What should you put on your CV?
Léa Gariépy, our recruitment and personnel selection expert, tells you what relevant elements to put on your CV to help you stand out.
Your CV is the first impression you make on an employer. It is therefore essential that it be representative of you and show your strengths. Here are a few tips to maximize your CV and make sure it shows the best you.
First, the information recruiters need differs depending on the different steps of the hiring process. You must include your contact information: your street address, email address and telephone number. It’s important that you have a professional email address. The address you created several years ago may not be relevant (or it may even be embarrassing).
Your experience will also determine what you should highlight. If you’re fresh out of school, make sure to include your training, relevant internships and academic background at the start of your CV. Remember to include any degrees, when they were obtained and any equivalencies, if applicable. Your can also include any awards and bursaries you have received. These mentions are appropriate on your CV.
If you have tons of work experience and school is a distant memory, focus on your recent work experience, then talk about your education. There’s no point in mentioning student jobs from years ago or that are not related to your professional field.
We recommend identifying the duties you performed in your previous jobs. Because job titles and duties can differ from company to company, this can provide accurate information on your expertise. You can even highlight the duties attached to the position you are applying for.
It is also essential to indicate your level of English. Are you bilingual? This is definitely an asset you will want to focus on. However, be honest as your future employer will certainly check.
As for layout, go for simple presentation and use a clear and professional typeface. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs and make sure that your CV is enjoyable to read.
Finally, remember to include your computer and office skills. This could be relevant for different types of jobs.
Irrelevant or non-essential information
Recruiters don’t need to know your marital status or your age, and they certainly don’t need to know your SIN. In some countries, it may be common to include a photo; however, this is not recommended in Canada, unless you are an actor or a model.
You also don’t need to mention your life goals or personal qualities. Focus on the accomplishments you are proud of. It may be relevant to mention some interest, e.g., if you are an artist or play on a sports team, as this allows us to learn more about you. However, just a few will suffice.
Many people question the relevance of including a cover letter. While it can make an excellent impression, it must be concise, attractive and contain accurate information (position, company name, date, name of the contact-person). Remember to pay attention to spelling and to focus on experiences that will show why you are the best person for the job.
I hope that these tips will help you put together a CV that shines and that will help you get the job of your dreams.
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