The term 'Curriculum Vitae‘ (commonly abbreviated to CV), it’s a summary of your career history and the key tool to get you an interview with a prospective employer. A CV should reflect your strengths and your accomplishments.
Remember that you have less than 1 minute to convince someone to take a closer look at your CV. With hundreds of applications per vacancy, your CV must be designed to immediately sell your key skills, your experience, your individuality and above all your ability to meet the job objectives.
When you create your CV, you are strongly advised to stick to the following guiding principles:
Tell the TRUTH
Write in a concise manner
Engage with the job requirements
Aim for quality not quantity
Structure your information in a easy to identify and read format
Stating Job & Degree titles is not enough. What really matters for employers are deliverables & accomplishments !
The most common types of CVs are the chronological and the functional ones. In a chronological CV, the experience is listed in chronological order (most to least recent) whereas in a functional CV, experience is listed per skill group (e.g. leadership, sales, marketing, communications, entrepreneurial). Although the chronological CV is considered to be the most common type used by job seekers and recruiters, the functional CV can prove to be useful to those that:
Do not have a clear career path
Wish to divert their career to a different path
Have gaps in their career history
Have lengthy career history
Have performed similar tasks in their career history and would like to avoid repetition in their CV
Have minimal experience – usually university graduates
It is important for a recruiter to be able to get in touch with you. The “Personal Details” section should include the following:
Contact details : personal phone number and email address. Ensure that your email address expresses professionalism. Do not use emails such as firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s wiser to open a new email account specifically used for your job search. You might also include your permanent home address.
Nationality : this is an optional field. If you are a native to the country in which your are applying for a job or you hold an employment visa, then there is no need to include this section.
Date of birth : this is an optional field. Whether you include it or not, an experienced recruiter can figure out your age from your CVs content. Yperochi recommends you include your date of birth to come across truthful and avoid raising questions associated with your CV.
Marital Status : unless specifically indicated in the job requirements that your marital status is needed you should not include it in your CV. An employer that provides equal opportunities should not ask you for your marital status even during the interview. On the other hand, if you personally believe that your marital status (e.g. being single) can benefit your application, please do include it.
The “Career Objective” section is optional and if you decide to include it, you have to be certain that the information included reflects the job objectives and motivates the recruiter to read the rest of your CV. If you get it wrong, in most cases you lose immediately the opportunity to get invited for an interview.
Unfortunately most of the career objectives focus on what the candidate has done or would like to do in the future. A career objective should be focused on what the candidate can do for the business . Forget about “yourself” for a minute and look at it from the recruiter’s point of you: they want you to tell them how you can help them realise the job objectives and beyond.
Generic statements like “good team player” and “looking for employment in a dynamic environment” do not offer any benefits to the recruiters. Your career objective should have the following characteristics:
Be very specific
Tell the business what you can contribute
Combine personal attributes/skills with the value you can add to the business
Here is an example of a well constructed career objective:
“ An experienced Project Manager with effective task ownership that can help you meet product deadlines and break down departmental barriers. Team members and customers will benefit from my proactive mind-set whereas my agile and human approach will allow for long lasting and mutually respectful relationships to be formed”
Here is an example of a poorly constructed career objective:
“ An experienced Project Manager that is looking for a challenging opportunity in a dynamic organisation. Well-manners, proactive and excellent team player”
Yperochi recommends the following :
Do not include this section. It is a risky section for every CV
Transfer your career objective section to be part of your cover letter
If you decide to include it, ensure it is tailored made for each job application
Replace this section with the “Key Skills” section. It’s easier to be adjusted and it’s more concise
Yperochi recommends that you include this section to immediately grab the readers attention. This section can also be named “Key Accomplishments”, “Summary of Accomplishments”, or “Professional Profile”.
What should be included:
Include the most valued skills applicable to the job requirements
If it is a general application, include the most valued skills gained from your experience to date Research the company’s profile and identify what really matters to them. What kind of people are they looking to join them
Include maximum 2 skills per sentence
Write your skills using bullet points. Use between 4 to 6 bullet points
Use nouns as keywords to reflect your ‘values’, ‘beliefs’, ‘experience’ and ensure that they are directly associated to the job requirements.
Use a combination of key skills based on experience and personal attributes
Apart from the standard elements of this section (as listed in page 11), Yperochi recommends you include a simple 2-3 line statement associated with your role profile. This statement provides an overview before the reader proceeds to your achievements and will also give you the capability to specify your major duty/responsibility as well as the industry associated with your position.
Let’s change our previous example to include a role profile statement:
June 2011 to Present – Operations Manager at Yperochi (Greece)
Operations Manager responsible for the effectiveness, design, and enhancement of online services in the field of recruitment and personal development.
