Resumes And CVs
Resumes And CVs
Debra Davenport (Executive Professional Mentor, Licensed Career Counselor & Employment Agent) gives expert video advice on: What are the most common resume mistakes?; How do I structure my resume if I've had several jobs? and more...
What is a "Curriculum Vitae" or "CV"?
A curriculum vitae is typically used in the academic realm. Professors, most often, will put together what's called a curriculum vitae. It's a detailed history of education, work experience, publications, usually scholarly publications, and scholarly presentations. It's a much more comprehensive version of a resume, and not something that is necessarily used in the corporate or executive world, but primarily in the academic and scholarly world. THIS IS NOT REALLY TRUE
What is a "resume"?
Your resume is your brochure. It is your marketing piece. A good resume is going to cover a lot of different things that you might not think should be on your resume. For example, foreign language skills, computer skills, civic experience and volunteer experience or continuing education but not just your professional background. A good resume will highlight the quantifiable things you have done in each of your jobs, and by 'quantifiable' I mean how much money were you able to save the company, how much money were you able to make the company. That can be translated all the way down to, 'I streamlined our office filing system which increased productivity in my department by 33 percent.' Okay, that's a great, great bullet point to have on your resume. And so if you think about your resume as a sales tool, it has to sell you, it has to market you, it has to be strategic, and it really has to tell your story. Don't be afraid about spilling over two pages if you need to in order to provide your complete background to a potential employer.
Does everyone need a resume?
Regarding resumes and CV's, everyone absolutely needs a resume because you never know when an opportunity is going to present itself or if someone is going to need to know about your professional and educational background. Your resume is that key component of your career that you can use any time, any place and anywhere. So by all means, spend the time. If you have to spend some money to get a good resume put together, by all means do that. Make sure you have a resume and make sure that your resume is always updated and ready to go in a moment's notice.
What information do I need to include in a basic resume?
On your resume--in addition to your name, address, telephone number and email address--you want to have a clear-cut objective, a summary of your work experience, your professional work history, education, civic and volunteerism experience, foreign language skills, continuing education, educational background, a lot of different things that go on a good, basic resume.The other thing that's very important to include on your resume are testimonials. Testimonials are those one-paragraph references that you can get from previous employers and heavy-hitter people that you know in your circle who provide these for you and you put those on the last page of your resume. That helps the employer to not even have to ask you for references because they're already there.
What are the most common resume mistakes?
There are three major mistakes that I see frequently. Number one: typos, grammatical errors, punctuation, spelling - those are an absolute no-nos. Resumes that are generic. One-size-fits-all resumes are also typically tossed in the trash can because they aren't specific enough to a particular career, industry, or job. Third, resumes that are too wordy. Definitely you want to make sure that everything that you put on your resume is concise and to the point.
What are the top resume tips?
Great resume tips - make sure you write these down. Memorize them when you go to write your resume. You need to have a clear-cut objective; tell the prospective employer what type of position you're looking for - if it's marketing manager, vice president of whatever, administrative assistant, be clear and up-front. Try to make sure your objective is in line with the position you are applying for. Provide a good summary paragraph of who you are, what you're all about, and list some areas of expertise or specials skill, so if you happen to be a great writer, a great communicator, or a great problem solver, let the employer know that you have these skills and that you bring those things to the table. Also, make sure that you bullet point specific accomplishments under each position you have held, so that they know that you didn't just have these certain responsibilities, but that you also were able to accomplish a lot of different things in each position.
What is an "objective statement" on a resume?
With regards to resumes and CV's, the objective statement on your resume should be nothing more than the title of the position for which you're applying. For example, Vice President of Marketing, Human Resources Manager, Clerical support, Public relations coordinator. Keep the objective statement short and sweet and make sure your keywords match the keywords that they're looking for in their job posting. Particularly, if you're applying online that becomes even more important where they're scanning your electronic resume for those particular keywords.