Resume / CV Structure

Getting the correct CV structure is important to make your CV easy to read

In this article we would learn about the correct structure for your CV, what to write in your CV and also common mistake that immediately disqualify your CV.


If you have a profession and at least worked in one job after graduation then your CV should have the following segments in this exact order:

  1. Profile
  2. Key Abilities – skills
  3. Professional Affiliations
  4. Employment History
  5. Education
  6. Referres

1.     Profile

The most important part of your CV is called PROFILE. Describe what you are and what you do in 2-3 lines. Believe it or not but most recruiters will not continue reading your CV unless your profile matches the job description. You need to “Taylor” your profile to match the position description in the ad you are applying to.

Example:

Profession Electrical Project Manager and Engineer (B.Sc) with 10 years of experience, specializing in Power distribution, Motor Control, Control & Automation and Power Management. Over 3 years experience in the Electrical Engineering working in the heavy industry and High Tech / Electronics manufacturing environment.

2.     Key Abilities – Skills in 2 steps

Step 1 – Research

Search for potential positions you wish to apply, find 10 ads and copy their description to a WORD doc. Where to search for available positions? click here.

Step 2 – Create a skill list

Summarize all the SKILLS you see in those ads. Divide them between the one you have and the one you don’t.

Divide the list again between “Professional skills” and “Personal skills”. FYI – In Australia, Personal skills are also known as “soft skills”.

Examples:

  • Professional – Proficient in MS office
  • Personal – Fast learning curve.

Get minimum of 25 professional skills and 10 personal skills.

After you finish this task, summarize it all in a new file we call SKILLS LIST. The skills in the ads will most likely start repeat. Organize all equivalent skills next to each other and Identify which skills is relevant to you, choose the best description (you probably will have more than one description per skill) to create your final list.

The idea behind it is: face it – your technical English is not good enough, use the English in the ads. It was written by professional consultants that will look for the same words exactly. We use several ads in order to not make it look like a copied ad and to have a variety of descriptions per skill to make the CV presents better.

Now, for each skill choose one of those following words:

  • Experience
  • Proficient
  • Knowledge
  • Excellent control
  • Etc

Add this description to the beginning of each skill according to how you feel is true.

When it comes to personal descriptions it is harder because writing “I’m a team player” is not enough, try to find a way to explain how you are a team player, same idea look for ideas in the ads.

The first page of your CV should include your profile, skill list and professional affiliation.

3.     Professional Affiliations

Just because you have a degree doesn’t mean it is recognized and you can practice it. After you graduate it is recommended you join a professional association. It looks great on your CV and makes it very clear that you are a qualified professional. Immigrants should use the same organization which assessed their profession during the immigration process and date at what year they were qualified to work in Australia.

Australians recruiter and employers value those organization and it also proves you are a part of the Australian working culture.

4.     Employment History

Use the following standard:

August 2002 – Product Engineer

September 2003 Intel Technology Group Ltd

Duties:

Managing the failure analyze team (up to 12 engineers) to provide FACR (Failure Analyze Customer Report) for internal and external customers Manufacturing and Testing of Electronics. Utilize DOE (Design of Experiments) methodology for process & yield improvement. Coordinate SPC (Statistical Process Control) and PFMEA (Process Failure Modes Effects Analysis) activities as required. Develops plans to evaluate process repeatability and stability. Interaction with vendor / subcontractor to quickly resolve hardware issues. Duties are very similar to the skill but they are focused on what you did at that certain job.

Try not write a paragraph but in bullets. Use action words and action verbs when preparing your employment history.

5.     Education

Simple, most people that will apply have a degree like you, so it comes last unless you come from the academic background and it might be more important than job experience.

2000 Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Electrical Engineering

MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Achievements:

List of your achievements related to your education degree.

6. Short Courses and training

Provide a brief description of short courses, professional training, certifications etc

7. Referees

Don’t add a referee list – write referees are available upon request.

Why? The recruiter or HR are unlikely to call any of your referees before bringing you in for a first interview or at least a brief phone call. You can expect that towards the end of the first interview you will be asked to provide a referee list and you will reply “I’ll email it to you”.

Other Stuff

  • Important – Don’t get your CV rejected because you didn’t read this
  • Add Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. before your name if you have unique name and they can’t tell if you are a male or a female
  • Show your MS Skills or ask someone to check the format of your documents. Use headers, footers, heading. Make your CV pretty, not an art show but a professional CV the client would like to see.

Final step – moment of truth

GIVE YOUR CV TO A FRIEND who doesn’t know much about your job.

If he can understand in 15 seconds what you do and what are your skills – you have done well. If not, improve your CV….

 

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