Friday 10 December 2010

Business Writing: How to write CV like a pro? -- Part 1

Actually, this is the continuation of Business Writing: How to write like a pro? -- Part 4; however, since the basic skills have already been covered, we can go on and discuss specifically the genre of the writing.

Since many students are asking me how to write an impressive Curriculum vitae (CV) recently, which is understandable because it is near the end of the year and the economy is getting better, I will begin a new chapter on Business Writing: How to write CV like a pro?

Image from Google

I don't know how many parts there will be, so just keep following my blog.

Okay, let's begin.

The Introduction

"If you want me to be your future boss, tell me why I should read your CV?"

This is a really important question to ask yourself before you start typing. Well, actually, the HR department people are the ones who will scan and filter CVs, so before your CV gets to your future boss, you will have to make yours look special. The introduction, which is below your name, your address, email address and phone numbers, is the first and probably the ONLY thing that the HR will read, if it is good enough, your CV will never end up on the boss's table.

How to make it look special? Design, layout, fonts, text types, etc. are all something you should look at, but still how you write is more important.

Knowing how to WOW them is THE MOST IMPORTANT.

As we all know, a CV is best to be fit inside 1 or 2 pages of A4 paper, depending on your experience, so, there isn't really a lot of space to write too much. So, an excellent CV begins with the use of lexically dense sentences. To do that, you need to sit down and write down what you really think about your current job and then your new job.

For example,

I am a merchandiser. I have worked in the field for 10 years and I have a lot of experience in handling buyers from mainland China. I am extremely hard-working and patient. I love working in this field a lot because I like the challenges this job offers me. I want to find a new job because I want to get a better pay. My colleagues are making me sick now and I also don't like my current boss. I think changing my working environment can help me do better, maybe even get promoted.

Now, make this lexically dense while dropping or rephrasing all negative comments!

I am an experienced, patient, extremely hard-working, job-loving merchandiser with 10 years of experience in the field, particularly skillful in handling mainland Chinese buyers.  I am looking for a new challenging job because I want to change my working environment to perform better.

Drop all "I am" or "I' and replace simple words with higher level descriptive keywords to WOW your readers.

A seasoned, patient, dedicated and devoted professional with over 10 years of experience in merchandising, specialising in liaising with Chinese buyers, is now seeking new challenge for better performance.

This is not the most perfect version, and there never will be, because it all depends on the readers, but I think I have shown the idea of how to write the introduction of the CV.

Is that the end? Of course not!

From here, you have a base introduction to build on, but you will need to adapt this to every single job that you are applying and add different key abilities into it to make it fit into the new company's requirement.


Imagine that you are a merchandiser, you see this job ad from the internet and you are interested to apply:

The packaging division in Yau Tong of a listed group invites high caliber candidates to the following post. We offer attractive salary and fringe benefits package to the right candidate.

Senior Merchandiser / Merchandiser

  • Liaison with suppliers and buyers including brand name clients independently;
  • Orders follow up, sourcing the products from sample development, quality control, bulk order to shipment;
  • Coordinating tasks between different departments in Hong Kong office and China factory to fulfill customer requirements and to meet schedule timeline on projects;
  • Perform all purchasing and marketing activities including forecast report
  • Non-Degree Tertiary in Purchasing, Marketing or related discipline;
  • 3-4 years working experience in manufacturing industry;
  • Solid working experience in Packaging, Gift & Premium and Sundries will be an advantage;
  • Independent, proactive and customer-oriented;
  • Good command of spoken and written English, fair Mandarin;
  • Proficiency in PC applications-Excel, MS Office and Chinese Windows;
  • Frequent travel to Dongguang, the PRC

Interested parties please send your detailed C.V. with current and expected salary to HR Manager at for interview. All information received are strictly for recruitment purpose only.

What will you add to the base introduction to make it WOW?

Business Writing: How to write like a pro? -- Part 4