How to write a Curriculum Vitae
Pay attention to the fact that your curriculum is like a business card to the recruitment process. The chances of being called to an interview depend on if the recruiter had a good impression about you and if he liked what he had read when he saw the curriculum. When writing your curriculum remember that:
- Don't send your standard curriculum, first adapt it by highlighting the experiences and skills that are more pertinent to the job;
- Don't exceed more than two pages;
- Avoid misspellings and grammatical mistakes;
- Don't write about personal characteristics like: I'm dynamic, I learn fast or I have a good interpersonal relationship. Those must be saved for a future interview;
- Don't tiptoe whenever you're writing, go straight to the point;
- Don't lie, be honest and consistent.
- Personal data – name, address, telephone and/or mobile phone, email, date of birth, nationality.
- Professional experience – began by indicate from the latter experience to the older one. Indicate the date and the position held, the name of the company and the main activities and responsibilities.
- Education and Training – start by indicating from the latter to the older. Indicate the dates, the qualification given and the name of the Education or training entity.
- Personal skills:
- Mother tongue and other foreign languages - indicate your knowledge level;
- Communication skills – specify in what context they were acquired;
- Organisational skills - specify in what context they were acquired;
- Computer skills - specify in what context they were acquired;
- Other skills - mention only the skills that are pertinent to the application;
- Driving licence - indicate the driving licence categories.
- Additional information - indicate pertinent publications, presentations, projects, conferences, seminars, awards and distinctions, associations, references, etc.;
- Attachments - do a list of the attached documents and attach only the ones that are important to the application, don't send large documents.
How to respond to a job advertisement
Before answering any ad, analyse every aspect of the offer and get sure it fits your profile.
Have a standard curriculum, adapting it to each offer, highlighting the experience demanded by the requirements. If you have access to the name of the recruiting company do a research about the company and adapt your curriculum to its values.
The curriculum should include a cover letter. The letter should be formal, appealing and succinct. Beware of spelling mistakes and sentence structures, use A4 blank paper, never exceed more than one page and sign at the end.
Here are some tips that you must follow to ensure a good cover letter:
- Letterhead – it should include the name and position of the person to whom it concerns or simply the name of the company.
- Subject – Identify the name of the newspaper/site, the date of publication and the ad reference number.
- Began by introducing yourself and explaining the purpose of the letter. Show originality and enthusiasm;
- Explain the reasons that led you to apply to the offer, as well as the interest in working for the company;
- Talk about your skills and experiences and mention their importance to perform the work with success;
- End by showing availability for an interview or to provide any more information’s. Mention that you are sending your curriculum vitae in attachment;
- Sign off cordially. Insert the date and sign.
How to prepare for an interview
Do a research about the company trying to know its background, policies, sphere of influence and information’s concerning their products and/or services. Visit the website and the social networks of the company. To be informed will demonstrate your interest and will increase your chances of getting to the next phase.
Generally, an interview starts always with some small talk to help the candidate feeling more comfortable. Be prepared to talk about the company and the daily news. Avoid talks about sex, politics and religion.
Be prepared to answer the most frequent questions of an interview. If you're comfortable with the answers it will avoid nervousness and will show confidence to the interviewer. Here are some examples of questions that are usually asked:
- Talk a little about yourself – answer without telling stories, be objective. Summarise the professional aspects and your educational background. Refer some personal details only if you've been asked.
- Talk about your dream job – give a simple and standard answer like saying that you want a “good working environment”, that you cherish their “corporate culture of excellence”.
- Why did you leave your last job/why do you want to leave your current job – give a positive answer, saying that you are “looking for new professional challenges”. Never criticise or say something bad about your last company.
- What are your weaknesses and strengths – when talking about your weaknesses try not to damage your image. Try to dress up some of your strong points into the weak points. For example, say that you are “too perfectionist”, “too demanding”. Justify and show that you are working to improve.
- Prepare a list of your strong points and give examples.
- What led you to apply for this position – seize this chance to talk about the company's activity and about how you identify yourself with the way it is positioned in the market.
- Why should we choose you – focus on your own capabilities and show that your profile is the most suitable for the job and that you will bring benefits to the company.
- Do you like working in a team – answer yes and give examples of moments where you have succeeded as a leader or as a member of a team.
- Can you handle pressure and defined deadlines – never say never, instead of that show that you can work with deadlines and give examples of previous experiences.
- If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for – give a coherent answer based on the description of the position and on your own attributes and skills.
- Do you have any questions – make a list of questions and ask the ones that are pertinent and have not yet been addressed at the end of the interview.
Prepare a file with copies of your curriculum vitae and certifications that might be pertinent to the position. If you have portfolio take it with you and don't forget your pen.
How to proceed on the day of the interview
It has been proven that the interviewer forms 90% of his opinion about the candidate one and a half minutes after being with the interviewee. That impression is given by his looks and behavior. Pay attention to your appearance (clean hair, manicured nails, soft makeup, shaved) use conservative clothes (for example skirt and coat for the women and suit for the men) and clean, appropriate shoes.
Arrive on time for the interview, preferably 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Regardless of your excuse being late gives always a bad impression about you. But when bad luck happens try to call the company and say that you will arrive late. Try to schedule another hour, justify yourself but be straight and concise.
Be gentle and kind to everyone with whom you contact in the company.
When received by the interviewer, if you are sitting down, stand up and wait for the interviewer to greets you. If you are sent to the room where you are expected wait for the greeting and only enter after being invited. The handshake should be sincere, not too tight or too loose. Wait for the invitation to sit down and assume a correct posture. Look intently at the interviewer. Show maturity and confidence.
Pay attention to the questions that are asked and answer with clarity and sureness. Ask for clarification whenever the questions are unclear. When asked to talk about yourself be simple and straight. Talk about your educational and professional path as well as other things relevant to the position that you're applying for. Show interest and enthusiasm. Don't lie to the interviewer.
You may conceal some information’s but avoid lying.
Never complaint or talk down about your current or latter job.