A CV is essential to finding a job. Your CV will allow employers to get an overview of your profile and key qualifications, and encourage employers to call you in for an interview.
Some employers receive hundreds of CVs each day, so it’s important that your CV reflect who you really are in an effective and positive way and set itself apart from the rest.
What to put in your CV
Ton curriculum doit comprendre :
- your name, address, phone number and e-mail address
- your career objectives
- your work experience (or achievements)
- your education
- any additional experience
- your interests and hobbies
The purpose of the CV
Your CV must:
- represent you
- be personalized
- create interest and hook in the reader
- be precise, concise and clear
- be attractive and well-spaced so information is easy to find
- contain action verbs (i.e., acted as, coordinated, created, initiated, resolved, etc.)
- state what you know how to do (work experience) and could learn to do (aptitudes)
- be no longer than two pages, three tops
- Have someone proofread your CV to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
- Include a five-line paragraph summarizing the qualities you have developed over the course of your previous jobs.
- Don’t bend the truth – it never pays!
- Rework your CV for each type of position you are applying for to make sure your qualities and skills match the qualities and skills sought by the employer. A targeted CV increases your chances of being called in for an interview.
Give complete information: your name, address, telephone number including the area code, and e-mail address.
Provide future employers with an e-mail address that won’t scare them off. Something like email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org, for example. Many sites offer free e-mail addresses, such as Hotmail and Yahoo. You can always open an account especially for your job search.
More and more recruiters process résumés using computers. It’s preferable to send yours by e-mail whenever you can.
In a few lines, explain what you really want to do, your professional interests. This will help your future employer identify the kind of work that interests you. You can also include a few skills that are appropriate for the job you want.
Indicate your years of schooling in descending order. This will make it easier for your future employer to see what academic level you’ve reached. Don’t list too much, though.
- If you’re in high school, include only your high school education.
- If you’re in CEGEP, indicate you’ve obtained your high school diploma and the collegial studies program and year you’re in.
- If your grades are high, it might be interesting to let your employer know it and even include your last transcript.
- You can also indicate any certifications you’ve received, such as First Aid or Lifeguard certifications.
In descending order, list the name of the company or employer, your position or title, dates of employment, a brief description of your tasks and the skills that were required or that you developed while in the position.
- If you get by in more than one language, indicate it here.
- If you’re involved in extra-curricular activities at school or in your neighbourhood, it would also be a good thing to mention it here.
- Are there any computer software applications you know particularly well? Do you have a driver’s license? Think of everything that would be appropriate to add here.
Interests and hobbies
Are you a budding photographer? A computer whiz? A star hockey player? Do you volunteer? Have you received an entrepreneurial award in your school’s Junior Achievement program?
Each of your interests and hobbies shows a different side of your personality as well as your skills. Being on a hockey team, for example, can help you to be perceived as someone who is good at working on a team.
List at least two people who are not family members and who can put in a good word for you, such as a former employer, a neighbour you helped out, a teacher who knows you well, etc.
On your reference sheet, indicate your name and address, the names and addresses of your references as well as a brief description of their relationship to you (i.e., French teacher, owner of the Dépanneur Moineau, etc.). Be sure to bring a copy of your references to the interview with you.
Your résumé should never include the following information:
- a photograph, your height and weight (unless you’re applying for a job as a model or actor)
- age or ethnicity
- marital status
- Social Insurance Number
- the reason you are no longer employed by any of your former employers
- salary or pay received for any prior employment
In other words, your résumé represents you.
Don’t forget that a recruiter has only a few minutes to spend reading it. It must be precise, concise and clear. Avoid ambiguity. It should be no longer than two pages. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Ask a teacher or one of your parents to read it; they’ll be able to give you advice. And if you can afford it, print it on nice paper. It will look even better.
Here is an example of a CV. Use your imagination while staying within professional boundaries. Don’t be too unconventional, though, unless you are applying for a job in the arts or in advertising, for example.