Putting together your Curriculum Vitae (CV) ahead of a job interview can be a daunting task for anyone – much more so if you’re feeling anxious about how your health could complicate matters.
As an organisation that helps persons with disabilities find employment, we would suggest that you do not disclose your disability in your CV. A CV is intended to ‘sell’ you as a potential candidate – and if your qualifications secure you an interview, any disabilities or health issues you might have can be discussed during that time.
Writing up a CV doesn’t have to be a scary process. All you need to do is to follow some of these tips, which we’ve categorised into three sections:
The first thing you want to make sure is that your desired employer is going to actually read your CV. That means that you must take special care to organise your information so that it’s reader-friendly.
Choosing a clean and consistent format ensures that allows the eye to flow seamlessly across the page makes your content easier to read. Avoid logos, fanciful fonts or Word Art as these often clutter the page and make it harder for readers to scan your CV quickly.
Another pro tip: Use bullet points whenever you can to organise your information. This will help you steer clear of large chunks of text which make your CV difficult to read.
This is the heart of your CV. Most people tend to dump the same information for all the jobs that they are applying for, so this is where you can stand out from the crowd by making sure that only the most relevant qualifications and job experience are included. However, there are some essential information you should always include, such as:
– Personal details (full name, current address, email address and phone number)
– Education (education level, dates attended, relevant course details, results)
– Work experience and achievements
– Interests and activities
– Special skills
Note that you should always list your information in chronological order. Always start with the latest – this goes for education, work experience, and interests.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of your interests and activities. Employers are not just looking for people with the right skills – but also the right personality and fit for the company. Giving them a glimpse of who you are as a person outside of the office can make the difference between a call-back and going into the reject pile.
It’s important to always keep things professional – and on a CV, your chance to do that is to ensure that your document is free from any grammar and spelling errors.
Remember that your CV is the first opportunity to make a good impression on a hiring manager or a recruiter, and you don’t want them to think that you can’t be bothered to check your document for errors.
Spellcheck can help in this regard, but it is not foolproof. Hence, it is always best to comb through your document a few more times on your own. Read your copy aloud to see if flows smoothly.
One more thing about being professional: Don’t lie. The truth always comes out and this will be obvious if you’re quizzed about your experiences during the interview.
About our CV Clinics
Do you have more questions about how to build a great CV? Join us at our upcoming CV clinic on August 23 at the Enabling Village, where an expert – such as a HR director or HR professional – will give a talk on how to write a great CV, as well as conduct 1-to-1 consultations with attendees. On average, about 50 PWDs attend our CV clinics, along with about 15 to 20 volunteers. Volunteers also come from the Singapore Business Network on Disability to assist with the talk and consultations.
Click here to find out more.