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Preparing your CV

Preparing your CV starts at the beginning - planning what you are going to write. Typically, people tend to have either too much or too little information to put on their r?sum?.

For those just starting out in the jobs market, the problem is typically that they don't have a whole lot of experience or qualifications to write about. If you've never had a job or don't have a degree, what do you write about? The answer is to focus on any applicable skills from either part time jobs or volunteer positions you have held.

For people with more experience, the opposite can often be true - how do you include everything while still keeping your CV short and sweet? The answer, of course, is that you can't - in this case you need to include what is most important.

It's amazing how many people make mistakes when preparing their CV. Common mistakes that people make include lying or making things up, writing too much or too little, spelling and grammar mistakes, and getting too clever with things like font, layout, coloured paper etc.

How do you know what people want? Put yourself in the place of the employer. In addition to whatever other duties you have to perform, you have to look through a hundred applications and try to choose who to interview - what do you want from the r?sum?s you read?

The answer is simple - you want well-written, clearly presented information that tells you exactly what you want to know, and does it quickly and easily. If you use that as your guiding principle you won't go far wrong.

One of the best ways to see what your r?sum? should look like is to find some samples online to look at. As with any other skill, there's no need to reinvent the wheel when you can learn from other people's efforts.

A quick search for CV samples will give you a good selection to look at - choose the one that works best for you, and that you think is appropriate for the type of job you are applying for, and model your on that.

With a little thought and effort you will soon be in demand for interviews.