should help you get things back on track.
But I hate writing my CV!
Well of course you do! Most people hate writing their own CV and see it as a chore. With a bit of preparation using our step-by-step guide, it can be fun and exciting - seriously!
How often do you get the chance to just write about yourself and make yourself sound as great as you are! There are no rules, it's true, and so we've come up with these simple steps below to guide you instead.
Getting ready to write your CV
There is no point in sitting at a PC and trying to write your CV in one go - that really is painful! You know that to do a great job and give yourself the CV you deserve, you need to chill out, and have a few drafts at it.
So let's take the pressure off. Sit down somewhere you feel comfortable and just note down everything you can think of that might be relevant to a prospective employer - everything you have done and can do.
Take as long as you need - this brain-dump will become your source material to write your CV from. Without realising it, you're making notes. Seriously it's much easier to just get things written down at first than to think "OK now I'm writing my CV and I'm having a shocking time". Try it!
The First Draft
Now you've done the hard part - the thinking - it's just a matter of putting it on paper in a way that makes sense to an employer. What matters is that they don't know you, and cannot talk to you, so you really are starting from scratch with them. This is where the guidelines of CVs are most relevant - what headings to use, what should go where etc.
In most cases it makes sense to group things under standard headings:
• Contact Details
Don't be put off by the dry sub-headings and the way you have to break up your information. Remember, the reader does not know you and you need to help them.
If you don't fit neatly into these headings it's not a problem; Remember what we said at the start about this being an advert for you? So long as an employer can easily see what you have achieved before and what you are good at, that's the main thing! Plus you can always rewrite this. It isn't set in stone! At this stage, just try and bring things together a bit more sensibly - build on the good stuff and lose things you don't think are relevant.
This is your first draft all done - wasn't so hard was it?
Pulling it all Together
Now for the finishing touches. You have everything on paper and it's sitting there in front of you in a structured, clear manner. Chances are it's too long or too short and probably doesn't look too sharp yet, so let's fix it up!
It's time to expand on any skills/jobs/training that you can make more of. Lose those extra paragraphs that don't really say anything. People have an aversion to cutting bits out - especially after so much work - but you just need to remember that it's all part of the balancing process and perhaps you can use those bits another day.
Spend some time making it look a bit funkier so that you and your CV stand out from the crowd - but make sure you don't go overboard. Keep it professional (so no cutting and sticking or finger painting, however tempting it might be by this point!)
Above all, check for mistakes such as spelling and grammar errors. With computer programs to help, it is just lazy to make these and some employers immediately throw CVs that are not spelt and written properly. Get someone else to take a look through because everyone misses something!
By you now you should have a great CV. You are ready to start impressing those future employers. And it wasn't so bad after all was it?
Now you are ready to move on to Getting a Job with Fuse. This is where we will show you how to really get the best out of Fuse Jobs and start sending that CV out to the employers who could be waiting to interview you.
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