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Writing a CV that Works

I was musing the other day about exactly how many CVs I have screened in the 30 years I have been in the recruitment industry, and I just can’t come to a reasonable figure.  But, suffice it to say, it has been many, many thousands maybe even hundreds of thousands!

I have seen them all!  Good ones, bad ones, stupid ones, amusing ones, professional ones, exceptional ones, boring ones, short ones, long ones….  The list is never-ending.

So, what makes a good CV a good CV?

Well, from a recruiter’s perspective, I would say that the best CV would fall into a category somewhere between the American resume format and the English Curriculum Vitae format.  In other words, not too brief, but not too detailed.

I have to tell you that a long drawn out CV does nothing for me. When I have 500 CVs in my inbox, reading through pages and pages of superfluous information does nothing for me!  I skip through all the drivel and get to the “meat”!!!

I don’t care whether the candidate played the part of Joseph in the school nativity play or whether he got his Black Belt in Karate in Std 2!  I am only interested in whether he/she can do the job!  And, to this end, I need to make sure that the applicant meets the INHERENT REQUIREMENTS OF THE JOB!

A professional CV should be divided into the following sections:

    Personal Details
    Education
    Experience/Work History
    Additional Info (If applicable)

Personal details should include name, street address, e-mail address, and contact telephone numbers. Marital status, number of dependents, languages spoken, possession of a driver’s licence etc can be added if desired, but are certainly not compulsory, unless they fall into the parameters of the inherent requirements of the job i.e. if the position requires candidates to be in possession of a driver’s licence.  The same applies to age, Date of Birth etc.  Candidates are not obliged to supply this information, as employers are prohibited, by Law, from discriminating on the basis of age, race, gender etc.

Educational Details need not include a full school history.  The highest level reached at school is sufficient.  Subjects taken in Matric should be included, especially if the position demands that the candidate has done specific subjects in Matric.   Details of Higher Education are essential, and these should be as detailed as possible.  Membership of any professional associations should also be included.  Courses undertaken should be included, provided that they don’t take up 3 pages!

Work history is ultra important.  And these should include the company name, length of service i.e. Commencement and termination dates, job title and a brief description of duties, for every position.

Additional information could include hobbies, awards, interests etc.  This is completely optional and by no means mandatory on a good CV.

The font you choose is very important.  CVs should be easy to read.  A good template is also important.  CVs should be neat and legible and the reader should enjoy reading through the information.

Lengthy covering letters are also a no-no!  Why repeat everything that is already in the CV.  It just frustrates and bores a busy recruitment officer.

Lastly, a recent photograph is a very nice extra touch.  I think recruitment officers always relate better to a candidate if they know what he/she looks like.

Fancy borders make for a lengthy printing processes and should be avoided.

Need a professional CV written?  I can help you!  I charge a nominal fee and I can provide you with a CV that will guarantee results!

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Can you smell the sweet smell of Jasmine in the air?

One of my favourite times of the year is Spring when the sweet fragrance of Jasmine fills the air.

In my younger days, and when it was safe to walk in the street, I used to go for a walk every day, and in the springtime, when the jasmine was in full bloom, I used to look furtively around me and nick a piece of jasmine from a bush that hung over a fence into the street.  I then held it to my nose every couple of blocks and smiled as the perfume engulfed my senses.

Not only is the fragrance unique and mind boggling, but it always reminds me of lovely warm sunshine, clear blue skies, the peaceful buzz of bees, a light breeze,  and the promise of summer holidays and festive days ahead.

And, when I get back to my office, I feel refreshed and serene and able to face the day ahead with a smile on my face.

Drop me a line and let me know if there are any smells that send your mind racing to another place and another time!

BNI - A new dimension in life

It was my lucky day when Neil from Computer Troubleshooters came to look at a problem I was having with my computer.  Not only was he able to fix a problem which had baffled 3 other techies, BUT he asked me if I had heard of BNI.

I hadn’t!  So he proceeded to tell me that BNI stood for Business Network International and that it was an awesome networking organisation, especially for small business owners like myself.

He invited me to attend a BNI meeting as a visitor and decide for myself whether I wanted to join.

BNI is divided into Chapters or branches, situated worldwide and the one that was closest to me was the Masters Chapter in Rosebank.  As it happened, although Neil is a member of the Fourways Chapter, his colleague Arjen is a member of the Rosebank Chapter and he welcomed me with open arms.

One meeting and I was sold!

Not only have I made a lot of valuable contacts and generated some additional business, BUT I have made a lot of friends, and attending the early morning breakfast meeting every Tuesday has become one of the highlights of my week!

As luck would have it, I joined just prior to the BNI annual conference, which was awesome.  I picked up a wealth of invaluable tips on networking and marketing and made even more useful business contacts!  And, I had lot of fun and won a fabulous prize too!

What a combination – making money and having fun!

You can’t beat it.

Check out the BNI website at www.bni.co.za or bni.com and if you have any queries, just shout.  I would be happy to fill you in.

Lengthy covering letters are also a no-no!  Why repeat everything that is already in the CV.  It just frustrates and bores a busy recruitment officer.

Lastly, a recent photograph is a very nice extra touch.  I think recruitment officers always relate better to a candidate if they know what he/she looks like.

Fancy borders make for a lengthy printing processes and should be avoided.

Need a professional CV written?  I can help you!  I charge a nominal fee and I can provide you with a CV that will guarantee results!