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Writing CVs...


A CV is a brief summary of your abilities, education, experience and skills. Its main task is to convince prospective employers to contact you.

A CV has one purpose: to get you a job interview.

CVs must do their work quickly. Employers or personnel officers may look through hundreds of applications and may spend only a few seconds reviewing your CV. To get someone to look at it longer, your CV must quickly convey that you are capable and competent enough to be worth interviewing.

The more thoroughly you prepare your resume now, the more likely someone is to read it later.

Gather and check all necessary Information.

Write down headings such as Education, Experience, Skills. Beneath each heading, jot down the following information:

EDUCATION - usually means post-secondary and can include special seminars, summer school or night school as well as College and University. If you are just starting College, you can include high school as well. List degrees and month/year obtained or expected; names and locations of schools, grades. A brief summary of important courses you've taken might also be helpful.

EXPERIENCE - includes full-time paid jobs, academic research projects, internships, part-time jobs or volunteer work. List month/years you worked, position, name and location of employer or place and responsibilities you had.

As you describe your experiences, ask yourself questions like:

  • Have I invented, discovered, coordinated, organised or directed anything professionally or for my community?
  • Do I meet deadlines consistently?
  • Am I a good communicator?
  • Do I enjoy teamwork?

Even if you're new to a field, you aren't necessarily starting from scratch.

SKILLS - list computer languages and software, foreign languages indicating fluency, teaching or tutoring, communication or leadership, among others.

After you have all this information, check it for accuracy. You'll need full names, correct and consistent dates and correct spellings.

Example of a GOOD CV

Example of a BAD CV

Match your skills and experience with your employers needs

POSITION - what kind of position do you want for this job-search? Make notes. Now match your wishes up with positions that are actually available. You can get this information through postings, ads, personal contacts, or your own research.

EMPLOYER - for certain positions, what aspects of your education, experience or skills will be most attractive to that employer?

Highlight details that demonstrate your capabilities

Look over what you've written and try to select details of your education, experience, qualifications, skills and activities that match an employer's needs in a few important areas.

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