How to prepare an effective CV
CV should be treated as a marketing material sent to potential "customers" - the better you "sell" your qualifications in it, the greater the chance of an invitation to the subsequent stages of recruitment process. Writing a good CV is one of the most important steps in life, so be sure to approach this in a thoughtful and focused way in order to achieve the objective.
Think for a while:
- what you would like to tell your prospective employer about yourself,
- what way you stand out from other applicants,
- what way your strengths are useful at work you are applying for,
- what the company that will receive your resume relates to.
While writing your CV it is necessary you look both at a content and a form. Even if you boost with several years of experience in office work and thorough knowledge of office applications, but your CV is badly written, with spelling mistakes and poorly formatted, you will not get the employer's trust.
Remember, while writing a CV you have to provide information in accordance with the truth, as there is possibility of verifying what you wrote at the subsequent stages of recruitment.
You can find many ready-made designs of a "perfect CV" – they are presented in various books, special supplements in newspapers and websites, but, frankly speaking, there is no universal pattern. Any person who writes CV should work out such a form that will suit best to her qualifications, will help to stress her strengths and will be clear to a potential employer. There are a few rules to be followed strictly.
Pay attention that your CV is:
- ordered and transparent - adequate sequence of information, details of the most important of them, use of clear and understandable vocabulary,
- clean - thoroughly formatted document (selected font, page and text layout), removal of any spelling, grammar or typos, white A4 paper, with no stains or creases, high quality print,
- concise - all information shall be bulleted, served with sentence equivalents, without unnecessary words and ornaments of language, ideally located on one side of A4 (large experience justifies more number of pages, but even then it should not exceed 2-3, a detailed description of the professional achievements may be enclosed as a separate document)
- in compliance with the company, that will receive your CV, profile (the safest way is to use a classic pattern, but some companies, such as information technology or advertising companies simply prefer a non-standard methods of presentation). If you attach a photo to your CV, it should be an official photograph (in a suit or a costume) of legitimizing format. It is recommended that the photograph is scanned and it is a regular part of your CV, but when sending your CV in an electronic form remember that the whole document shall not have too much volume. The application documents are usually sent in Polish. There are however situations in which documents must be sent both in Polish and foreign language, and even, for example, at the special request of the employer or in response to the announcement, only in a foreign language.
The content of your CV has to be closely associated with the offer of work you are applying for. The amount of information contained in your CV should be large enough so that the employer was convinced that you're the right person for the offered position, and at the same time so limited as not to exceed the volume of one A4 page and not to bore the reader with immaterial facts. Some information can be expanded in a covering letter or may be discussed face to face during an interview.
Advice of Adecco Experts - Interview
How to prepare for a job interview:
- in the process of setting the date and place of the meeting you should determine: who will conduct an interview, what is the person’s position in the company, how much time it will take, whether it is appropriate to prepare or not,
- try to get as much information about the company where you go to a meeting (this knowledge will help you to convince the caller that your qualifications meet the requirements of the company), as well as prepare your own questions (to assess whether the proposed position corresponds to your expectations),
- consider all possible answers to different (more or less standard) questions that may be asked during the interview, prepare documents for your qualifications (CV, diplomas, employment certificates, references etc.) – it is worth taking them with you to the meeting, even if you are not specifically asked to do so,
- make sure that you are able to prove all this you wrote about in your application documents - if necessary, for example, refresh a foreign language or operation of a computer program,
- take care of your image by choosing appropriate clothes - if you do not know the dress code of the company, just put on a classic suit or a suit in neutral colours, white or blue shirt, choose appropriate accessories and footwear, do not overdo it with accessories, jewellery, hair, makeup, perfume quantity etc., remember that your appearance shows respect for the person you are meeting – it must be neat and adapted to the situation.
Immediately before the interview:
- take care of the timely arrival at a place of the meeting, be several minutes before the time (however much earlier appearance may be seen as bad as being late),
- find a moment to take some rest, wash your hands, check your appearance in front of a mirror, take care of fresh breath,
- be kind to all persons with whom you have a contact in the company,
- turn off or mute your cell phone.
During the interview focus on the interviewer’s questions. He/She is the host of the meeting - greets you, shows the place where you sit down, decide on the plan and order of the questions to be asked. Frequently, in the first part of the conversation, interviewer asks questions and your role is only to respond to them. At this stage the best is to ask questions only when asked to do so, or when something is unclear to you. During an interview you can be asked very different questions, both directly related to the required qualifications, as well as other, mostly to help to assess the candidate's personality.
While discussing difficult issues (mobility, flexibility, financial expectations) be flexible and negotiation - oriented, rule over emotions, emphasize the desire to find a mutual satisfactory solution. Replies should always be thoughtful, truthful (possible to prove) and consistent (should be granted in such a way as to demonstrate that your qualifications match the requirements of a vacant position), concise, factual. Make sure that the interviewer understood your speech, avoid slang, jargon, obscure abbreviations of thoughts for people outside of your environment.
Remember about an appropriate presentation to the interviewer.
The form is important as well as the content. You always have only one chance to make a good first impression. During the meeting, you absolutely have to remember to maintain an appropriate manner and attitude. Regardless of nervousness (normal in this situation) you should control your behaviour and attitude. It is important to convince the interviewer that with your qualifications you can be a valuable employee at this position. Such an attitude is even better than complaining about unemployment and hard situation on a labor market or attempt to arouse a pity. During the interview show some positive attitude, moderate confidence (without arrogance), and control your gestures and facial expressions (so-called body language). Behave in a free way, but according to generally accepted standards of behaviour, be friendly and polite, keep an eye contact with the interviewer, listen actively, be sure to smile.
End of the meeting. It is rare to get a job on the meeting, therefore, remember to determine when and how to get feedback on the decision of the interviewer. Remember to thank for the invitation to the interview and express hope for another meeting. After the meeting, analyze its course, think about what took place successfully, and what you want to change, what questions you found difficult. Think about how you should behave in a similar situation on the future meetings. Regardless of the outcome of the meeting treat it as another experience which makes you closer to receive a satisfactory offer of employment.