In this section you should list your educational background in reverse chronological order, starting with your most current degree/school. If your education is stronger than your Experience, interchange the order of these sections.
Each school/degree entry should include the following:
Years of attendance (From – To ; include month and year). For current students “To” should be the expected graduation date.
There are cases that due to unforeseen evens, some individuals were forced to quit their studies for a period of time and continue later. In these circumstances, Yperochi recommends that you specify only the “To – Graduation” date. Provided that all other details appeal to your perspective employer, you will get the opportunity to explain your reasons during the interview.
Graduates that do not have strong experience, should also consider expanding this section with the following elements:
Major Modules from you Bachelor and/or MSc studies. Once again, be concise and avoid lengthy lists.
Final year dissertation titles
The education section could also include the “Professional Training / Certifications” sub-section so that
the recruiter/employer can read all relevant information under one heading “Education & Professional
Training” or “Education & Certifications”. For this sub-section, the following principles apply:
List your certificates/training course/seminars in bullet points
If you have attended many seminars list the most relevant ones against the job requirements
Provide concise titles for each certificate/course/seminar
The date and place of attendance could also be included.
For your remaining seminars/certificates Yperochi recommends you include them as part of the cover letter (following your introduction) or provide a note in your CV: “Full list of certificates/seminars available upon request”. Remember that it’s quality that counts NOT quantity!!
Getting started with your CV 14/15 Interests This is another optional section that in most cases is used to brake the ice during the interview process. Although a recruiter/employer shouldn’t judge you on whether you go to the gym or your travelling habits, interests can reveal what motivates you as an individual and some aspects of your personality. Your interests/hobbies can project cultural elements that are aligned with the company’s culture and values and might lead to a second look of your CV. If you have space in your CV, Yperochi recommends you include this section but be careful though not to present yourself to be “Indiana Jones”. Write the truth of what you really like doing and do not try to impress the reader with extra-ordinary activities.
This section simply signals the end of your CV and it’s nowadays considered to be obsolete.
Since you shouldn’t include the names of your referees in your CV, Yperochi recommends that you replace this section with the one named “Additional Information”. In this section you could include the following information:
CV is not accomplishments oriented: Only accomplishments oriented CVs secure interviews. Your duties such as “responsible for” or “duties included” luck focus and cannot be associated with your skills that will help your prospective employer to realise the job objectives.
CV is not bulleted : use concise sentences in bullet points to make your CV reader friendly.
References are listed in the CV : as we mentioned previously, this section i s nowadays considered to be obsolete. Recruiters/employers have seen 1000s of CVs and you can be certain that they know what to do if they need a reference.
Do not lie : tell the truth and you have nothing to be afraid during the interview process. If you do lie, the chances are that an experienced interviewer will easily figure it out during the interview process.
You might get away but will you be able to stand up to the challenge once you get the job? Almost every employer has a probationary period (3-6 months) during which you have to convince that you are the right person for the job.
Section “Key skills” : Yperochi recommends you include this section to sharpen your CV’s focus.
Do not use personal pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’.
Chronological CVs: list your education and experience in reverse chronological order (most recent on top).
Career objective : if you decide to include a career objective, do ensure that is focused on what you can do for the business.
CV Length : do not fall into the trap believing that quality is better than quantity. The general guide for a CV is 2 pages (might stretch to 3 pages for Senior Executives) . For graduates, 1 page is acceptable as employers realise that graduates do not have significant prior experience. Yperochi strongly advices you to aim for a maximum of 2 pages.
Spelling & Grammar mistakes : ensure that you spent time ensuring that your CV does not contain any spelling and grammar mistakes. You might also consider giving your CV to friends, colleagues or family for additional checks.
Verbs Lists: Communication Note: Verbs should be used in past tense. Present tense can be used for current activities. The tables presented below give you a starting point to stimulate your thoughts! Communication Revise Survey Review Report Proofread Promote Present Plan Perform Lecture Investigate Interpret Illustrate Express Exhibit Demonstrate Correspond Communicate Collaborate
CV Checklist Before you start emailing/handing out your CV, please ensure that the following sections are included: Personal & Contact details Key skills (optional but recommended by Yperochi) Work Experience Education Interests (optional) Additional Information (optional but recommended by Yperochi) Furthermore, here are a few more important notes: Spell & Grammar check your CV Include page numbers if your CV is more than 1 page in length. Aim for a 2 page CV. If your CV is more than 1 page in length, Yperochi recommends that you include your name at the top of every page. Use clear formatting; avoid colours, and an easy to read structure.
More coming soon... Thank you for taking the time to read our presentation. We are continuously expanding our library of business, marketing, sales and other materials to help you further develop your skills. Feel free to email us your comments. Thank you, the Yperochi Team