Brainstorming for Your CV: How to Get Started
Although the CV is not an excessively complicated document, it can sometimes be difficult to begin the drafting process if you are unsure of what types of information to include. If can be useful and effective to spend time brainstorming before worrying about the formatting and structure of the document. The following ideas offer useful strategies for the beginning stages of CV drafting.
Adapt to the Job Type
It is not abnormal to have a slightly different CV for each job that you apply for. When you find a potential job opening, you will want to make sure you read the description several times because it could provide clues as to what qualities the company values most. Additionally, it is useful to conduct research on the company by visiting their website to see if you can align yourself with the goals and mantras of the organization. Some of your accomplishments and experiences may be more relevant that others, and it is therefore important that you include information that is specifically applicable to the job.
Outline Your Experiences and Accomplishments
As you begin to make a list of your previous jobs and experiences, you may prod your memory for accomplishments that have temporarily slipped your mind. It can also be useful to list the specific tasks you completed while working these jobs, even if you do not end up using all of this writing in your CV. Having a list in front of you that addresses your entire employment history can help you to choose the experiences that you want to highlight as most relevant to the position you hope to be offered.
Outline Your Skills
Reflect upon skills you have acquired over the years, regardless of whether you think they are relevant to your application. In the same way that listing your experiences and accomplishments can jog your memory, listing your skills can help you come up with ideas you may not have initially considered. Some skills to consider while brainstorming include foreign language proficiencies and computer skills.
Narrow Your Information
After you have produced a thorough list of your experiences, accomplishments, and skills, you will want to refer back to the job description and make decisions as to which components of your brainstorming session will be most applicable to the job you want to receive. Although CVs can be several pages long, you want to be careful to avoid providing too much information because employers may not take the time to read a particularly lengthy CV. Therefore, highlighting your most relevant information can help with keeping the CV concise and still producing a strong document.
Having a pool of information you’ve written about yourself can be useful when drafting a CV. You may want to keep your brainstorming lists and add to them in the future so that you will not have to start fresh when composing a CV for a different job. Drafting your CV should become a much easier process after taking the time to brainstorm and remember different elements of your life that are applicable to your future employment. Visit Build-a-Career for further advice or to apply for jobs.