Why you should never have a pet on your CV. Truffles’ basic guide to CV writing

If you would like your brain to completely switch off and your mind to go blank, then there is nothing better for it than attempting to write your CV.

Despite being in your job 5 days a week for 48 weeks of the year when faced with putting down your responsibilities and achievements on paper you struggle past the first line.

It’s like writing a best man’s speech, this guy is clearly a good friend and you have shared many an anecdotal moment together over the years and yet when asked to communicate it to others you can’t get past the stag night antics. Or, you steal a ready-made speech from the internet and substitute their name (shame on you!).

Worse still you’re a creative and therefore you feel that it is expected of you to present something visually impactful, unique and maybe even a little quirky. DON’T!!!!!!

One of my favourite CVs had a picture of the guy holding his cat. It was not a modern ironic kitsch thing, it was just plain scary. They looked very happy and I can imagine given that he must still be unemployed, they spend a lot of quality time together.

Anyway. Not to worry, we’re here to help and like with everything in life it’s simple when you break it down to its components.

Stage 1: Start with a framework

Name: yours

Personal details: telephone number, email address (FYI due to a couple of much needed and appreciated discrimination acts age, date of birth and marital status don’t need to be on there)

Education: only relevant and most recent need to be listed

Employment: The company, it’s function, your job title, the dates you were there

Interests: one’s you actually have – not ones you think make you look more like a more rounded and less one dimensional human being

FYI: I often look at peoples interests first, my favourites have been window box gardening and part own a pub.

Stage 2: Add some detail to Employment

What does/did you employer do?

What was your role in their business?

What did that entail?

Did you have any reports?

What was you responsibility to them and what did that entail?

What was expected of you? – this will enable you to answer the next bit easier…

What have/did you achieve?

Stage 3: Personal Profile – Ditch it!

I tend to find most people’s personal profiles sections contain one, a couple or all of the following words or phrases:

versatile, dedicated, attention to detail, innovative, hard working, approachable, team player, motivational, enthusiastic etc etc

That is probably why most people ignore this section on a CV.

Stage 4: Achievements

This is your opportunity to shine.

Think back to what you just wrote about ‘what was expected of you’, in order to have remained in your job you will have accomplished those tasks. What was the outcome? Was it particularly positive?

A few good things to have achieved: Won a client Won a pitch Won further business from a client Presented a winning idea Saved the company money Made the company money Won an award Got nominated Received press attention for a project Received a promotion Grew a team

Stage 5: Format your CV in the way you would any of your design work – NO CATS

Stage 6: Read our next Blog on where to send your new improved CV

Good luck!