Your whole professional life on one sheet of paper? Not possible. Your CV is a chance to give a snapshot of your experience, skills and personality. Its function is to get you through the door for an interview.
Experience. Don’t just stick to job titles and dates. Briefly describe what you’ve achieved and why it’s relevant for the position you’re applying for. Focus on your ability to work in a team and get results. That doesn’t just mean hitting targets and making profit. Employers are likely to be just as interested in your so-called ‘soft’ skills: attributes such as leadership, cooperation, vision, integrity and charisma.
Interests. Employers are keen to see you’ve got a life beyond work. But they’re not going to learn much from a bald list of hobbies: reading, fishing, cancan dancing. Pick a couple of things you’re proud of – an achievement or a feat of organisation perhaps – and think what they say about you.
References. Getting good references isn’t complicated. Get in touch with a boss or colleague you had a good rapport with. They’re likely to be more than happy to field an email or phone call from your potential employer – and that could make all the difference.
Tone. Layout, the type of language you use, the degree of self-confidence/modesty on display: they all say something about you. Your CV is a piece of marketing material like any other. The good news is, there is no right answer on this one. Have a look at a few model CVs – there are plenty online – and see what works for you. Finally, think quality not quantity. Can your CV pack a punch in a side or double-side of A4?