The Ultimate CV Versus the Perfect CV

I’m going to tell you how to write a Resume or CV. You will have noticed that I didn’t say I’m going to tell you “HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT CV” because you must have seen that statement how many times?

It seems that everywhere you look someone is telling you how to write a perfect Resume or the perfect CV.

But have you got a perfect CV? No I didn’t think so.

Why do you think it is?

Because (a) there is no such thing and (b) even if there was you still wouldn’t have one because all the experts’ books only ever tell you how but not exactly what you need to do.

In over 25 years as Managing Director of 3 different Recruitment Consultancies and in my time as a Career Coach and Author I have never heard any of my Consultants say “Wow! just look at this perfect CV”. It doesn’t happen.

So let’s get rid of all this clap-trap about perfect CVs. What you need is one that is fit-for-purpose; in other words one that does the job it needs to do in the best possible way. For you.

What job does it need to do?

Well it needs to do the only job it can do, which is to introduce the concept of you to a reader; ideally create an impression with some interest and action, then remain as a record of your being in contact.

In my view you need a CV that is strong on design, construction and content. Your CV must look good, be easy to read and contain only enough RELEVANT detail to convince the reader that you should be called for interview – because they want to know more. So I will show you how to write a resume or CV that really works for you.

I prefer to call this the “ULTIMATE CV”

The “Ultimate CV” is one that is strong on design, construction and content; the “Ultimate CV” looks good, is easy to read and contains only relevant detail which convinces the reader to call you for interview. This is what I call “The Ultimate CV”.

To create your own “Ultimate CV” which aims to introduce and create an impression of you so that the reader reacts with interest, you must keep it simple. First of all make sure your name (as you are known) plus all of your contact details are at the top of the first page. Don’t bother with the Curriculum Vitae label; it doesn’t need it. It is what it is. Don’t bother with lots of color or dividers; too much and they spoil the whole effect.

Next a short factual statement of what level you work at coupled with an indication of the sector(s) you are experienced in and some key skill descriptors in all amounting to no more than four lines should set the tone of the reader’s expectations. Do it this way rather than an opinion-based or 1st person statement of your profile.

What follows is a reverse chronological (most recent first) list comprising your employer’s names with dates and job titles. Within each employment give a statement of purpose – in other words the reason you are employed – then show with bullet points how you fulfilled that purpose. If your bullet points start with an active verb and are quantified, the reader gets a powerful impression of someone who has done something. Therefore can probably do it again.

Repeat this going back through your employments, with less detail the further back you go.

Then add your qualifications or educational attainments, but only the significant ones plus any relevant memberships. You can use designatory letters (such as C.Eng) against your name on the first page if they are relevant to your job application.

Finally you may add your personal details – age, d.o.b., marital status, health, mobility but do not add interests and hobbies; do not add referees names.

Want to know more? What I’m not going to do is offer you just the same old collection of How to Write a Resume or CV Tips – what I will do is to show you exactly what you need to do and how YOU need to do it. I’ll show you what it should look like – with actual screenshots – and give you lots of brilliant ideas for content. All you have to do is read my ebook “The Ultimate CV”.

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