Feeling stuck on how to write up your NZ CV? Look no further than right here! Writing up a resume can be daunting or annoying or even just plain boring, so here’s a guide to get your CV looking spick-and-span…fast!
On the first page in the header section, you should have your first and last name, best contact number and email. It would also be convenient to have your current postal address, but that may be hard if you’re still deciding where to settle or if you keep moving around. Having your name and contact details at the beginning, immediately establishes who you are and the best way to get in touch with you.
In the first paragraph below your contact details, it’s always nice to have a personal statement or summary to provide a little snapshot of yourself (not a literal picture!), but make sure it’s not too generic or extremely long-winded. Additionally, don’t treat it like a Facebook profile either – we don’t need to know your relationship status or if you have a dog (even if she is arguably the cutest little pup ever).
Repeat after me: Reverse Chronological Order – Reverse Chronological Order! When listing your employment history, start with your most recent role moving down the list to the oldest, including both the month and year, or else potential employers will think you haven’t worked in how many years. For e.g.:
(Month and Year – Month and Year/Present)
This advice is the same if you’ve completed any tertiary qualifications, however, stick to years only. For e.g.:
(Year of completion)
Also, place your Education section before your work history for structural purposes. Don’t include primary, intermediate or secondary school, because it really isn’t necessary. Otherwise, if you went straight into working after school, you can either just have your high school listed or leave this section out completely.
When explaining each role and the duties you held at each company, break it up into concise bullet points, starting off with a nice subtitle like ‘Responsibilities’. You don’t need to have a huge chunk of text explaining every single task in the most detailed way possible — keep it short, but relevant. Try stick to 5-6 key responsibilities, though not more than 6. Another subtitle you should add is the ‘Achievements’ you had in each role. This immediately highlights exactly what you accomplished during your time and will always help make your resume much more appealing.
What usually goes at the end are referees aka people you’ve specifically chosen to provide recommendations. Not to be confused with reference, which is what the person will be saying to support your case of being hired. It would be appreciated if you’ve listed people with their full name, job title, company, best contact number, and email underneath. However, at this stage, it is not necessary to have a list of certain people and their details; you may just indicate “Provided upon request” instead — just be sure you actually do have referees ready and you’ve let them know well beforehand and they are happy to provide a reference for you.
A few last tips:
- Try to keep your resume 1-3 pages max
- Don’t use colours or different styled fonts – utilise bold or italicised words instead
- Don’t make the font of the main body of your resume too small or large – anywhere between size 10-12 is a good, readable size
- Don’t put any sort of images especially ones of your face, or any logo or Word Art
- If you want to add an ‘Interests/hobbies’ section, place this before your Referees’ names and don’t list one-worded activities, i.e., Reading. At least follow it with a short sentence as to why you enjoy participating, or even better, add some achievements here too!