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If your current CV or resume is not generating the interview offers you want, it is time to start assessing it. Check to see that the following descriptors apply.

Highlights how your skills and qualifications match the company’s specific needs.
Employs appropriate titles for previous jobs to demonstrate clearly that you are suitably qualified for the advertised position.

Gives a concise description of your previous employers – their products, services, industry, etc. – and your role in the company.

Uses PAR statements to describe your accomplishments. P identifies the ‘problem’ you faced; A describes the ‘action’ you took to solve the problem; R describes the ‘result’ of the action you took.

Quantifies your accomplishments using numbers, percentages, etc.

Makes effective use of the key words and phrases contained in the job advertisement to describe your skills and areas of expertise.

Every sentence starts with an action word, for example: “increased production by 20% while saving £200,000 in operating costs” Examples of effective action words are: compiled, conducted, created, designed, developed, established, implemented, introduced, invented, maintained, negotiated, operated, organized, produced, and published. 

Explains how, in your previous jobs, you increased sales and profits, improved productivity, saved time and costs, and established good customer relationships.
Provides evidence of the competencies most valued by employers, for example: your communication and interpersonal skills, flexibility, initiative, organisational ability, and teamwork.

Includes any pertinent awards or honours you may have received.

Provides your educational history and details of training related to the position you are seeking.

Employment history is logical and consistent; and gaps of more than one year between your jobs are clearly explained.

The layout is neat and uncluttered, with an easy-to-read sequence of sections and no large blocks of text.

Contains no errors in spelling or grammar; and all unnecessary words have been eliminated.

Hobbies and interests have been included only if they serve to reveal characteristics, skills or accomplishments that support your career objective.

Begins with a succinct, clearly stated career objective tailored to the particular job for which you are applying.

This Personal Development article was written by Gerard McLoughlin on 3/7/2005

From ‘Four Minutes to Job Interview Success’ published by Assignments Plus Business Publications */