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Writing a CV: Stand out from the crowd
Author: ADMIN (ukstudent at gmail dot com)
Published: Thu, 21-Oct-2010
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Writing a CV: Stand out from the crowd. Article by Graham Kendall

Your CV is your calling card. It is the first opportunity that somebody has of making a judgement about you. In this article I want to tell you some of the things I have tried in the past to make my CV stand out from the crowd. I am not saying all the ideas are good but you might like to try some of them or even develop them further.

Somewhere on my CV I mention the name of the company that is going to receive it. I feel this shows you have taken the time and trouble to produce a CV for that particular occasion. I also include an area on the front page of the CV that I use to write a few sentences about why I am particularly interested in the position. If I can, I mention something about the job, the challenges it presents and how I am equipped to meet those challenges. If I am not fully qualified to do the job I will use this space to explain why I still think I could do a good job. Maybe I would be willing to attend a training course, maybe I would work for an initial week at a reduced fee whilst I learnt the areas in which I was lacking or maybe, although I am lacking in one area, I am highly qualified in another and the two will compensate for one another. I like to think that this \"free text\" breaks down the formality of a CV and gives you a chance to put some of your personality and character into the document. If you think that mentioning the company name or writing a few sentences about why you want the job is either too time consuming or a bit of an overkill you could just put the date on the CV; maybe in the footer. At least it shows that the CV was recently produced and not just a copy of a CV produced long ago. And dating a CV is easy on a Word Processor. In fact, on most packages, once set up you can forget about it. The date is automatically updated when you print the document.

I sometimes use slightly heavier paper than usual for my CV. Most CVs will be printed on something like 80gsm paper, which is used in photocopiers and laser printers. If you use something slightly heavier it gives an impression of quality; especially if the paper is slightly rough to the touch. If you produce a lot of CVs it might be worth investing in some paper which is specifically for your CV. Not only can you get paper which \"feels right\" but you could also get your name and address pre-printed; or even a small logo. The benefit of this is that you can inject some colour into your CV and, as long as it is done correctly, it will make it stand head and shoulders above any others that land on a potential employers desk. But you need to be careful. You dont want to go over the top. Your name and address, pre-printed in blue on white paper is fine. Your name and address in red, a logo in orange and everything on blue paper is likely to make the employer feel sick rather than warm towards you as a potential employee. In the past I have pinned my business card to the front of my CV. I do this if I think the chances of getting the job are pretty remote but I think there is a chance of getting work in the future. The hope is that the business card will be kept, even if the CV is filed in the waste paper bin. To take a non-computing example. If I send my CV to a magazine or newspaper editor I will often enclose my business card. He/she may not take up the proposal but they might keep the card in case they want to commission me at a later date. I must admit to not having got any work via this route but for the sake of a business card it seems a worthwhile investment. And who knows where it could lead. Of course, all of the above is useless without the content of the CV being correct. This is a large area in its own right but a few guidelines wont go amiss.

Keep the CV short. I try to limit it to just two pages but go to three if I need to. It is very rare that my CV runs to four or five pages.
Make the CV relevant to the position you are applying for. Make sure the skills you need to do the job are prominently displayed. Other skills you posses can be relegated to the end or dropped off altogether.
Treat your CV as a marketing tool. Make it easy to read, easy on the eye and ensure that the important information is on the first page.

Some people I know have one CV and photocopy it as required. To me this is wasting an opportunity to present yourself in the best possible light. And with a half decent Word Processor it does not take much to produce a customised CV. The other consideration is that if you are not producing CVs to the best of your ability, somebody else is and you might be in competition against them for a job. One final word of warning. If you normally send your CV to an agency then all I have said above might be a waste of time. If the agency takes your CV and reformats it to their in-house style a potential employer might never see all your hard work.

Finally, bear in mind that your CV is not trying to get you a job. It is trying to get you an interview. Potential employers (and I know, because I was one) get lots of CV\'s and they are not looking for a reason to employ you, they are looking for a reason to reject you. You must make that difficult, if not impossible to do. Using you CV, you are trying to get an interview. The job comes later when you have the interview, and there lies a whole new list of do\'s and don\'ts!

Your CV is your primary selling tool, so you should create a good CV yourself or ask professional CV Writing Service to do your CV.

Copyright for this article belongs to Graham Kendall

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of Graham Kendall. Original Source of the article is located here: http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~gxk/ugyear1/fi029.html

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