Time to talk CV. Now I have done some job recruitment, interviewing and auditioning in the past and the most important piece of advice I can give you is to READ THE JOB ADVERTISEMENT.
I cannot tell you just how many CVs and Cover Letters were forwarded my way that were generic and seemed to have no real perception of what job they were actually applying for. I also can’t count how many interviews I’ve scored on the basis of “you seem like one of the few people who actually read the advert.” These days it’s so easy to hop online and just apply for 20 jobs in one go and feel satisfied that you’ve accomplished something for the day. DON’T! employers can pinpoint it straight away and you’re only reducing your application to interview ratio.
Tailor your CV according to each job you apply for. I always have a generic version of my resume saved. One that lists ALL of my achievements, certificates, degrees and work experience. Then I trim that version down to a 1 page CV according to each job advertisement I run into. Look for all the adjectives and skills listed in the advert and make sure those are all addressed in you tailored CV. If the job calls for “attention to detail”, pick out the jobs you worked in that involved that and write bullet points underneath of your duties, emphasizing the “attention to detail” aspect. If you can’t fit it all into 2 pages, shorten your phrases so they’re more concise, make sure there isn’t anything irrelevant that you can delete, or just reformat everything to fit better. Remember, your CV is a list of evidence of your abilities.
Don’t have any official “work experience”? List anything you’ve done that might be valid; volunteer work, courses, projects, hobbies, ANYTHING. You might think it seems irrelevant, but your resume is just about proving that you’ve put into practice the skills your prospective employers are looking for. However that practice may have come about.
Sometimes Universities have counseling services that will give you tips and advice as well. Most of them provide it without requiring you to present student I.D, so you can sneak in and pretend to be a student if you need to. If that’s not an option, it may also be worthpaying for an online consultation. There are countless online resources that offer agents who will personally look over your information and give you pointers. In both of these instances, just make sure you have one or two specific jobs in mind that you are applying for. That will help your advisers narrow down their points, and will give you a better idea of how to tailor your CV in future.
Use the Linkedin guidelines if you have an account, or simply list all of your work and skilled experience along with your qualifications and contact information. There is no “perfect template” for a resume, what’s important is that the style and information are the best possible reflection of yourself. This might all seem daunting and a bit too vague for you, but it’s important just to start writing and playing around with different formats, even researching different possible templates. Eventually you’ll find one that best suits you, and that seems to get you the most responses, but you’ll never learn unless you start practicing.