Posts Tagged ‘CV design’
If you are writing an English CV for a position in Germany / Deutschland, here are a few tips:
- Include a cover sheet with your name, address, telephone number, and email address on the top right side and your place of birth, date of birth, nationality, and marital status on the bottom right side.
- Place a head and shoulders LinkedIn- and Xing-type photograph on the top right hand corner of page one.
- Start your CV with the same style and content of letterhead that you would use on a UK CV or American résumé (name, email address, telephone number, postal address).
- Either start with the experience section (reverse chronological) or include a very short profile statement.
- Don’t use a career highlights, key competencies, or similar section before the experience section.
- Ensure that you use months in your employment dates.
- Explain all gaps in your employment history.
- Leave space to date and sign it (and include the city in which you signed it) at the bottom of the last page.
- Alternatively, use the new Europass template as a starting point, but be sure to add the date and sign it.
- As with all European CVs, use A4-size paper.
- Use UK spelling unless the target company’s literature and job advertisement uses American (or other) spelling.
- Have copies of your educational transcripts, certifications, and references ready to be submitted, if required.
iAgora – CV for Germany
Berlin Info – German-style CV
Europass CV Template – CV Template in German
Working in Germany – CV and Employment Tips
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When you cannot use attachments or formatted documents, copy and paste the relevant sections of your Pro-CV PLAIN TEXT.txt file or your own .txt file (without line breaks) into your EMAIL ‘compose’ box.
If a job description asks you to include a plain text CV in the body of an email, make sure your email software is set to send plain text. Otherwise, your email browser will add formatting to your CV and the recruiter may assume you didn’t follow instructions.
The method for sending a plain-text email depends on the email program you’re using. Look for a “Plain Text” button or option and/or make sure the “Rich Text Editor” is off. Further information can usually be found in the “help” section of the program.
Here are instructions for some major email programs.
Choose “Compose Mail”. Click “plain text” option amongst the formatting options. Then, simply copy and paste your CV into the e-mail. You may have to make some minor formatting changes.
* Yahoo! Mail:
Create a new e-mail. At the bottom of the email, click the “plain text” button. Then, simply copy and paste your CV into the e-mail. You may have to make some minor formatting changes.
Create a new e-mail, in the pull-down field labelled “Tools” make sure the “Rich Text Editor” is off. You’ll be able to tell if you’ve successfully turned the Rich Text Editor off as all the formatting options will disappear from your compose screen. You may have to make some minor formatting changes.
* Windows Live Mail:
If you don’t see a menu, press ALT. Click Tools then Options. Click the Send tab. Next to Mail Sending Format, tick the option for Plain text. Click the Compose tab. Set the Compose Font for mail to 10 pt. Courier New. Click OK.
* Microsoft Outlook:
Create a new email, click on the “Format” button and choose the “Plain Text” option. Then, simply copy and paste your resume into the new email. You may have to make some minor changes, but most of your formatting should remain intact.
Before sending an email, read over all the contents of the compose box to ensure that you have copied and pasted the relevant sections. For instance, have you inadvertently included your references?
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The book’s author, Pat Criscito, says that the perfect resume is the one that fits the personality of its owner – but where do you start to find a format that is right for you?
There are many choices and most of them are discussed in this comprehensive book. They include ideas for hard copy paper versions, for electronic files, and for LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.
For inspiration on how to manage your on-line reputation using blogs and e-folios and increase your chances of securing the job you want, check out the 200 samples in Resumes that Pop!
1. CVs are more important than ever in today’s competitive job market. What are the best ways for job seekers, particularly project managers, to grab the attention of HR/recruiters?
- HR managers and recruiters desperately want to find the right candidate as quickly as possible. You will grab their attention the moment they can find the information they need to validate a decision to interview you. Give it to them on a plate by presenting your relevant qualifications and experience near the beginning of your CV/résumé.
- One way to do this is to create a section called, “Professional Summary” or “Key Qualifications” or similar. Present your information relating to the job criteria in bullet point form and embolden the first few key words, if appropriate. Start with an action verb (e.g., Spearheaded the project …) and state the benefit(s) that your actions brought to the company (… that resulted in …).
- Under your name in your letterhead, include your relevant qualifications (e.g., B.Eng., PRINCE2).
- Instead of using the section heading “Profile,” use a positioning title. That is, use as the heading your most relevant job title and subtitle it with the relevant industry in which you have experience. For instance, Project Manager – Oil & Gas Industry.
- Present information about your projects in a uniform way. For instance, Challenge: … Actions: … Results: … or Project: … Activities: … Results: …
2. What are the biggest mistakes that people make when writing their CV/resume? How can they avoid these mishaps?
- There is a fine line between arrogant boasting, succinctly explaining the value you offer, and humbly describing your job duties. It is important to tread the middle road. Honestly, but descriptively, tell the reader about your accomplishments.
- Ensure that you have addressed as much of the job criteria as possible. Do this as early as possible in the document.
- Do not include irrelevant details or out-of-date qualifications.
3. In terms of design, what are some creative approaches that project managers can take?
- Use a dark color from the target company’s logo in your section headers.
- If you want to include a list of skills, use bullet points in columns.
- Divide your document into two columns – allocate less than one-third for your section headings and at least two-thirds for your body text.
4. In terms of design, what are some mistakes people often make? What sorts of things are considered “over the top” e.g. too many colors, etc?
- Easy-to-scan is the most important design feature, so using all upper case letters, underlining, and more than two fonts can impede this. If you use two fonts, use one Serif and one Sans Serif.
