Preparing The Chronological CV

This is probably the most common type of CV. It would suit most purposes and can be easily adapted for most positions. There are some rules to follow when using this type of format and following are step by step instructions on how to construct a good chronological resume.

THE FIRST PAGE:

Begin by listing your personal profile, this includes name, address, telephone number, date of birth, languages spoken, memberships and personal interests. The information you include here is entirely optional. Some things like date of birth might be best left out if you might be a bit young or of a mature age. Memberships and personal interests should only be listed here if they are relevant to the position, otherwise they are better placed towards the end of the CV.

Next comes a personal statement, could either be a summary of your experience, or a career statement, either one should be written specifically for the position you are applying for and shouldn't be longer than two paragraphs. It needs to be a strong statement that will capture the reader's attention instantly. The rule here is write, re-write, then re-write again. As many times as necessary to ensure that it is short, sharp and to the point. Do not include any personal aspirations such as "hoping to climb Mount Everest one day". These are not relevant unless the position requires an experienced mountain climber.

SKILLS/EXPERIENCE:

Here is your chance to highlight your personal strengths. Go back to your list of "what makes me special" and use the 5-8 of the ones that would be considered valuable for this positions. Use strong words that highlight not only your strengths but in what nature.

For example:

Excellent communication skills and ability to build rapport easily with clients.
Demonstrated ability to lead and manage an effective team.

Making statements like "communication skills" or "leadership skills" is not good enough.
Read the job advertisement again, they tell you what they are looking for in the right person. It might be self-motivation, conflict resolution or even ability to work within tight deadlines. These are the qualities that the prospective employer is looking for in the successful candidate, ensure that you demonstrate these skills here as well as throughout the resume.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY:

This is where you will list your relevant experience for the position. Start with your current or most recent position and work backwards. State the term of employment, no need to have actual dates, years are sufficient (e.g. 1995-current), your job title and the name of the company.

Next list your key functions. It is important to be brief and mention only the key areas of responsibility. There is no need to mention that you attended meetings or that you answered telephones, some of these things are assumed as being part of your everyday duties. It should however highlight the main areas and levels of responsibility. Action words should be used to describe your position, words like: coordinate, manage, design, oversee.

With every position, mention any achievements that you had. Again you need to be brief, but be specific about your involvement and the results. This is where you get to demonstrate those skills that make you the best candidate for the position.

Continue in this manner until all your jobs are listed, forget any irrelevant positions that you might have held for short periods of time, if they are not important, don't bother mentioning them. Also remember that the further back in history you go, the less you need to mention. Your first jobs out of school should only need a short paragraph to describe them.

TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Here you should list your formal qualifications and any further training that you have done. Include any in-house training that might be relevant for the position that you are applying.

It might be useful to mention any further studies that you are contemplating, however ensure that you clearly state that you are planning to do them in the future.

The only information required here is the name and level of the course, the institution where the course was taken and the year it was completed. Do not list any studies that you did not complete, unless you are still undertaking them.

 

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Preparing a CV

Courtesy of Engineers - International