First, a brief history of the CV:
The Curriculum Vitae (CV) has a long history, dating back to the 15th century when Leonardo da Vinci created the first known CV. However, it wasn't until the 20th century that the CV became a standard tool for job seekers. In the early 1900s, companies began asking candidates to submit information (what is now known as a CV) as part of the hiring process. CV’s then were typically one-page documents that included a brief summary of the candidate's experience and education.
Over time, the document evolved into the commonly referred to CV, which is now a far more comprehensive document that provides a detailed overview of the candidate's professional background and skills set. In fact, the expectations of a CV is changing all the time, and especially over the last few years.
What the CV is used for:
The main purpose of a CV is to provide potential employers with a full overview of your professional background and skills. It's typically used as part of the job application process to demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications and experience to perform the job you are applying for. In some countries, a CV is also used in academic and research contexts to highlight a person's qualifications and experience.
In New Zealand the primary purpose of a CV is for use when applying for a job. It is the document that is used to get your foot in the door, a good CV just provides the required information to draw the recruiters attention so that they want to meet you to discuss your suitability further.
What constitutes a good CV in 2023:
A good CV in 2023 should be well-structured, concise (as close to two pages as possible is ideal), and tailored to the job you are applying for. Here are some key elements of a good CV:
Contact information: Your CV should include your name, address, phone number, and email address so that potential employers can easily contact you. Add LinkedIn is up to date and will add value.
Professional work summary: Showing the last three roles is always beneficial so the recruiter gets a quick overview of your recent work history. As three bullet points show job title, business name and dates of employment.
Skills: This section should highlight your relevant skills and abilities, including technical and soft skills that are most relevant for the job you are applying for. This can be adapted role to role. Aim for 10 one-line bullet points written in a clear and strong manner.
Work experience: This section should provide a detailed overview of your work history, including job titles, 5-6 main responsibilities (tasks) and dates of employment. Just show the most important information in the clearest, most concise, manner possible.
Achievements: It's important to focus on accomplishments and results rather than just listing job duties. Try to show 1-2 achievements per role in your CV. Also highlight any awards, certifications, or other achievements that demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your field.
Qualifications and Education: List your educational qualifications in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent degree. Include the name of the institution, the degree earned, and the date of graduation. But an exception is to usually degrees like a Masters or Bachelors first even if they pre date some other qualifications.
Formatting: A great CV should be well-organised, easy to read, and visually appealing. Use clear headings, bullet points, and plenty of white space to make your CV easy to skim. The order of the information is your CV is best if you follow the content about, follow that order for ease of reading.
Tailored to the job: You can customise your CV for each job you apply for by highlighting your most relevant experience and skills. But do not end up with too many CV’s floating around NZ.
To summarise, a highly effective CV in 2023 should provide potential employers with a clear and concise overview of your skills, qualifications, and experience. If you follow our suggested guidelines and best practices, your CV should stand out, over the rest, to potential employers and significantly increase your chances of landing the ideal new job.