CV - What's in what's out
CV writing is a controversial subject; if you ask any two people their idea of the perfect CV you are likely to get two different and rather subjective responses. However, there are a number of do's, don'ts and common pitfalls, which most personnel professionals would agree on. If you bear these in mind when preparing your CV, you stand a much better chance of surviving the 'CV cull'!
The following is an example of some of the elements that would normally be expected in a CV. However, as previously stated this is a subjective view and not an exhaustive list. You must tailor your CV to match your personal circumstances and the needs of the employment you are pursuing.
Personal Details - Your full name, address, home telephone number, date of birth, marital status and nationality. Do you have a full driving licence? Is it clean?
Education / Qualifications - List your qualifications and education history. If you have a degree you probably will not need to list all your O Levels/GCSEs; just listing the number is probably sufficient.
Professional Qualifications - List your professional qualifications, membership of professional associations and professional ID numbers. If you recently completed a college or university degree or HND or Diploma, etc, then you may want to list the courses you studied if the subject you studied was relevant to your target job.
Training Courses - List any work related training courses that you attended, including company courses and any you attended on your own initiative. If you obtained a qualification on any course please list it.
Work Experience - Each draft or posting you have had should be considered a "new job" with its own Terms of Reference and responsibility. Try and describe the job in terms that would be understood by someone unconnected with the military. Start with your most recent or last job and work backwards. Set out your main responsibilities, achievements, duties, and skills that could be transferred to another employer. Be specific and positive about your skills, e.g. 'good written skills' may be a better description of your abilities rather than 'good communication skills'. You should try to include some achievements such as meeting deadlines, budgets, etc, and any information that may be relevant to your next job.
Other Experience - List any computer skills you have, including the make and type of equipment you are familiar with, the software and operating system used, e.g. IBM compatible PC, Microsoft Windows 95, and Microsoft Office 97. If you have foreign language skills that may be relevant for any jobs, which you are applying for, list them and indicate whether your skills are spoken, written, business or technical. Also indicate your level of fluency: fluent, good working knowledge, etc. You should only list these skills if they are relevant to the jobs you are applying for as no one really wants to hear about a French language course you did at school a long time ago.
Interests / Hobbies - List your interests, hobbies and any sports you play. List any positions of responsibility you hold or have held in any club or organisation, and say what your responsibilities and achievements were.
References - You do not normally need to list referees on a CV, but it is a good idea to think about whom you could ask now. For some professions however it is normal to list referees; these include the teaching and health service (NHS) professions - your referees in these professions are often asked to provide you with a reference.
Summary - List your major skills, strengths, personal qualities and achievements. Be specific, e.g. good team player, excellent written skills, versatile, able to motivate others, etc. Look at your staff appraisals or at your references.
CV Writing Services
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) would be the first place to consider as it offers a course on how to prepare a CV. However, there are hundreds of CV services available to you ranging from CV Typing to Professional CV Writing Services. The cost for such a service can be anything between £20 and £200. It is important to bear in mind the background of the person who is going to advise you on your CV. As you will know the military is a very unique experience and you will have many transferable skills. Always remember, there is a wealth of free advice out there - so have a hunt around and be selective about what is relevant to you!
Web site: Career Transition Partnership
Alec.co.uk provides free tips on writing your CV / resume, finding a job, and handling interviews. This is funded by the offer of a paid professional CV writing service provided by Bradley CVs (who founded Alec.co.uk). They will compile and write a CV for you but remember they are from the world of business. However, there remains a lot of useful free advice available that is worth looking at.
Web site: Alec.co.uk
The CV Store
The CV Store is a UK based company offering professional CV writing services throughout the world combined with free job seeker tools, ranging from interview tips and application form help to free CV writing advice and much more!
Employers spend no more than around 30 seconds browsing CVs and in this time yours has to stand out from 100s of others and knowing what recruiters are looking for in a "good" CV is essential.
Web site: The CV Store
Top Tips from "Winning CVs"
Winning CVs is a company that specialises in writing CVs for you and will charge you accordingly. However, they do have some handy hints that are worth taking onboard. For more information click the link below:
Web site: Winning CVs