- Never use WordArt or similar word processing design features. A project manager’s CV/résumé should be a professional-looking document, so one color (e.g., dark blue or a dark color from the target company’s logo) could be used for your name and section headings.
- Do not choose a font that is uncommon. If the recipient doesn’t have it, their computer could replace your wonderful font with an unsuitable font. Consider using the super-safe Times New Roman or Arial, or the semi-safe, but more interesting, options of Book Antiqua, Calisto MT, Californian FB, Cambria, Candara, Corbel, Garamond, Georgia, Goudy Old Style, Lucida Sans, or Palatino Linotype.
5. What advice do you have for print CVs versus online CVs?
- For international applications, be sure to use the correct paper size (8.5” X 11” for North America and A4 for the rest of the world) whether printed or electronic.
- Use good quality paper in either white or cream if a hard copy is required.
- Use a good quality laser printer if you are going to print your document.
- Do not use a font size smaller than 10 point Times New Roman.
- Give at least 2 cm or .75 inch for a margin.
- Never fold or staple a hard copy CV/résumé. Protect it with a board-backed envelop.
- Send a digital/electronic version in .doc or .pdf by email in addition to submitting a required paper copy.
- Electronic versions of your CV/résumé should conform to the instructions from the target company. That is, don’t upload a .pdf or a .docx file when they ask for a .doc.
- Don’t copy and paste your Word document into online forms because they are unlikely to support formatting features, such as bullet points. Save the Word file as .txt, fix the formatting problems, and then copy and paste from the .txt file.
6. When should project managers seek professional help? Is this really a job for a professional CV writer?
- If you feel that your CV or résumé does not compare favorably to other CVs/résumés – your colleagues’ documents or examples on the Internet.
- If you are qualified for the job and your CV or résumé is not generating interviews, it is time to seek help.
- If you are not fully qualified for the job and you want the best chance of getting an interview.
- There are plenty of very good CV/résumé writing books if you want to take the time to read them and apply their advice. I would recommend Expert Résumés for Managers and Executives by Wendy S. Enelow and Louise M. Kursmark.
7. Any additional CV tips?
- Always tell the truth.
- At an interview, you will be asked to elaborate on information contained in your CV/résumé. If you don’t want to discuss it, try not to include any aspect of it in your CV/résumé.
- There is no need to include your references or the statement, “References available upon request. It is understood that you will give references upon request.
- Do not include personal information (e.g., age). Include work permit status if there is an issue with permission to work in the country.
- Do not include interests/hobbies unless they are highly relevant (e.g., you lack paid employment project management experience, but have experience as a volunteer).
Thanks to Denene Brox for these questions. Parts of this post were quoted in Denene’s article, Top of the Stack / Build the right resume and they will call, which was published in the August 2010 issue of PM Network (Project Management Institute).
Writing and Organisation:
Your CV not only presents your qualifications and work history, it also demonstrates the quality of work that you produce. Your CV tells the prospective employer a number of things about your decision-making, organisational, and communication skills. This is an opportunity to impress them with your ability to provide them with a professional document.
You are just a name on a page until you add a personal touch with a lively and captivating summary of your best qualities. Your personality shines through and the reader wants to learn more about you.
There is no set rule as to what headings should be used. However, they should be instantly recognisable and lead the reader to the information they seek.
If it is not possible to quickly find specific information, the reader may not bother. A CV that is well laid out and presented will enable the reader to retrieve the maximum amount of information in the 20-30 seconds they have allotted for the task.
Business etiquette dictates that a focused cover letter accompanies the CV or application form. It is expected. The job hunter who does not write a cover letter is seen to be a person who either cannot be bothered or does not know any better.
The reader only wants to know specific information. What information is presented and what is left out is the CV writer’s job. Too little information and the reader is left with the impression that the candidate is unqualified. Too much information and the reader could get bored and not even get to the important parts. If all the information you need to convey can be attractively presented on one page, then one page is all you need. A two-page CV allows for more detail. The first page grabs the reader’s attention with crucial information, and the second page enhances and confirms that information. When the number of candidates for a position will be very low, (e.g., upper level executives in highly specialised fields), more than two pages may be required.
Grammar and Spelling:
Even if perfect grammar and spelling are not necessary for the job, mistakes look sloppy and show that you do not care about details. Careful proofreading will catch these errors. If you are unsure, try WhiteSmoke software.
Photocopies are old fashioned and usually of inferior quality. Photocopying or any poor printing says, “This document has been sent as a mail shot – the writer is not serious enough about the job to be bothered to put the time and effort into applying specifically for this job.” Also, the original needs to be sharp because your CV may be photocopied and/or scanned for distribution within the company. For clarity and ease of reading, inkjet printing does not compare favourably to laser printing.
Paper Colour and Quality:
If a hard copy is appropriate, use 100 gsm weight paper, either white or ivory. Strongly coloured paper may stand out from the rest, but will not be practical. Some colours do not photocopy or scan very well. This makes it difficult for your CV to be circulated inside the company. Using inappropriate or poor quality paper will imply that your standard of work is also of poor quality.
When you present yourself for an interview, you make sure that you look your best. Your CV presentation should also be at its best. You can achieve this by including a couple of extras. Thermal binding and hard backed envelopes, coupled with your well-written and well-designed CV, demonstrates your enthusiasm and above-average interest in the position available. Bring a list of your referees presented on a reference sheet that matches your CV. Info about referees.