A CV – or curriculum vitae is Latin for “courses of life.” It is a concise summary of your professional experiences and skills. It is almost like a report card for your employer. It shows the “courses of life” that you’ve completed should prove that you’ve mastered whatever is required for the job at hand.
So what makes the perfect resume or CV?
Here’s the reality. More often than not, employers merely scan your resume. If it doesn’t pop, it will disappear.
Like a headline or an eye-catching graphic, your resume should grab the attention of your potential employer and reel them in. Let’s take a look at some resume examples, along with five great pointers for writing a resume that captures your audience.
We’ve already taken a look at Top Tips for a Killer Resume – here’s some actual resume examples you can use to give you ideas.
Step 1: Look at Resume Examples & Know the General Makeup of a Resume
A basic resume will generally include personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.). It will also include your education (university, area of study, GPA), your work experience (duration of each stint of employment, position. And of course the skills mastered at each job), any accomplishments or special interests, if applicable, and references (or if there’s no space, a memo that they’re “available upon request”). Creating a basic template with all your work experience and general information will allow you to more easily churn out a number of CVs for different jobs and move on to step 2.
Step 2: Tailor Your Template to the Position You’re Applying To
You must research the company to which you’re applying and know what they want in the candidate for this particular position. If you don’t, you’ll become a run-of-the-mill resume in a stack of hundreds: you won’t stand out in the least.
Find what the company does. Mimic their company speech. Highlight the skills they have in mind for this specific job. Write all of this into your resume. Also, if the company requests specific information or a certain format for your CV, follow instructions. Such information will be available on the company website.
Step 3: Stand Out with Your Hobbies & Interests, like in these Resume Examples
If your hobbies/interests do not directly apply to the position, do not include them. However, a hobbies/interests section can be a great addition to your resume if they are relevant and relatable. They may even lead to a great conversation topic at your interview.
Not many include their hobbies and interests on their resume, so this section can help you stand out, while also highlighting your passions and motivations. Hobbies that show you are proactive as a team member or leader and like to interact with others are preferable to solitary hobbies (examples might include event coordinating or serving as team-leader for a charity, etc.).
You might also take a page out of this resume example’s book by illustrating your hobbies and interests via icons.
Step 4: Write a Clear & Powerful Objective or Personal Statement, as in these Resume Examples
A resume objective is a brief, concise, targeted statement. It sums up the direction you’d like to take your career. it also presents yourself as the candidate your employer needs. It should be tailored to each different employer and position to which you’re applying.
Although an objective or “personal profile” is optional on a resume, this is another section where you can stand out and reveal your motivation and passion. As with the rest of your CV, use this opportunity to sell yourself – your experience, skills and personality – utilizing strong keywords.
Step 5: Format Your Resume Creatively
If you’re one who likes to play it safe with a standard (boring) resume format, try something new, and it just might get you hired!
Resume style does matter when you’re in a stack of several dozen. If you find you aren’t getting callbacks with the resume you’re shooting off, play with different formats and try on other shades. Maybe it isn’t the content of your CV, but rather the boring layout that’s making you crash and burn.
Sometimes a pop of color is all you need. This resume example will prove you aren’t bland.
Do you prefer a clean resume, but would also like it to show off? Take a look at this resume example for some inspiration.
Or check out this slick resume example that looks more like a website than a sheet of paper.