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The summer holidays are over and people are going back to work. The time off might have led you to think about making a career change, or you might have been searching already but due to COVID-19 a lot of the vacancies were put on hold or even canceled. After a few months of very few vacancies, we see that the market is picking up which gives you the right opportunity to start searching (again). The first thing you need to do when you start looking for a new job is to get your CV up to date.
Your CV tells prospective employers about you, your professional experience and your skills, abilities and achievements. Ultimately, your CV should highlight why you’re the best person for the job. Therefore, we always advise candidates to make a good base CV that they can later tweak to highlight the skills, abilities and achievements that match the requirements of the particular job they are applying for. Although the structure of a CV is flexible, there are a few sections that employers always expect to see.
Name and contact details
At the top of the page, you should put your name and contact details. Don’t title your CV with ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’, treat your name as the title instead. Contact details mostly include your email address, phone number(s) and address (or just town and country). You can also include your LinkedIn profile, but only if it’s up to date! You can also use a headshot, but this is definitely not mandatory. If you do use one, make sure it is a professional photo.
This is a short paragraph just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and highlight qualities that are important for the role you are applying for. It’s best to keep this part short (just a few sentences). Are you living outside the country you are applying in? Then make sure you mention the reason for looking for a job abroad. If you live outside the EU it’s best to also mention if you have a work permit or if you are in need of a work permit sponsor.
List your experience in a reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. For each position state your job title (this doesn’t have to be the official one, it can be helpful to use a different title when the official title is not clear enough), the employer and the period of employment. Below this you summarise your key responsibilities, skills and achievements (you can use figures to showcase your impact). Use bullet points to make it more comprehensible for recruiters and hiring managers who have a limited amount of time to scan your CV.
Make sure you highlight the duties that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have many years’ worth of experience, you can reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles (or even leave out the summary of the responsibilities and just mention the title, employer and period of employment).
Education and qualifications
Like your employment history, your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions, name of the education program and the period you were there. You can also add a few of the most relevant modules, assignments or projects and the grades you achieved. This is especially important when you recently graduated and do not yet have a lot of experience to put on your CV. In this case it’s also worth putting your education section above your employment history section.
You can use a skill section to showcase abilities that you want to highlight to the employer. For example, leadership skills or experience with a certain type of software.
Hobbies and interests (optional)
You can include this section if you have relevant hobbies and interests for the job or just want to make your CV a little bit more personal.
Now you know what information to include in your CV. Besides content it’s also important to make your CV organised and visually appealing. It helps you to get noticed by the HR managers and potential employers because a resume with a beautiful layout is more likely to stand out. Canva has some great free online CV templates you can use.
If you have updated your cv and want some feedback, feel free to contact me or my colleagues. We are also available for brief, complementary career counselling or update calls to discuss the job opportunities out there in the treasury field. For more thorough career counselling I would like to recommend Janneke Nonkes. Her unique combination of knowing thoroughly about finance, corporate treasury, coaching and life, both through education and experience, makes her the right coach for many in our treasury community.
Good luck with updating your CV! And hopefully we will be in touch.