Top Tips for preparing your Administration/Secretarial CV
I have lost count of the amount of times where I have read that a potential employer will only spend up to 20 seconds scanning your CV.
I however don’t believe this. I do believe that regardless of how much time a Recruiter or potential employer spends reviewing your CV if you don’t have the relevant duties or responsibilities listed, you could possibly be ruled out for that perfect or dream role.
Here is my advice for preparing your CV; your CV should be or include the following:
• Approximately 2-3 pages long
This is obviously dependent on your experience and the number of roles that you have worked on. As a rule of thumb we would say to try and keep your CV to two to three pages. Always give most attention to your most recent roles.
• Must have a profile or objective
This is a section that succinctly summarises the most important skills that you have and the ideal role that you are looking for
• Keep the CV in chronological order
Put the most relevant roles and experience at the beginning and older roles at the end
• Include all current and past duties
Employers want to see all your previous responsibilities. This can sometimes make the difference between being called to interview or not depending on what the prospective employer sees as relevant to the current role
• Include the total amount of time that you spent in each role
Don’t leave any blanks on your CV and include the dates that you spent in each role
• Highlight Job Titles and Promotions
List other job titles that you had particularly if you were promoted or worked in more than one role within the same company
• Highlight Education and Training- You want to highlight relevant qualifications, education and or specific training that you have received. All courses relevant for the position applied to should also be listed e.g. ECDL, Secretarial governing bodies, etc.
I recently met a candidate who had a really well formatted CV. On meeting her, I found out the CV was missing about 50% of the tasks she was actually responsible for. On initial review, this almost ruled the candidate out of the process for the job that she was applying for. Upon meeting this candidate and following my advice above, her good CV became excellent and she secured the job that she applied for.
As a result, I always say to people “even if you make the tea put it on the CV”. Of course making tea for people isn’t relevant and won’t be considered a duty! What it does do though is make people think about what they actually do on a daily basis and acts as a gentle reminder for tasks that may seem unimportant to them but potentially important for others.
Here are a few other little tips for Administration/Secretarial CVs which is my area of specialisation:
– If you are in a Legal Secretary role – what areas of law have you exposure to? Property/Litigation/Medical Negligence/Employment/Probate, etc.
– If you are in a Receptionist role – what switchboard system do you currently use and how many lines/extensions etc.
– What PC and Software packages are you proficient in?
It is important to put down absolutely everything that you have done on your CV and then decide what’s relevant for the role you are applying for. You may have to tailor your experience and also what you highlight on your CV depending on the role that you are applying for.
So remember what doesn’t seem important or taxing to you could be the difference in not only securing an interview, but quite possibly that perfect new job!
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