Hello, my name is Denitza and I am a job-seeker. I have moved to Denmark recently and two days ago I earned my 2-month jobless badge.
I am usually very selective. Even before I start preparing my application documents, I try to imagine myself working in that specific company/group, while living in the new city/country. If I see a potential future, a future that I like, then I start thinking about my application documents. I read the job announcement very carefully; I underline key words, for example key competences or specific technical expectations. I analyse the frequency and the order in which these keywords appear. Then, I map my own experiences and skills, and identify the overlapping areas. Once it has become clear to me how I should package myself, I revise my CV. By the time I’m done with it, I feel confident I can write a motivation letter that fits the expectations of my future employers, because I really want that specific job and the lifestyle that comes with it.
This is how I have approached every new application until now. The difference this time around is, I have limited my search radius from “The World” to “North and Central Jutland”. While I’ve limited the geography aspect, I actually expanded the job type category from “Only academic” to “Any” by including industry and non-profit and governmental organizations. These two changes, resulted in almost complete revamp of my good old CV. It has been just few months since I started looking for a new job and I have already four different types of CVs each with couple of different versions. I’m the same person, there is no change in what I can do or what I dream of.
So, why do I have four CVs?
CV #1: My academic CV
It is six pages long, my most exhaustive one, and in English. It lists everything I have done in the past, all my skills, interests etc. It has also a complete list with scientific publications and a list with awards and grants I’ve got. I use/d this type of CV when I am/was applying for academic jobs or as an attachment to grant applications. When I started applying for non-academic jobs, I realized this format is completely useless, because no one has the time and patience to read six long pages. Nevertheless, I updated my old academic CV. I use it when I contact research institutions and as a starting point for all the rest of my CVs.
CV #2: My non-academic CV
It is three pages long, it’s also in English, and I use a different version for each non-academic job I have been applying. It starts with a short summary of my competences, expertise areas, professional interests and skills. I emphasize on the overlap between what I can do and what the company has announced they need, and I exclude the irrelevant things. From different discussions with people, I got the feeling that this may not be good enough to get a job in North or Central Denmark, so this lead me to my CV #3.
CV #3: My Danish CV
It is also three pages long, but it is in Danish, and it conforms better to the Danish CV standards. At this point, I found out that IDA (the Danish Society of Engineering) has guidelines on CV structure and how to make your CV more compelling. The Danish CV template starts with a narrative, two-three paragraphs long resume, in which you explain who you are, what you can do, and what you stand for. This is followed by the skills, the experience, and the education sections. There is usually also a personal section with hobbies or other character defining details. I like the idea that the CV should be more of a personality mirror and less a dry (“professional”) list of facts. My Danish CV is probably far from perfect, but I thought it is an improvement on CV #2. I am committed to improving my Danish and I hope to be immersed in a Danish working environment where I can improve faster, so I thought my CV should reflect my commitment as well.
CV #4: My infographic CV
This is my shortest CV: it is just a page long. I prepared it for the Job Fair I am attending next week (Karrieremessen in Gigantium, Aalborg, on 5th of March). I wanted something that sums-up my experience and competences, but also provides an overview of what I want and what I can offer to my future employers. The structure of this CV is closer to a poster or an advertisement, but It was really important to me to include a wishlist section. I hope that this will make it very clear what type of work environment I am searching for. I had to be honest with myself about my priorities, but I believe that is the right way to my next full-time and hopefully long-term professional engagement.