CV/Resume Preparation – Basic Guidelines
As a contract or permanent employee your CV/Resume sells you to your potential employer. So, you should take extreme care in preparing a CV/Resume that will be a professional presentation of your qualifications.
There are many acceptable CV formats and methods of preparation. This article offers just a few of the basic guidelines for preparing a CV.
Layout and Appearance…
Professional typesetting equipment produces the best presentation of your CV if you intend to send it to a potential employer by post. You can also use your own computer with some type of word processing software. The quality of this method depends greatly upon the kind of printer you use with your computer. The quality of a CV which you type on your computer and produce on a laser printer should be excellent. It will be almost as good as one that is typeset by a professional and reproduced at a nearby printer. Be aware that the typed copy on your laser-printed CV can “crack” along the crease if you fold it. If that happens to your laser-printed CV, mail them to firms in an A4 sized envelope.
A third, and often less desirable method, is to use a typewriter. If you do use a typewriter, make sure that it is in good condition. Be sure to use a new ribbon.
When uploading your CV to Oilandgasjobsearch make sure you have printed out a copy to check the layout of the text and the overall appearance of the document. Should a potential employer choose to print out your CV you are at the mercy of whatever type of printer they use. However you can ensure that the layout is clear and free of mistakes before you send it. Oilandgasjobsearch requires that your CV is in Microsoft Word format.
Helpful hints . . .
- Include only necessary personal information.
- Note “Under contract to” for any contract assignments you may have had.
- Include total number of years experience.
- Give security status, if any. If your security clearance has expired, include the date of expiration.
- Write job descriptions in easy-to-understand terms, and as completely as space allows. Include your name and page number on each page of a multiple page CV (except no number on first page).
- If you want to use a better quality paper, consider a bond paper with a rag content (available from most printers or paper supply stores). Rag bond should not be used if you are printing copies of your CV on a photo copier, as the letters may break up in the folds.
- If you are sending your CV to potential employers electronically, e-mail it to a friend first to check that the layout remains as you intended it.
Don’t ramble …..tips to help you shorten a lengthy CV
- Eliminate all extra spaces between lines (except between job assignments).
- Use narrower margins.
- Keep job descriptions to 3-5 sentences (less for older positions).
- If your “length” problem is due to an extensive number of job assignments, leave the oldest positions off and type the following at the bottom of the last page of your CV: “Experience from (date) to (date) available upon request.” Then prepare a “complete” CV to furnish only to firms asking for it.
- Use A4 paper.
- Make your CV as legible as possible.
- Include both a permanent contact and present address, phone number and e-mail address. You may be contacted through a permanent address or phone, even after you have moved from your present address.
- Include your job discipline(s)…near your name at the top of page one of your CV and as a title to each assignment.
- Include a summary paragraph near the top of your CV. Be brief but be complete.
- Include pertinent education and/or training.
- List jobs in reverse chronological order.
- Don’t include personal references or hobbies.
- Don’t include your National Insurance or social security number.
- Don’t use a “Job Objective.” A “Job Objective” tells the firms what you want from them whereas a “Summary” tells what you can do for them.
- Don’t exaggerate your experience.
- Don’t offer explanations for leaving prior employers.
- Don’t use your photograph.
- Don’t use abbreviations (except those that are acceptable in the engineering/technical fields, such as IBM, CAD, E/M, etc.).
Make it Scanner Friendly!
Many contract firms are utilising scanners to input CVs into their computer databases. Because of that, new guidelines are required that will enable firms to scan your CV. Here are a few recommendations that will make your CV “scanner ready”:
- Use white paper and black ink.
- Don’t underline words.
- Don’t use script or other fancy typefaces.
- All letters should be of the same quality (no light or broken letters, no smudgy or filled-in letters, etc.).
Use adequate margins (at least 1/2″ on all sides).
- Don’t hand write anything on your CV.
- If using a dot matrix printer, utilise the best quality of type the printer provides (i.e. letter quality, dark copy, etc.).
- Avoid boxes or unusual configurations.
NOTE: If you transmit your CV by using a FAX card in your personal computer, make sure you see what you transmit. The format of the received CV is often different than what you think you are transmitting. Try faxing to a friend or local fax number so you can physically see what everyone else sees!