February 5th, 2009
Have You Thought of Writing a Performance CV?

If you have identified that you need a performance CV, this post is for you. Generally you will find the layout described here will work for you. Please feel free to add other sections as required or change the ordering of later sections to suit you.

Profile/Summary

This should be a short summary of your experience, skills and abilities, and be contained in four to six lines of text. Only list the attributes that will be of interest to your next employer; do not include irrelevancies.

Achievements

List 3 to 6 achievements which you feel will be in line with your next position. Do not list achievements which are not in line with what you want to do next. Bullet point your achievements to make them stand out. Start with the strongest point in your favour and then work backwards from there.

Experience

This should be in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent job and working backwards. You only need to include the year you started and the year you finished each job. You do not need to include the month or day, e.g. put 2000 – 2005 rather than 1.4.2000 – 4.6.2005. If you have had a lot of jobs you may need to group some of the earlier jobs together, e.g. ‘1995 – 2005 various publishing positions’.

If your job title does not reflect what you actually did, or it sounds a bit obscure, consider changing it. For example, if you are applying for a position as a Sales Representative and you are currently a Sales Representative but your job title (given to you by your company) is Customer Home Representative, you would be well advised to change your title to that of Sales Representative.

When you are describing your experience for each position you should start with the strongest point in your favour and then work backwards. If you have a lot of points to put under one specific job you may want to break this description into two or more sections. You could break up this section into responsibilities and achievements or you could break it up into specific functions, e.g. management, sales & marketing; the choice is yours.

If you have had a number of positions for a particular employer you may not want to include every individual job (in which case leave out the year designations for all jobs titles and just include the start and finish years for this employer), or you may be able to combine one or more of the jobs. If the jobs are completely unrelated you may be better off using a Functional or Targeted CV.

Make sure you stress your responsibilities and achievements under each job which will be useful in your next job, but do not repeat information in your CV as this will just bore the reader.

Training

Include the most important training courses on your CV, especially the ones relevant to the positions that you are after. You may not want to bother with a section on training or you may combine it with Education/Qualifications depending on how much space you have on your CV.

Education/Qualifications

Only list the most important qualifications. If you are a graduate you do not really need to list your ‘O’ Levels. You may want to put this section before the Training Section. Unless you have just completed a degree or MBA, this section should go after work experience. In the case of recently completed education, if your work experience is more likely to be of interest to an employer, you should still put work experience first. You could perhaps mention your recent qualifications in your profile or in your cover letter.

Additional Information

Include any additional information, such as any other professional bodies that you belong to.

Interests

Keep this part fairly short.

If you do not currently have any management responsibility and you are applying for a management position you may want to include positions of responsibility that you have held over the last few years, e.g. Led a team of staff while deputising for a manager.

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Thanks,
Catherine

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