Now I have your attention, I am going to immediately disappoint those of you who were hoping for hot advice on how to meet the man / woman of your dreams! However, stick with me dear reader as I may have useful advice for you anyway, and as a bonus I will include a nugget of relationship advice right at the end to reward your perseverance.
Dates to Remember
The dating tips of course relate to the question of the use of chronological or date order on your CV or Resume. I am often asked which order to list work experience on a Resume, or “should I use reverse chronological order on my CV?” The answer is without doubt “Yes”, and here’s why.
In terms of time and the attention span of the reader of your CV, you have a very short window in which to impress you potential employer. In the game of submitting your CV to win a new job, every second counts and every word matters. More importantly every misplaced detail, or piece of irrelevant information may count against you. So, improve your chances and use reverse chronological order to detail your work experience.
Dates you might want to forget
Reverse date (chronological) order on your Resume will allow the reader to see your most recent and relevant work experience first, which will undoubtedly be the experience that any prospective new employer will be looking for.
Let’s imagine you are applying for a senior Mechanical Engineering role. Detailing on your CV that you started your working life 20 years ago as an apprentice too maker with British Steel is interesting, and listing work history relating to your role as an offshore mechanical technician on a North Sea oil rig 15 years ago, is also factually correct. But for this role, what your next employer is interested in is your Mechanical Design and Project Management experience gained while working for a multi disciplinary engineering company for the past 2 years.
This is the key and relevant information relating to the experience which will immediately grab the attention of your next employer. This is the part of your CV which will determine very quickly whether you are a potential serious candidate for their vacancy.
Make it easy for the reader of your CV to see that you are the right candidate for them. Don’t risk forcing the hiring manager wade through 2 pages of ancient history regarding your work experience before getting to the crux of the matter. After the first half a page they will probably have given up, or at least started to feel slightly aggrieved that you are making them work harder to find the relevant information.
- Start at the present date and work backwards
- Date using the month and year, blurring the edges will cause suspicion
- If you have had a career gap, detail what you were doing during that break and the reason for the gap
Should I talk about my past when dating?
I’m not suggesting here that you should forget your past on your CV, however any work experience over 10 years should just be listed in terms of name of employer, job title and no more than a one liner to describe your duties.
This detail will give context to your work progression, but keep irrelevant detail to a minimum and allow your best attributes to shine through. This technique will also enable you to stick to the optimum length of a CV, which I have addressed in another article which you can access by clicking here.
Don’t discuss your first love, or even your second when embarking on a new romantic date, it’s the person you are now that your prospective partner is interested in. Let them discover your rich tapestry of experience and catalogue of past history later! The same applies to your CV.
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