Drawing up a good CV

Woman writing her CV

Faced with the need to make a curriculum vitæ ? What should your CV contain? We often hear that the CV should be adapted to each application. It should also reflect your personality. We suggest that you follow a method that will enable you to draw up the outline of your CV and adapt it to the position you are applying for. In short, to make a good CV, a document that will speak to recruiters and help you stand out from the crowd, whether you're responding to a vacancy or making an unsolicited application.

Preparing to write a professional CV

Before writing a CV, a little introspection is in order. You need to produce a document that reflects your educational and professional background and highlights your achievements. So grab a pen and paper and follow the guide!

Identify your skills :

- the technical skills in the broadest sense, whether or not evidenced by training (pastry chef, CAP; materials engineer, corresponding engineering diploma).

- general IT skills (in particular the use of spreadsheets, word processing, DTP tools, etc.);

- language skills ;

and, where applicable, the certifications attesting to them;

- related training (MOOC, first aid certificate, amateur radio licence, diving certificate), etc. ;

Identify your cross-disciplinary skills and soft skills:

those that you can apply, whatever your previous position: ability to negotiate, build teams, manage stock, etc. Autonomy, ease in social contacts, good communicator, affability, organisational skills, team player, sense of responsibility, methodical, expressive or writing skills, resistance to stress or difficult working conditions, ability to concentrate, initiative, ability to decide or convince, leadership, dexterity, imagination.

Summarise your professional experience :

You will need to draw up a list of each position, job, work placement (including odd jobs, including purely food-related jobs) and include any voluntary or personal activities (e.g. investment club, sporting activity, etc.).

For each of them :

    • indicate the responsibility performed (specify the sector if this is not explicit), name of the employer (and location if it was abroad), date and duration.
    • in addition to your responsibilities (type of activity, name of customers, team size, objectives set), please specify the tasks carried out and the objectives achieved or exceeded (turnover achieved or any other indicator used to assess your performance).
    • check that the job titles are clear enough for all readers.
    • As far as possible, arrange these experiences in reverse chronological order: your most recent experiences should appear first.

You now have a good basis on which to build a CV, although you will need to sort through and adapt this content to suit the CV template you have chosen.

Adapting your application to the position you are applying for

Identify your experience and skills that are relevant to the post you are applying for: you should list the experience and skills that are relevant to the post. for the position sought in your CV.

    • First of all, read the job description carefully to identify what the recruiter expects and the qualities you are looking for. Underline them or put a name to them. Look at how they fit in with your background.
    • identify experiences that are consistent with the sector in which you work you are applyingThis may mean underlining or bolding the most significant elements. In practical terms, this might even mean not listing or dwelling on the less significant experiences you've had, but underlining or highlighting your strong points. For a Perfect CVIf you want to apply for a job, you don't need to list all your professional experience, just an effective CV.

For the writing itself :

    • prefer a classic CV template, to Word* format if available,
    • devote more space in your CV to significant experience (several lines versus 1 line for what is of little interest).
    • emphasise your achievements, i.e. develop the key facts that are likely to interest the recruiter you are talking to.
    • Reduce to one line any experience that is not relevant to the post you are applying for, or delete it altogether! Keep your CV simple enough to get you a job interview, and don't try to include everything!

Evaluating your CV, from content to form.

Make sure your CV is legible:

    • Is your professional profile clear (title or tagline)?
    • Is your profile consistent with your LinkedIn profile?
    • Are the headings clearly identifiable?
    • Is your contact information easy to find (marital status, telephone number, professional e-mail address, not fancy)?
    • check for the presence of key words and business jargon
    • your photo, if you include one, must be of good quality.
    • the layout should be as professional as possible (choose a legible font, 1 or 2 formatting effects maximum).
    • there are no mistakes, are the spelling and typography impeccable?
    • keep it to one page. A document that is too long will not be read and may reveal a lack of synthesis.

Proofreading for a good CV

You know your background, you know what you wanted to write about and make clear. But you need to make sure that whoever reads your CV has the same understanding of it as you do. Have your CV proofread, if only to know how it will be perceived.

Who should proofread your CV?

You, yes, but not only you. Because even if your spelling, syntax and command of the language are impeccable, there's nothing to say that a recruiter will understand the same thing as you or those around you. What's more, as any professional writer will tell you, there's no proofreading more difficult than proofreading your own writing.

So have your CV proofread to a third party who doesn't know you. This is essential. It is precisely for this reason that they will be able to give you their impressions on reading your CV and ask the questions that any reader will ask. In any case, don't expect the recruiter to have the first impression when reading your CV. If you or those around you have missed a mistake, the HR manager may not, and may hastily conclude that you have not adopted the professional attitude that your application initially suggested. And for those who think they write well, it's better to come across as someone who has the humility to have their work proofread than as an individualist, especially if it's to take part in a company that is by definition collective.

If you have a marketingread this guide to find out how to make a good marketing CV.

* If you don't have a Word licence for writing and page layout, read our article to find out how. which software to use to create your CV.

Did you like this article? Share it with your friends! Other tips for write your CV or your cover letter are available on the cvsansfaute.fr blog !

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