Guidelines for an Effective CV to Land Your Ideal Job

If you’re pursuing a career in academia or research, you know a curriculum vitae (CV) is a basic requirement to get consideration for a career position.

It’s also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants.

ID-10044310 ambroA CV contains more details than a resume, which is normally only one or two pages.

The trick is to develop an effective CV to influence decision-makers to give you the job you seek.

For optimal results, this article shows you what to include in your CV and how to write it.

If you’re a novice, it will also give you ideas for your career success.

It will be an omen on what you need to be focusing in the future to build your credentials.

While comprehensive with several tips, they basically comprise two basic recommendations in substance and style.

You need to know what to include in your CV and how to write it.

1. What to include:

Style and Format. Use a simple font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Don’t get too cute.

There are various ways to organize your CV, but consistency is important. The content in each section of your CV should be uniform with the others.

In describing your accomplishments in each position, the layout should resemble the others. Hold the readers’ interest by using bulleted lists wherever feasible.

Ethics and accuracy. Be sure of your facts. Check and re-check your grammar, tense, and spelling. Ask a knowledgeable person to proofread your CV with a critical eye and act as a devil’s advocate — to thoroughly scour each facet searching for errors.

Content information. Your name and contact information should be inserted at the top. In the U.S., do not include personal information such as your birth date and gender. It might be OK in some other countries.

Education. List the institutions you attended, the dates and degrees you earned.

Honors and Awards. Include any fellowships, scholarships, awards, and memberships.

Dissertation and thesis. Mention your dissertation title and thesis. Include a description and the name of your advisor.

Experience — Research. Specify your experience with full details. If your research was published, mention where.

Experience — Work. Include your work experience — academic and non-academic, if it’s applicable. Show the employer, position, dates, responsibilities and accomplishments.

Experience — Teaching. Specify your teaching positions. That includes the school and course, and any other germane information.

Relevant skills. Perhaps you have additional skills to include — for instance, administrative, computer or fluency in languages.

Presentations and publications. Mention what you’re currently doing. That would include anything you’ve contributed — written and co-written. List your presentations at conferences — the name of your paper, the conference name, date and location.

Professional association memberships. If you belong to a professional organization, indicate your affiliation and what you do.

Extracurricular and pro-bono activities. Mention your service and volunteer work. Include any other miscellaneous information that seems appropriate.

Professional references. Include at least three references. Specify the contact information for associates who agree to be a reference.

Now that you know what to include, it’s important to consider your self-marketing — how to write a CV to enhance your chances.

2. How to write it:

Emphasize the results of your work. Every decision-maker will subconsciously ask the “so what?” question or the acronym, “WIIFM — what’s in it for me.” Prospective employers aren’t interested in a mere job description in your CV and cover letter.

For example, when you mention an employment responsibility, explain the benefits — the strong results you delivered for your employer. Your results must be relevant to the position.

Remember the meaning of the acronym — STAR — for situation, task, action and result.

Use forceful verbs. You’ll have a more powerful CV, if you use forceful verbs. For instance, “identified and targeted new opportunities for growth in grants … which resulted in … “

Keywords. Many employers use screening software, which means you must anticipate and use the right keywords. If you’re not sure about the right keywords, check the ads for positions in your sector. Use the relevant keywords that seem most popular in your CV. Actually, be sure to use the same keywords in your LinkedIn profile and cover letters, too.

Note: This also means you might have to change your job titles to conform to the keyword screening used by recruiters and employers. Usually, this means your title might need to be simplified. That’s another reason to research keywords.

Be brief. Use an economy of words. Don’t be long-winded. If you have a tendency to be verbose, look for ways to be descriptive but concise. True, CVs are longer than resumes. Try to limit your CV to three or four pages.

If you’re a consultant, you’ve had a lot of projects and clients. Don’t list all the details for positions 10 years or more ago. List your work but simply include your title, employer’s name and date.

Be focused. Your CV should be tailored for each job you’re pursuing. Yes, customize your CV and cover letter to address the specific points in the advertisement. Be especially mindful of the job’s “required essential experience and skills.”

From the Coach’s Corner, related job-hunting strategies:

Career Advice — An Alternative to Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time.

5 Tips to Shine in Your Online Job Application — To sail through the human resources filtering system, here are five online-application tips: 1. Put social media to work for you. Make certain your social media – Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are current, professional and show maturity. Be careful what you publish – always keep in mind your career goals.

