CVs or Resumes - MediHunters
The Curriculum Vitae or Resume is a history of your working career: a chronological history of where you have worked, the positions you have held, the years you worked in each position, your responsibilities, your accomplishments, your career objectives, your outside interests and education.
Remember a CV does not have to include everything that you have ever done in your life, generally the past ten years are the most relevant. Just list your major skills, experience and accomplishments in a positive way. Focus on the skills you offer and aim to list achievements and qualities that make you unique.
A CV has two purposes: 1) to give you access to recruitment firms/employers and 2) to sell yourself to potential employers. So with this in mind, it is essential to include information which will make an employer want to meet you.
A CV should enable the recruitment consultant and future employer to quickly assess your main skills and identify how you can be useful to them or fit the particular job brief.
There are many different ways of writing your resume, but the key is to be flexible and adapt it to suit each individual job application. To make your CV most appropriate you need to carefully read the job description, determine which of your skills and experience are most relevant to the job you are applying for and amend the CV accordingly. If your current resume is not getting you any interviews, then it is definitely worth re-evaluating it and making changes.
And always include a cover letter with your application explaining why you have submitted your resume for consideration. Recruiters and potential employers are far more impressed by applicants who have taken the time and made the effort to add value to their CVs by including a cover letter detailing how particular skills and experience are relevant to the role applied for than those applicants who expect the recruiter or potential employer to spend their time doing it.
General Rules to Follow
- Countries differ as to the number of pages that are appropriate/standard but in Australia it is best to keep it to 4-5 pages depending on your years of experience. Make it detailed but brief and include relevant information in an easily read format.
- Have your name and contact details on the front and even the back pages in case the pages become separated.
- Email your CV to recruitment companies in a Word doc format so they can easily put it into their own template. If you send as a PDF file, it is impossible to make amendments – such as deleting your contact details.
- Include the date of preparation of the CV at least on the front page, ideally on each page next to the page number.
- Include your full name, address, phone numbers (home and mobile) and email address. Ensure that the email address you nominate is appropriate for job search communication.
- If you do not have a message bank on your personal mobile, this is a good time to get one as a missed call could be a missed opportunity and recruiters do not have time to continually ring back.
- Only include an objective if you have a fairly clear idea of what you want, otherwise it sounds vague and can actually have a negative effect.
- You should write something like "I would like to secure a middle management position with an innovative medical devices company, utilizing the knowledge I have acquired from tertiary studies and my practical experience" NOT "I would like a position that allows me to apply my vast knowledge of subjects in a manner that would be personally satisfying".
List your past employment experience in chronological order starting with your most recent experience first as this will be the most relevant to the person reading your CV, and include the following:
- Start and finish dates (Month/Year).
- Include the Company name and a brief description of the size of the organization and its position within the industry.
- Your position title.
- Your responsibilities – describe the role/duties, concentrating on those that meet the job description if you are applying for a specific role.
- Include any special projects or achievements within the role, such as "I introduced a new CRM system to our company that improved efficiency & customer management", not just the duties you performed. Sell yourself.
- If you were promoted, describe the roles separately and define the timeframe for each role.
- Reasons for leaving – this is optional/personal – however, it can eliminate any questions a recruiter/potential employer has prior to interview as to your motivations for leaving positions.
- List the skills in order of significance to the position you are applying for, with the most relevant skills first. You need to make it obvious what you have to offer.
- Address the selection criteria from the advertisement and list any relevant skills you have that have been asked for in the job description.
Education and relevant qualifications
- Include all relevant education undertaken, even if it is not complete, in which case just include a small note stating "in progress" or "deferred" next to it in brackets.
- List the name of the institution where you studied, the course name, major subject areas covered and graduation date.
- If education is the most important factor in your application then this section can go before demonstrated skills.
- They need to be specific and quantifiable, otherwise they are meaningless.
- Don't include generic self-praising references that are not provable. Only include personal qualities that you can verify by using a specific example that proves it, such as "I increased sales by 10% when I was at (name of previous company)".
Employment experience or career overview
- Include the employer’s name and the job title.
- Highlight any achievements you had while you where there, not just the duties you performed such as “I introduced a new administration system that improved efficiency and saved money”. Sell yourself.
- You can also list your jobs out of chronological order, but you should list them under two headings: related experience and additional experience. This is particularly useful if you have worked in a few unrelated industries.
Special achievements or sporting achievements
- You should list any key achievements you have had in sport, within the community or the arts that show you in a positive light and are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Community involvement or volunteer work
- The purpose of this section is to allow you to show any relevant skills that you may have developed through your volunteer or community work. If you don't have any, leave it out.
- Here you can include any short courses or training that are not as relevant to the position as your education.
- Often the final decision on who an employer hires is influenced by who they like or who they feel will fit their company culture, so if you know the name of the employer try to find a common interest that may influence their decision. Do some research on the internet, or ask around and if, for example, you find that the company entertains their clients at football games and you have a connection to that particular sport, including it in your Interests may give you an advantage.
- Include interests that provide evidence of skills you possess that are relevant to the job you are applying for, for example to demonstrate organisational skills you could mention that you are an administrative/organising member of a club.
- A referee should be someone who has supervised your work - a former employer, direct supervisor, colleague - but it can also be someone who has a good knowledge of your ability to do the job (a customer or related business manager). You should prearrange with this person for their assistance. It is a good idea to call them to formally request their assistance each time you go for a job, and brief them on the job requirements, so that they can prepare what they are going to say. Try to keep in contact with them regularly, even if it is to just touch base.
- If you do not wish your referees to be contacted without your approval or before you have a chance to contact them, do NOT include them on your CV and state "References will be supplied upon request". This ensures confidentiality and privacy and you keep control of your references.
- Most recruiters do not have time to read long, wordy resumes – develop a format that is easy to follow and read. Use bullet points, distinct headings and avoid long paragraphs explaining what you did or how you did it.
- Always include a cover letter with your application explaining why you have submitted your resume for consideration. This personal note shows that you have taken the time and made the effort to add value to your CV by detailing which of your skills and experience are the most relevant to the role you have applied for. You want the job, you do the work – do not rely on the recruiter or potential employer to connect the dots and determine why you should be a preferred candidate.