I began my professional career and girl boss life working in a recruitment company. Several hours of my day were spent reading CVs and also interviewing potential candidates before deciding whether they had all the skills and experience required by our end client, usually big multinational companies looking for the best talent available.
I worked in the field for about four years, before moving into the finance industry. However my passion for human resources comes with me no matter what my current job is * I am a true philanthropist at my soul!*
Writing your girl boss CV is the most important step you will take in getting your dream job. This document will become your way of introduction to any potential employers that you want approach. Whatever you put in those couple of pages, it will be the first thing that they will learn about you and it is your only chance to ask for a face to face meeting *that sounds much better than job interview, right?*.
Whenever my friends or family are hunting for jobs, I always have a look at their CVs with my recruiter hat on and give them some recommendations. Most people write their CV thinking in themselves rather than in the person that is going to read it… and that human on the other end is who you need to convince to meet you in an interview, where you can be your true self. Also, that human is probably reading 20+ CVs for that one job you are applying to; so the first thing that becomes obvious is that you need to stand out, somehow.
What the person reading your CV needs: a Girl boss CV
I. a short CV.
When you are reading 20+ CVs for each open position that needs to be filled, less is definitely more. Just as an example, my CV is only 2 pages long and it showcases 10+ years of working experience! You could even print it in one single sheet of paper if you are eco-conscious and use the double-sided printer adjustments *how cool is that, huh!*
Being able to summarise your girl boss skills and work experience will help the recruiter or the potential HR person enormously as the last thing they need is to read 8+ pages with never ending paragraphs and narrative. More importantly, if you condense your achievements and work life, they will be left with a feeling of wanting to know more about you, which is 50% of what you need to get in the interview stage.
II. Bullets and numbering.
Make sure you have clearly defined sections in your CV. For example, a structure that works really well in my opinion is to include the following 5 categories: contact details, work experience, academic achievements, languages and IT systems, honours and awards received.
You can use bullets to ensure that whoever is reading your CV can jump from one section to the next without losing the train of thought. Go for bullets that look professional, like – or * rather than colourful frogs or lipsticks shapes.
Lastly, I would suggest to order everything from the newest to the oldest, as your most recent experience will be more relevant than what you have studied 10 years ago.
III. Different font sizes and bold text.
You can use different font sizes and also use bold to highlight some words. In my own CV I make use of font 11 to write the company name and my job title; and then I go to font 10 to list my responsibilities in that job. I will make bold some key words like “project financial reporting” or “ensure audit trail”.
Make sure that the fonts are not too big or small to be read – anything between 10-12 should do. I wouldn’t recommend to mix different fonts or to go for any unusual ones *definitely nothing that looks like handwriting please*.
IV. Use common language.
Try to avoid any jargon an acronyms. For example, in project management work, we tend to use “RAID logs” to refer to project risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies; but unless you are familiar with the change arena, you will not know what RAID stands for.
You don’t know who will read your CV: perhaps the business area director or it might be the HR intern… you have to write in a way that anyone will understand your message. If your CV is not easy to read and understand, you will probably not get an interview, as they won’t be able to appreciate your skills.
V. Explain what you want in simple terms.
One of my basic recommendations is to start your girl boss CV by writing an “aim”. This is just two lines about what have you done until now and what are you looking to do next. It has to be literally two lines long, just as a prompter of what are you looking for.
An example could be: “During my professional career I have worked in communications and marketing and I have developed key skills such as a broad understanding of the media engagement as well as the digital content creation process. I am looking forward to manage a team and share my knowledge among my peers to capitalise on my expertise”.
When the person that reads your CV understands your objective, they will also see you as a focused professional and with a sense of leadership and career; plus anything else you have portrayed in those two sentences.
VI. Clear contact details.
For some strange reason, some people leave contract details to be the last section on the girl boss CV. Others decide that it is best to repeat them in every page, like a page header *why?*. There are candidates that only give you their phone number but then, they never pick up the phone *yes, really*.
Contact details should be the clearly visible at the top of page one. Give your full name, your email address (a professional email please, please refrain from your firstname.lastname@example.org) and your phone number.
Don’t include any date of birth or marital status, as these could provide grounds for a discrimination based claim. Anyone could say that only married woman have (not) progressed into interview, when actually it could be just pure coincidence. It is better to share that information only if you feel comfortable and verbally during the interview.
Disclaimer: I did not take the pictures I have used in the post. They are from Pixabay.
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