Increase Your Job Chances if You Have to Interview on the Phone — Face time, of course, is best if you’re interviewing for a job. However, headhunters and many companies schedule introductory telephone interviews. Pat yourself on the back. Even if it’s not an in-person meeting, a telephone interview is a good omen. The employer already thinks enough of you to schedule a discussion.

Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Here are proven tips to be hired for your dream job.

Multiple Job Offers? Ask the Right Questions to Win in Your Career  — Suddenly, you’ve got choices — several companies have said “We want to hire you.” Now, what do you do? Here are five strategies for career success.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

-Arthur Ashe


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos. net

8 Tips for Moms Who Want to be Entrepreneurs from Home

So, you have a job and would like to fire your boss to work at home. Let me caution you. Starting a business at home might be the biggest challenge of your life.

Starting a home-based business has risks. It can sap your energy and time. Even if you have sources of other income, you stand to lose a lot of sleep and comfort. There are precautions to take in starting a new business before you quit your job.

For many, a business for mom entrepreneurs is a great idea.

Woman With A Thought BubbleBenefits

The good news is that it can be very rewarding. A good business will insure you’ll be in charge of your time. You’ll have flexibility and only a 15-second commute. You’ll be able to make your own decisions.

You’ll save money on an office rental. Play your cards right and you’ll have a tax deduction for your home office. And once you’re successful, you’ll feel gratified and will have earned more money for your family, hobbies and dreams.

But you need more than passion.

In launching your dream, here are ways to minimize risks:

1. See to it that you have the right underpinnings. Do your homework. Make certain you have enough income so that in starting a home business you don’t embark with unnecessary fear.

Save some money and start networking. Analyze what you’d like to do for fun in your own business.

Remember balancing work and family can be difficult. Take baby steps. It will take some time before you’re established enough to pay for your daily expenses.

Ideally, before you launch full time, you’ll need to enough money in your bank or credit union to cover your business and personal expenses for a year.

2. Make certain you understand basic accounting and cash flow. Use financial software for recordkeeping. Be sure to be mindful to increase your startup’s cash flow.

3. Set aside an adequate work space.starter. Structure your daytime hours for actually working.

Work smarter, not harder. Educate your family about what you’re undertaking to minimize interruptions.

If you make some money, for IRS purposes, you can take a deduction. But make sure you comply with IRS regulations.

4. Get a mentor for personalized help. Hopefully, you know a woman who has want you want – successful business and family life. If not, volunteer in a charitable organization to meet new people. Ask your clergy for ideas.

Read the “people promotions” page in your local newspaper to get ideas. When you spot someone, be bold and ask the lady for an appointment. Explain you’d like her opinions. Don’t be afraid. Fear is also why women receive less angel funding than men.

A great mentor will answer your questions and guide you through the maze of unforeseen problems. There are many – slow sales, fickle customers, unreliable vendors and an uncertain economy. To prepare for a financial roller coaster, don’t let sales drop and don’t let costs cut into your profits.

5. Plan for the worst – hope and work for the best. Think about the image you want to portray that will lead to a good income. For the ultimate respect, remember that size doesn’t matter but image and professionalism count.

6. Focus daily on sales and marketing. You’ll never know when you run into a prospect so know what to say when you’ll come face-to-face with sales opportunities so develop and rehearse a great elevator pitch, and become proficient in making sales.

Get some positive public relations. Leverage the news media.

Like the old adage says, “cash is king,” or in your case, a queen. So, when there’s no cash, organically grow your business. Develop policies and procedures for preparation on how to deal with obstacles to success.

Have a strong Internet presence. The key to Internet dominance is to think integration. If you like to write, good. Good communication skills are important. If you want to implement content marketing or blogging, great.

7. Make customer retention a priority. Good repeat customers can keep your business afloat. So focus on how to keep your customers happy.

8. Have an exit strategy. Some startups are so successful, they decide to grow by franchising.

However, many don’t.

Many attract buyers. Others decide they don’t want a life as a mom entrepreneur. Whatever the reason, you should always have an exit strategy.

Meantime, never stop growing and learning to stay ahead of your competition.

Good luck! Share your success with others. Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more entrepreneurial tips I gave The New York Times in two interviews:

“To any entrepreneur: If you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.”

-Catherine Cook


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.