A common mistake candidates make is to not take care and pay special attention to the section in the CV where you list your current responsibilities.  Many simply take their job description applicable to their current and previous positions and do a copy and paste exercise.  When an experienced recruiter reads this information it is clear to them that there has not gone any thought into the section and that it is often not a clear and accurate reflection of what the candidate is actually doing.  I am not saying that certain elements taken from your job description should not be inserted but it should definitely not just be a copy and paste exercise.

This section should provide me, the reader, with a clear understanding of what you are actually doing in your current position.  Short simple descriptions will help and your actual key performance areas should be focused on.  Simply put a key performance areas are those specific tasks or jobs that you do within your current position that you are responsible and accountable for.  This in my opinion should not exceed 5-6 areas of responsibilities and tasks that you are accountable for.  I am not saying that it should only be a simple number of tasks but be careful not to just list for the sake of making you look good. If you are an artisan for example you could list the following:

  • Responsible for maintaining equipment and machines in my areas of responsibility
  • Do comprehensive fault finding and take remedial and corrective action
  • Attend to breakdowns on machines and equipment on time to ensure optimum availability
  • I ensure 100% availability of machines and equipment under my direct control as per company standards
  • Experience, technical knowledge and expertise in maintaining the following equipment ………… (list the major types of equipment)
  • I ensure that I work to company standards in performing my duties and do so in a cost effective and safe manner.

When a recruiter is searching for an artisan he will without any doubt see from the above whether you have the experience required from the responsibilities that you listed.  So the basic message here is that you tell people what you actually do!!!  Long paragraphs and a long list of things you copied and pasted from other documents does not help.  As a recruiter I have a job specification received from the client and this tells me exactly what I am looking for. Take this into account when you draft your CV.  As a recruiter this is what I would like to see.

The above is true for every occupation and may vary somewhat in it’s complexity when it gets to more senior and management positions.  In essence the CV that you present should focus on just three issues, namely:

  • Do I have the qualifications that they are asking for – and list them
  • Do I have the required experience taking into account the advertisement with the job specifications that I have seen – show in your CV that you have the experience and skills
  • Will I be able to contribute from day one and perform my duties as may be expected of me.

My advice is to avoid getting into the trap by trying to impress with long drawn out paragraphs, quotations, how good you think you are, that you are willing to learn, etc. etc.  Rather impress with what your skills are, that you have the desired qualifications, that you have the experience that they require and that you are able to contribute 100% from day one.

This is really a simple concept but can be tricky to do – focus and pay attention to drafting a CV that tells me as recruiter that you will be able to do the job.