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The Resumé Fable

03 November 2014

Saying that a CV (resumé) is a structured list of your knowledge and experience is, in essence, correct. But after seeing so many CV's, I’ve found that there’s more to it. Believing that a resumé is merely an overview of knowledge and skills often leads to two false conclusions:

  1. Once I’ve managed to create a decent CV, I will only have to edit it after gaining new knowledge or experience.
  2. A CV is only about superficial facts. A letter of application adds to my selfpresentation, but a CV doesn’t.

Your CV should always be tailored to the job you apply for. And, when its well written, it reveals who you are as a person. The paragraphs below clarify why both of these things are important. Use it to get within reach of your dream job.

Write your CV based on a job vacancy

Every application is different. By leaving out information, reformulating and smart structuring, you let readers focus on the most important elements in your CV. Readers will find it easier to realize that you’re the one person that is needed for the job.

The CV's I’ve read left me with multiple examples. For instance, in some cases it might be wise to put your experience above your education. After doing so, it will get more attention. Furthermore, you might consider to rewrite the details that clarify your tasks for a specific job. Or you might just decide to mention that one course, because it suits the job that you’d like to apply for. Keep in mind that the most important information in your CV should be at the first page of your CV, preferably at the top. Use that scarce space wisely.

Use your CV to reveal that you’re awesome

Who you are surpasses your education and experience. You are passionate and motivated. You have the personality that matches the team of the organization or business you’re applying at. A strong CV does not only offer information about your skills and knowledge, but it also reveals that your personality fits that business or organization.

Some elements in your CV can be used to evoke positive thoughts about who you are. For instance, if you’re passionate about mountaineering, than decide to mention that. Because it shows that your persistant. Likewise, it might be interesting to mention the voluntary work that you did. After all, many people say that they enjoy helping people, but often they don’t have the proof that makes it credible. And sometimes, the details matter most. Recently, I had a discussion with a student about the details provided about the experience of organizing an event. In some cases, it’s smart to mention the budget you were allowed to work with, but for other applications you may not want to come across as someone who cares about money. You could mention the amount of people that visited the event.

In the end, you are the only one that is in the position to make smart decisions about the changes that should or should not be made in your CV. After all, you know your field of work better than we do. That being said, we are quite amazing at thinking along with the students we help. Feel free to visit us. See you at NEXT!

Last modified:29 November 2019 4.28 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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