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The Importance of a Professional CV

Writing a professional CV these days involves so much more than just listing your experience. Creating a professional CV is indispensable to getting the most desirable jobs and goes hand in hand with a successful career. Recruiters skim through thousands of job applications every day, so a professional CV is the best way to get noticed, get the interview, and get the job.

Understanding the Professional CV

Professional employees are those who act with integrity, understand the job requirements, communicate well with others, and are willing to adapt to the organisation's requirements. A professional CV is like a professional employee; it must convey all those characteristics to help you land the job you're looking for.

For starters, a professional CV always includes certain standard details that most recruiters are interested in:

  • Personal information - name, address, full contact information.

  • Personal profile and/or career objectives.

  • Skills and achievements.

  • Work experience.

  • Education.

  • References.

Beyond the basics, a professional CV will include a number of other key qualities that will put you one step closer to achieving your career goals. It all starts with knowing two things:

Know Your Audience

Writing a professional CV requires knowledge about the position and the recruitment process. Examining the job advertisement carefully, researching the company, and contacting the recruiter's office to clarify what the position entails are all likely to contribute to a professional CV that's suited to the job. A professional CV is always customised to a particular job or recruiter's requirements.

Know Yourself

One of the most difficult aspects of writing a professional CV writing is the task of 'selling' yourself convincingly without fibs, exaggerations or boastfulness. But underselling yourself is a more common problem. Many applicants find it difficult to translate their achievements or experiences into skills that are relevant to the recruiter.

In order to prepare a professional CV, it is essential to avoid 'achievement amnesia'. A professional CV highlights key experiences that a stand out for a recruiter or potential employer: projects completed on a shoestring budget or a tight schedule; sales targets exceeded; innovative techniques you introduced, etc. Make a list of everything you've accomplished in your professional or academic career. This will be indispensable when writing your professional CV.

When you know your target audience and have a clear recollection picture about of what you've achieved, your professional CV will bridge the gap between the recruiter's needs and your skills as a candidate.

How to write a CV:

Beat the filters

Recruiters often employ specialised software to extract critical information from your CV, converting it into a standard format. So it's important that your CV presents information in a way that gets you noticed. A high quality, professional CV is prepared with this sort of filtering in mind. Spending hours on formatting, fancy typefaces, and eye-catching designs is a waste of time and may even hurt your chances. A truly professional CV focuses on key data like achievements and skills.

Keep it Real (and Relevant)

A professional CV highlights relevant information in a relevant manner. Leave out each grade you got, the addresses of all the institutions you went to, your gender, marital status, passport details, etc. A professional CV attempts to quantify skills and actual experience, such as: "Presented results of inaugural sales campaign to Board of Directors and key investors". Recruiters notice it when concise, relevant information is presented in plain English in a professional CV.

Mind your Language

One of the easiest ways to spot an unprofessional CV is grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or incomprehensible terminology. You may be hitting all the right notes, but if your CV is riddled with sloppy mistakes, it will never come across as a professional CV. Read, re-read and ask your friends and relatives to read your CV before you send it out into the world.

You can use this sample C.V. format as a starting point.