Curriculum Vitae: Perfecting your CV


There are many variants to a curriculum vitae and many different way to both write and present one. Here’s a look at some top tips to make your CV shine! We’ve included a simple example down below, although you may choose to have qualifications where highlights are to make navigating your CV efficient.

Main points:

  • You must include contact detail like a phone and email address, and your name at the top. Preferably on the cover letter as well, which should be set out like an official letter. This makes it simple to find where to contact you and the important information is together.
  • Add a career summary – a brief overview of your work history and a bit about you. This should only be a few sentences in your cover letter, but you want this to stand out! If you have experience in the hospitality industry and you want a job in that field, tell them about your industry experience and something that makes you stand out as an employee.
  • Triple check your spelling. It’s incredibly important that you make a good first impression – so have your resume on point.
  • Make sure your email address is appropriate – i.e. johnsmith@email.com – (this should be professional)
  • No photos are necessary unless you are applying for a visual field (television, acting, etc)
  • Choose a clear font. There is nothing worse than reading over a resume that appears dense and hard to read.
  • Try an interesting colour theme or design. Nothing too fancy, but it could be as simple as the headings are a different colour to the text, or there’s a design down one side. You want it to compliment the page, not take over.
  • Cater to the audience – which industry are you aiming for? Adjust your career summary and cover letter to show you’ve put in thought. There’s no need to include jobs from when you were in high school or university unless it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for (or have a low volume of work history). Leave out jobs you held for less than a month.
  • Keep it short. A few dot points about your duties under each position is enough. Too much text is overwhelming and off-putting. The rest can be said in an interview.
  • Use past-tense unless it’s your current position.
  • If you’ve earned a higher qualification, don’t put the stepping stones to that in. I.e. If you have a Diploma of Business, there is no need to say you have a Certificate II in Business as the Diploma overrules it.
  • Lastly, have your name in bold at the beginning. Be proud of your achievements and show some character.

Check out our other career tips here.

Career Change and FAQ


Changing careers is actually fairly common, most people will have 2 or 3 different careers during their lifetime. If you’re thinking about maybe changing career because your values or lifestyle has changed, we’ve put together some tips to help you work through your questions. It can be a daunting prospect to throw in the towel and embark on a different career with different people and a skill set you may not yet have.

Figure out the whys

Do you know why you want to leave your job? Are you unhappy with your colleagues, the culture, or the industry in general? It helps to keep a work diary for a week or two and record your emotions and productivity to see what it is about the experience that is causing dissatisfaction. This will help you narrow down the attributes you’re looking for in a new career and remind you of the skills you already have.

Where to next?

What do you want your new career to look like? Do you want to change roles but stay in the same industry, or change it up altogether? Write a list of the skill you currently have and a separate list of dream jobs or skills. Keep in mind your current lifestyle, as this will potentially change with a new career. As an example – frequent travel may not be ideal if you are raising a young family or have other regular commitments.
We’ve written a post on Choosing the Right Career.

Assess what you’ve got

Your years of experience may be all you need to make a lateral move into a different job with similar skill sets. All employers value effective communication, problem solving, creative thinking skills and initiative. List these in your cover letter, and have examples of where you’ve shown them ready for interviews.
See our management skill blog for some ideas!

Friendly advice

Do you know anyone who is already working in your dream job or industry? Offer them a coffee in return for some details of what their job entails and what skills they deem most necessary. Keep your expectations realistic and grounded. As a result, you might even make some new contacts that will be valuable in your new industry.

Back to school

If you need extra qualifications, RPL, or just to upgrade a few skills, Linden is right here to give you the support and knowledge you need. Trawling through job ads will give you a good indication of what level of qualification is industry standard.
If you need some help getting back into the study groove : Understanding Successful Study.

Networking!

Now’s the time to flex that LinkedIn muscle. Make connections and follow influencers in your chosen profession. Someone who’s passionate and engaged both online and in real life will appeal more to employers. For that reason, attending workshops and conferences can be a great method to meet a range of people in the industry and make new connections that may be useful for future work.

Track your happiness

Finally, the last tip is to assess how you’re feeling every step of the way. Does your career change fill you with dread or excitement? Are you excited to learn more or does it feel like homework? Let your research take you on tangents and find that fine line between using your head and trusting your gut.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Can I receive credit for my previous studies?

If you already have qualifications or experience in your chosen study area, you may be able to receive credit towards a Linden College course in a related study area. Our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process can save you valuable time and money and help you start your career sooner.

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy of a document is a photocopy of the original that has been certified as a true copy by an authorised person. When you provide us with a scanned copy or photocopy of a document, it must be certified. All pages of submitted supporting documents must be certified. Make sure your current name is added to any documents you supply with your former names (if applicable).

Where can I get my documents certified?

In Australia a Justice of the Peace can certify your documents. You can also have them certified by a police officer, Commissioner of Declarations, bank manager, pharmacist, education agent, solicitor, barrister or patent attorney. If you are certifying your documents in your home country, the official records department of the institution that originally issued the documents can certify them for you. You can also have your documents certified by a notary public or an education agent.

What are your academic entry requirements?

The entry requirements for our certificate III, IV, diploma and advanced diploma courses require a Year 12 qualification level or equivalent. See the equivalent qualifications in your country.

What are your English language entry requirements?

Applicants to Linden College are required to meet a minimum standard of English language proficiency as assessed by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Entry requirements vary between courses. Visit the English entry requirements page for IELTS score equivalencies and more information.

What is VET?

