This is a short, sweet and hopefully very helpful post for you budding Corporate Climbers out there in the interwebs. I often get asked about CVs and what makes and employer sit up and take notice of a CV and ultimately the candidate. Hopefully this post will address and she some light on that topic.
I do not work in HR but as someone who used to get phone call from CEO's assistants and HR executives (after they sent me an "unfortunately" email...) to encourage me and give me tips because they though I was qualifies or had an attitude and work ethic worth encouraging but lacked CV skills.
1. Get to the point
Be concise and avoid being superfluous because a Cv that has three or more pages is a novel and usually lands up in the "no" pile. Don't over-state matters and try to highlight the most important information.
2. Brag a Little
While I encourage not over-stating I encourage telling your prospective employer how much of an asset you'll be even more. Your CV is you representative and if you think you can leave the bragging for the interview than I'm sorry but you won't get a chance to tell that organisation you want to work for why you're the best candidate.
3. Keep it in Context
The HR manager reading through CVs to find a junior auditor/sales assistant will not be interested in the fact that you were a 2nd princess in a pageant once or that you you were a Maths camp councilor unless you're still in high school. Mention achievements that are most relevant to the job and save the cutesy story about how you "discovered you couldn't live without numbers at maths camp" for the job interview.
Put your CV in sections: personal/info, education and skills, employment history, and references. Make your CV easy to read.
5. Cover Letter
I feel like I always talk about this. Nothing says "I've thought about this job" than a cover letter and often is saves recruiters the effort of going on to waste precious time. Make this short, concise, sincere and to the point.
6. The email/drop-off
Find out who will be doing the hiring (phone the reception desk and ask or visit the company website) and make your CV stand out by eliminating the "Dear Sir/Madam."
If you have any other questions feel free to ask them in the comments section of this post. Right now I'm off to my long-weekend away to get romanced.