CV Services International
CV Structure: The following article was originally written in 1990© by the founder of CV Services International,
aimed at readers of a magazine titled 'Civil & Structural Weekly' - hence, use of headings pertinent to that particular industry.
Since that time the article has been reproduced in several other international publications and career supplements, yet much
of the content remains helpful to this day for all job seekers faced with the task of writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV), or Resume.
During many many years of Professional CV compilation for Clients of all disciplines, one startling fact has emerged above all
others; job seekers are generally unable to be totally objective about themselves. Apparently, it seems, the higher an applicant's
qualifications and career status, the less his ability to submit an adequate written summary of his, or her, skills and achievements.
Presentation is vital: Concise, precise, with just enough information to make a recruiter feel compelled to interview you, the
layout should ensure that any part of the information can be seen at a glance. If valuable time has to be spent actually reading
through your CV, then it is likely to become a rejection. To achieve success, all aspects of the project should be scrutinised.
Design and Detailing: Your CV should include: full name and contact details (telephone, e-mail address, home address).
Date of birth (NB essential in 1990, but not today), professional memberships, qualifications, universities, colleges and training
courses. Languages: include level of spoken / written ability. Career History: start with current or last job, dates of tenure,
job titles, locations, employers' names, duties and significant achievements. Availability : state period of notice required.
If you know which specific post you want to secure, you should aim to emphasise skills and experience of particular
relevance to that post. Try not to write more than 2 or 3 full pages. Avoid half-pages as these could suggest that you
have nothing more to convey and could minimise your chances of gaining an interview. Do not enclose pages and pages
of certificates and references - recruiters hate them. Never submit a hand written CV (today the norm is e-mail and the internet).
Initial Investigation and Groundwork: If you need help, how do you separate the cowboys from the professionals?
Ask of the CV companies what specific writing experience has been acquired in your particular field of expertise and
how long has the business been established? How long have debit and credit card facilities been available?
Be wary of 'samples' - your Curriculum Vitae should be individually tailored and in no way mass-produced.
Is confidentiality assured; i.e. is the business registered under the Data Protection Act?
Costing: Shop around. Find out exactly what you get for your money ! Will your details be stored on computer for
instant access, amendment and inexpensive update when required? If not, you are likely to be paying for a typing
service and you should check at the outset how much an update will cost in the future.
Planning and Programming: Don't delay the decision to prepare your CV until the moment you see an interesting
post advertised and then scramble to throw something together. Plan ahead. Even if you are even thinking about
a change of job - be prepared. If you instruct a CV Writer to compile your document, you should be provided with a
proof copy for your approval / amendment. At that stage you will have the opportunity to add something important
that you may have initially omitted in your rush to get the assignment started.
Quality Control & Finishing: Be factual and avoid using an abundance of superfluous words - pronouns such as
'I' and 'my' are totally unnecessary and only clutter the document. NEVER submit a badly typed CV. - no matter who
has prepared it. A professional CV should be perfectly produced - many are not. NEVER accept spelling mistakes,
or typing errors, from any CV Writer.
Administration: Never submit a long letter of application. Remember KISS - Keep it short & sweet.
Check that CV companies will provide free samples of job application letters to accompany your CV.
REMEMBER : a well-written, painstakingly compiled CV undoubtedly enhances your chances of success.
Whether you are writing your own CV, or commissioning a Professional Writer - don't be caught doing the
'setting-out' when someone else has already undertaken 'completion & handover' of this crucial project.
Article written by CV Services International and first published in 1990.