Is the Standard of your Writing Affecting your Job Chances?

When people think of writing, they invariably think oof story writing or creative writing. Curriculum Vitae (CV) (or resume) writing is an entirely different discipline to creative writing although the rules you learn through creative writing regarding grammar, spelling and punctuation are extremely important in CV writing, even if the creative aspect is not required.

Since your CV is a shop window for you and is more often than not the first and only impression that you will give a recruiting employer, it is imperative that you ensure it is written to the highest standard you can manage.

There are many websites out there offering free advice that can easily be applied to CV writing (or resume writing) so you don’t have to pay someone else to write it for you. This will allow you to submit it, confident in the knowledge that it is all your own work. Some believe there is something rather dishonest about having your CV written for you as it doesn’t provide an insight into your own written communication skills.

Poor language or spelling will reflect badly on you. Rightly or wrongly, a prospective employer will take this as an indication of your general level of literacy. For this reason, you should look for some editing and checking advice to combine with language and punctuation advice.

Don’t rush your CV; take your time. Make sure you have addressed all of the points possible. Use the language and writing advice you find to ensure that your sentences are as efficient as possible. This means that you get the desired message across in the minimum number of words. Your resume needs to be short, or you risk not having it read at all.

Check your spelling and punctuation more than once: there are few things that annoy reviewers more than bad spelling and badly applied punctuation.

There is always a tendency and a temptation to use partial sentences and phrases in bullet points because ‘they’ll know what you mean’. Try to avoid this wherever possible and demonstrate, through your CV, your ability to be an effective written communicator. You will notice more and more job advertisements asking for excellent written and oral communicators: your CV can demonstrate this for you at the application stage if you take the time and put the effort in.

There are a great many websites out there giving advice on how best to lay out your CV and what information to include, so there’s no point in repeating it all here. Try visiting www.freewritingadvice.com for some of the general writing advice described in this article.

Since CV, or resume, writing is open to a large amount of subjective opinion, it pays to research what is currently accepted and preferred practice in the jobs market today. The content and style of CVs/resumes can change through time and each reviewing manager will have their own preferences.

Try looking at specialised forums or online communities to get a good view of opinion and advice from specialists and other job hunters, who can give you the benefit of their experience. This may vary depending on the job sector you are targeting, so do your homework. Monster.com has a Resume Tips forum that is definitely worth a browse.

There are a great many sites offering advice, services and examples of CVs / resumes. Specialist sites like Resume-help.org can prove to be very valuable if you would prefer to have your CV professionally written, are looking for examples to base to your own on or are looking for specialist advice on what your CV, or even covering letters, should contain.

Paul Docherty has over 13 years experience of technical and business related writing, as well as operations management and project managing complex technical writing projects. Try visiting www.freewritingadvice.com for free practical advice on writing.

Image taken on 2009-04-16 09:06:56. Image Source. (Used with permission)

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