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12-01-2013, 11:38 PM
What exactly is a 'Curriculum Vitae'?

'Curriculum vitae' is a Latin term and translates as 'the course of one's life'. The simplest dictionary definition says that a curriculum vitae is 'a summary of your academic and work history'. Well, that's basically true, but I see a curriculum vitae (commonly abbreviated, of course, to CV) as more of a personal sales brochure, one which should be very carefully written and presented to ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting the job you want - to showcase your talent.

It is not an autobiography. Simply writing down a list of everything you have done and everything you know will not guarantee you an interview - in fact it will just bore the socks off the recruiter and undoubtedly count against you.

You should never lose sight of the fact that the primary aim of your CV is purely and simply to win you an interview.

What are the advantages of a properly presented and well-written CV?

It is vitally important to see matters from the recruiters' or prospective employers' perspective. They're often faced with a pile of many hundreds of CVs to review - for just one vacancy. Almost a third of recruiters' admit to only reading a CV for a minute before deciding whether to interview the candidate. In fact, many admit to spending even less time! Twenty to 30 seconds is quite common.

They simply do not have the time to read them all in any depth. They're much more interested in getting out of the office and getting to the pub! In their initial sift, they will very likely be looking for reasons to discard your application, not for reasons to retain it. So how do you make your CV stand out? How do you maximise your chances of being among the ten or so candidates they decide to invite for interview?

My expertise in creating a truly professional CV is based on careful research into what recruiters really want from job applicants. This enables me to determine exactly what to put in, exactly what to leave out, and what kind of a 'spin' to put on a CV, to ensure that it will stand right out from the competition. Getting it right is the difference between getting your foot in the door for an interview, or ending up in the 'no thank you' pile - also known as the bin.

You need to help the recruiters as much as possible, since they see sifting through CVs as a chore and want it to be over as quickly as possible (remember, there's that pint waiting for them down the road!). They do not know you and they don't know what you're capable of - this is where you have to sell yourself.

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