careers advice

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4. what does your resume/CV contain?
Is your resume/CV relevant. Is it directed appropriately at the position, company, industry sector for which you are applying ?

If you want a job in IT/telecoms/cutting edge technology – do you really want tell a potential employer that you were a milkman in your dim and distant past. Your details will certainly be remembered but for all the wrong reasons.

Try and avoid all that waffle at the beginning of your document which says what a wonderful person you are. By all means highlight relevant points (facts) that would be of interest to the company in question. If you really want to make the right approach, use the services of headhunter – well I would say that wouldn’t I but think about it. A reputable headhunter/executive search consultant will probably know the client/company far better than you do, particularly if you use a headhunter that specialises in your field. A good headhunter will present you to the client in the most appropriate way that enhances your strengths by using his/her presentation skills armed with a variety of weapons to make you look attractive, one of which is the resume or CV. But it is only one.

IF you don’t use an executive search consultant everything will depend on your resume/CV. Presentation, efficient layout of information is therefore critical. Other than the usual stuff: personal details, education (latest relevant qualifications only (including professional eg. CCNA, MCSE), followed by experience beginning with your current employer etc don’t forget to mention what you have achieved. Lets say, you’re a sales manager and were promoted last year after a rapid rise as an account manager. That’s great but what did you contribute to the bottom line, what impact did you have on turnover during that time, did you expand sales into new sectors, geographical areas etc.

Finish with any other skills ie. languages and your interests. It is argued by some that interests are not important but in my opinion it helps to round off who you are as an individual and can provide a relaxed talking point at the end of an interview as well as helping the interviewer to get to know you better.

Keep your document short – around 2 pages but no more than 3 at the most.
On a lighter note, here are some examples of what not to say:

Finally if you want to get it right, find a professional/recruiter – it’s not going to cost you anything but it may get you the job you want.

frequently asked questions:candidates