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training. This is the type of accredited training that Linden College delivers. It is a tertiary level of education that delivers job-related training, industry-based outcomes, and technical skill sets.

Millennial’s in the Workplace


Millennial’s in the Workplace

As the population of millennial’s have entered the workforce, many industries are noting a change in the aspirations of their younger employees. It seems that younger people are moving from job to job more often than their older counterparts. However, they still have solid and evolving career goals. Their goals and lifestyles may be different, but, all the same, millennial’s need to think about their goals and aspirations for each position they apply for.  These are some things to note, that potential employers might ask you about when applying for a job.

1. What are your short-term career goals?

When a recruiter asks “What are your short-term career goals?” they are really trying to ascertain whether you are going to leave as soon as you get a better offer, says Amy Adler, a career coach and the founder of Five Strengths.

Kim Ann Curtin, executive coach and the author of Transforming Wall Street, agrees that priority number-one for most interviewers is to get a sense of the likelihood that you’ll stick around.

“The biggest fear employers have with millennial’s right now is that they won’t stay and have a tendency to leave after a year or two,” Curtin said.

2. What are your long-term career goals?

This question is aimed at figuring out whether you are realistic about the career path in this industry, your intentions for the future and the reason you’re interested in the job, Curtin says.

“Headhunters are looking for what millennial’s say that indicates how likely they are to stick around,” she said. “That’s at the heart of what headhunters are asking millennial’s about.”

Sometimes the question is rephrased as “What do you see as your next step after this job?”, but it’s basically trying to find out the same thing.

“Do they want to be out in a year, or promoted within a year?” said Alyssa Gelbard, the founder and president of Resume Strategists. “Baby Boomers don’t have that expectation of ‘I gotta be in, then I gotta get out and move on to the next thing.’”

This is the classic “where do you see yourself in five years?” The company wants to know if you will be a committed employee, willing to invest yourself into your career – with them.

3. How do you handle feedback?

A common way of wording this question is “What kind of feedback do you want to receive and how often?”

Questions related to handling feedback or constructive criticism are geared toward evaluating how well you respond to being given direction and redirection, Adler said.

“There’s a big difference between the way feedback is delivered in school and on the job,” said Gelbard. “Millennial’s should talk about times when they’ve had to handle something difficult, dealing with a client in person or over the phone, not just via text or email.”

This can also be a tangential way of gauging how sensitive you are and how you respond when things don’t go your way. Talk about a time when you were passed over for a promotion or an award that you felt you deserved and how you handled that disappointing situation. Be diplomatic.

“They should demonstrate that they’re OK dealing with failure, lack of success,” Gelbard said. “Working at a bank or hedge fund in the financial sector, not everyone gets a trophy, so hiring managers want to know, ‘How did you handle a time when you weren’t successful?’ – they value resiliency.”

4. What’s your ideal workday schedule?

Adler suggested hiring managers ask this one to make sure you are going to show up on time and work the proper number of hours within the firm’s standard work day.

It’s important to be in tune to how your job responsibilities can bleed into your life outside the office.

“Millennial’s in the industry should keep in mind that the person you’re interviewing with has probably gotten accustomed to the fact that you’re always on, seven days a week,” Curtin said. “Even after working long hours in the office, now everyone’s on their phone checking work emails 24/7.”

Talk about a project, assignment, presentation or deal that ran longer than expected or another example of how you faced unexpected challenges, Gelbard said.

5. How do you define “rewarding” work?

This one can be translated as: “What do you need to feel appreciated?” Adler said. Candidates considering a career in financial services should go in with eyes wide open that their job is all about the money.

“Millennial’s should realize that they are likely speaking to an organization that is not quite as evolved as they will eventually become,” Curtin said. “Millennial’s coming from a place of wanting to make a positive contribution and work a job that has value in the world need to dial it down”.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t want to be authentic, but maybe it’s not as important a conversation to have with [hiring managers] on Wall Street as it would be with those at more future-focused, younger companies,” she said.

Hiring managers are looking for an alignment of what the millennial candidate thinks the job requires and the actual responsibilities that the role entails, Gelbard said.

“Interviewers want to know what they’re expecting to do – ‘What do you think this job requires?’” she said. “Candidates may have a great work ethic and skills, but if they have no clue what they’d be expected to do if they were hired, that could be a problem.

6. What is your ideal work environment or company culture?

During any interview, the interviewer takes a look at the candidate’s lifestyle, searching for indicators of a cultural fit, or lack thereof.

“Do some work around talking to people who are already in the organization,” Curtin said. “This is about getting you in the door, who you are, your authenticity, ultimately you need that person interviewing you to feel that you’re one of them and you understand how their firm works, be informed about the culture, speak in ways that communicates that you’re comfortable with that culture and it’ll be a fit.

7. What are some of your hobbies?

While not every interview will ask this one, those who do are really trying to figure out whether or not they’d like to work with you on a daily basis. Is this person fun?

“If you’re in someone’s office, look for something that you have in common and you can get them to talk about that’s not work-related – human interaction between you can only help,” Curtin said. “You don’t just want to be locked into formal interview mode – you want to form a personal connection. It helps to build rapport for future conversations/interviews.

“They’re a human being, so say something that makes them feel like you see them that way,” she said. “‘You like the Yankees? I love the Yankees!’”

 

Millennial’s have their own benefits to offer older companies too. New ideas, a younger outlook, something to help to company grow into the future and evolve. They are adaptable and creative.

Older counterparts have had time to build their career and gain experience. Millennial’s are looking for companies to invest in them, in the same way that they are looking to invest in their career.

 

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