Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The CV Book

Author:        James Innes
Published:    2009
Publisher:    Pearson Education Ltd.
Paperback: 264 pages
Readers in India

As and when the current recession scenario improves, the prospective employers and recruiting agencies will start shortlisting candidates for interview from thousands of CVs in their database. 
What do you need to do to make your CV stand out and catch their eye and  get you called for an interview ? This is precisely what James Innes, MD of one of UK's leading CV consulting firm tries to answer through this book.

This extremely well laid out and highly readable book has 9 parts.

Part 1 tells you how to get the basics of your CV right - its presentation style, its content and its structure.

In Part 2, the author provides guidance on writing each of the section expected in a CV - the professional profile, objective, educational qualifications, career history, key skills, achievements, other interests and activities.

The 15 most common mistakes people commit while writing a CV and the tips on how to avoid them are provided in Part 3.

Part 4 is probably what may set this book from other similar books on CV writing. It has a very useful chapter where the author advises you how to tackle in a CV the issues like not having relevant work experience, having breaks in the career, too frequent job changes, being overqualified, being over age etc. This part also tells us how CVs for different professions like medical, academic, legal, engineering, design, performing arts, military services can differ from the standard boiler-plate CVs.
This book is mainly caters to writing CVs for UK based jobs. However one of the chapters in Part 4, provides general guidance on how to modify your CV if you are applying for jobs in other European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Part 5 very briefly tells you how to tailor your CV to the job vacancy that has been advertised for. As per the author the best technique is to subtly repeat back in the CV , the key words which is found in the recruitment ad for that job.

Part 6 discusses the the key points you should keep in mind while e-mailing your CV . For e.g. specifying job title in the subject field, placing contents of the cover letter in the body of the e-mail instead of sending it as an attachment, giving meaningful and clearly identifiable name for the file which contains your CV.

Part 7 has a couple of chapters on how to write cover letters and on how to fill in the application form provided by the company where you are applying for job. Also there are two short chapters devoted to hunting for jobs and facing interviews. These in my opinion are more of teasers to entice readers to visit the author's company website and buy his book on interviews. Nothing wrong about it, though I feel these chapters were not really necessary in this book.

Part 8 has a selection of  about 20 odd sample CVs covering a wide range of industry and seniority levels. These can also be downloaded free from  http://www.ineedacv.co.uk/freetemplates.

In Part 9 the author  summarizes  all the important principles of CV writing covered in this book by discussing the following five top tips to make your CV stand out:
  1. Maximize readability
  2. Include a Professional Profile and Objective
  3. Include Achievements where possible
  4. Keep your CV concise and to-the-point
  5. Target/tailor your CV
The book is written with a great sense of humor supported by examples of CV bloopers encountered by the author in real life.

A must read for every job seeker !
I also recommend visiting the website of the author's firm The CV Centre (http://www.ineedacv.co.uk) for useful resources. You can even get a very high-level review of your CV done free there.

No comments:

Post a Comment