Tools to write a good CV
If a job is the gateway to financial independence, the resume is the key. Regardless of your qualifications, titles, degrees, you will most likely have to distribute your resume for a job. An unprofessional, hard to read, or too long CV could close the door before the adventure even begins.
So, what’s important to remember when writing your resume to ensure it doesn’t end up in the trash of potential employers?
The essential sections
There are certain sections that must be in a CV for it to be considered good.
In this section, it is important to put your full name, address, email address, phone number where you can be easily reached and your personal website (if you have one).
It is not recommended to post a photo of yourself in Quebec unless you are applying for an offer where it is relevant (model, actor, photo model, etc.).
Obviously, your Social Insurance Number is confidential and shouldn’t be on your resume.
In this section, you must disclose the different schools where you have attended training. You will indicate the name of the establishments, the certificate obtained and the date obtained. If you have not completed the training, you can indicate the number of credits obtained.
Other courses relevant to the offer you are applying to should be included. Be careful, if you apply for a job as an engineer, adding your cooking class risks damaging your CV more than the other way around.
If you have received scholarships, won competitions or even won distinctions, it may be interesting to include them in this section as well : for example, if you finished your studies with the mention “Honor”. Obviously, we are not talking about registering the certificate for good behavior that you received in third grade.
This section is one of the most important, and employers often look at it first. It should contain your previous or current jobs with the hire and end dates. You will find there the name of the companies, your titles and your functions.
It can be interesting to add accomplishments to it, while keeping in mind that it must be relevant and benefit you. You should also write them with action verbs: lead such project, complete such program on schedule, produce such documents.
Also, you should not hesitate to register your internships and volunteer experiences that you have had.
Additional skills or information
In this section goes all information relevant to your application and which may help your application. For example, you speak Spanish? You’ll add it in this section. You are a member of a professional order? It goes here too. You are a Photoshop expert? And so on.
Your interests illustrate your personality and some of your character traits. You can put in it whatever you like to do. Chess, reading, sports, photography, fishing, etc. Be honest with what you put there and try to show yourself in your best light.
CV quality: What to do?
You should always be sure to proofread your resume. You might find errors in the dates or spelling mistakes. If spelling isn’t your thing, don’t hesitate to ask a friend for help or hire a professional writing professional to correct the resume.
Be brief and make sure the information is clear. Employers read resumes very quickly. If the information is not immediately obvious, your resume will not be studied. Likewise, your resume should be two pages long. Beyond that number of pages, your document will probably not even be viewed.
Also, a common mistake is to send the same letter of recommendation and the same resume to employers. It is understandable that your experience remains the same no matter where you apply, but your motivations and relevant skills will inevitably differ. In addition, companies sometimes do business with human resources agencies to manage the hiring of staff. So seeing your identical letters and generic resumes, these agencies will see a lack of professionalism or authenticity.
Quantify your results. Numbers are concrete and often speak for themselves. Obviously, keep it honest : numbers are just as verifiable.
CV quality: What to avoid?
Too specific details about yourself should be forgotten. Thus, do not put your height, your weight, your religion or your political opinions for example. Also, as we wrote above, only post a photo if it is necessary for the job offer. Otherwise, avoid doing it.
Conversely, do not be too general when writing your responsibilities. Information should not be vague and should be unique to you.
Be professional in your writing. For example, don’t be humorous. You should retain the humor for the interview if it is appropriate, but in a CV, it should be avoided. Also, if you’ve been using the same email address you created jokingly in high school, it’s best to create a new one with just your name.
Finally, do not put your references in your CV. References are very important when it is time for your potential employer to contact your previous bosses, colleagues or teachers. But this information should not be in the CV. Give your references on request and, out of respect, ask the people who refer you for their consent before giving their information.