How to write a good CV: some tips from our Career Development Service #Working4NGOs

Through the #Working4NGOs section we have been sharing some of the knowledge and experience of Social Change School’s Career Development with our readers.
This time, Tirso PuigHead of Social Change School’s Career Development Service, gives some tips and advices about a fundamental step of our School’s Career Development path: the Curriculum Vitae.

The first thing you want to make sure of, is that your CV is EFFECTIVE. To ensure it really is effective, your CV needs to be:

  1. CLEAR; the information should be presented in a logical order. Everything should be easy to read and to identify so that recruiters will find what they are looking for effortlessly.
  2. AUTHENTIC; one of the biggest DO NOTs for a CV: don’t make up information! Be sincere.
  3. SYNTHETIC; make recruiters’ lives easier and be concise: not more than 2 pages.
  4. COMPLETE; include all essential information.
  5. APPROPRIATE; use the relevant aid sector vocabulary to come across as somebody who knows what they are talking about.
  6. FINDABLE; send your CV in PDF and save it with a name that makes it easier for the HR responsible to recognize it (for example, Mario_Rossi_CV_30112018).

If you have followed these very important directives correctly, you will now have a clear, easy-to-read and appropriate CV that will already meet many of the standards of a recruiter.

You just want to ask yourself a couple questions to check if everything is in line:

  • Is the CV clear? Is the vocabulary direct and appropriate?
  • Did you use a consistent layout?
  • Are there any grammar and spelling mistakes?
  • Is it too long?
  • Are there any unnecessary information (like minor working experiences)?

Here is one last advice from Tirso Puig: “When writing a CV, you absolutely need to realize how important it is. Do not think of a CV simply as an orderly list of your professional, educational or volunteering experiences. CVs are meant to be built in a logical way. It is the first tool for your career development and it’s extremely strategic. You need to create your CV based on the organization you want to work for; of course, your experiences stay the same, but what changes is the way you present and highlight them. Your previous experiences do not change, but you should be able to highlight different main activities in order to present to the recruiter an interesting profile for each single vacancy.

Thinking of the Curriculum as something irrelevant is a major mistake and it won’t help you improve your employability. Of course, your employability depends on many things, like your experience, education, training, strengths and weaknesses, hard and soft skills, but it also depends on the work you have done to properly present your profile to the recruiter.

So, try to apply our tips to create a basic version of a CV that you will be able to slightly change depending on the job you are applying for”.

Don’t miss our previous articles #Working4NGOs: what’s the right attitude?” and “Job interview: 8 ways to make a good impression” to make it in the Nonprofit world.

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