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Designing Your Résumé (CV) – Some Links

For those of us stuck in the formal, corporate world (for now), résumés (CVs) are a fact of life that we usually try to avoid and just deal with when it’s required of us. However, heeding some good advice can really change your perspective and make your résumé something you’re actually proud of.

And remember, résumés aren’t just for job-seekers: keeping mine up-to-date and editing it on a regular basis has helped me keep my personal and professional development goals on track.

A great starting point when looking to create/renew your résumé is LifeClever’s Give Your Résumé a Facelift; one of the best résumé design resources I’ve come across, giving simple but effective results.

Sample Résumé (CV)Following on from that, if you’re looking for something a bit more special you could do worse than checking out these 36 Beautiful Résumé Ideas That Work. However, making your résumé stand-out as much as some of these do may not be advisable in some sectors, and I wouldn’t imagine that all 36 work. Instead, Michael Gowin shows a few of the best (see image, right).

Of course, design will always be secondary to content; write, re-write, and then triple-check your résumé. Here are some great articles giving some worthwhile advice (with some overlap, ordered by importance):

My tip? Stick to a constant grammatical voice. It’s my grammar Nazi showing, but there’s nothing worse than reading a sales document (what your résumé/CV really is) that intersperses the passive and active voice; choose one and stick to it, damn it! Personally I would choose the active, remove the word ‘I’, and start sentences with action verbs – very powerful.

Don’t forget to write that killer cover letter!

And is it just a new job you want, or a new career? Maybe the Princeton Review Career Quiz will shed some light on what you should really be doing?

(I originally meant to post this on LoneGunman.co.uk (an abstract is there instead), but decided against it as it didn’t seem to fit with the shorter, link-based posts I usually put there. Aren’t you lucky?)

8 Comments

  1. Posted April 17, 2008 at 07:16 | Permalink

    Please do not confuse CV writing advice associated with the US CV with the UK CV. The UK CV is very similar to the US resume. The UK CV should not be written on more than 2 pages unless you are posting it to a job agency or maybe working within a few specific organisations.

    In general, the covering or supporting letter should be targeted to a specific job vacancy. The UK CV should be targeted towards the appropriate job area.

  2. Posted April 17, 2008 at 09:25 | Permalink

    I’m not sure where any confusion or ambiguity lay in the post, but this information relates to US résumés or UK CVs.

    US CVs are more for work in academia and have a standardised format where the above rules barely (if at all) apply.

    As for covering letters, the DumbLittleMan link stated exactly your point:

    “If you skip [the covering letter], you simply look unprofessional. The problem is that all of the cover letters looked exactly the same and had the same message. There was nothing at all that made me want to read the resume.”

  3. Posted April 17, 2008 at 10:47 | Permalink

    Lloyd, this is a terrific article you’ve put together and I Stumbled it. Nice job!

  4. Posted April 17, 2008 at 12:20 | Permalink

    Thanks Jacob, that’s really appreciated.

  5. Posted August 6, 2008 at 21:36 | Permalink

    Hi Lloyd, I’ve compiled a second batch of beautiful resumes. You can see them here:

    38 More Beautiful Resume Ideas That Work

  6. Posted November 29, 2008 at 02:07 | Permalink

    Love to see fab CV’s on the internet, love to see people blogging about them too.
    Great stuff, Ant

  7. Posted September 4, 2009 at 21:44 | Permalink

    Great pointers and very timely given the global unemployment rate. Every little bit helps nowadays.

  8. Posted March 29, 2011 at 09:18 | Permalink

    There is a lot of cracking good advice here Lloyd and as far as I can see, no ambiguity, the topic is crystal clear and I have stumbled it too as it needs to be seen. OK, it was written 3 years ago but the points are all still as valid now as they were then.

    You are absolutely right that your ‘grammar Nazi’ should take over when writing both your resume/CV and the all important cover letter in which you should grab the attention of the employer by briefly stating what skills you have that would make you a suitable candidate. For me, as an HR professional, poor grammar is a big let down for almost any job. For those whose grammar is dodgy, a quick search of the internet via Google for ‘improve my CV’, ‘improve my cover letter’ will provide links to many HR professionals who can do that for you plus reams of free advice, such as that which has been given by yourself.

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