Work in Progress: Snapshot of the big picture

Employment expert Danielle Berkowitz offers her advice on how to navigate the Israeli job market and master the art of the CV.

CV (photo credit: Thinkstock)
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
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A Curriculum Vitae (CV or resume) is a vital tool for every job seeker, however many job seekers struggle to create an effective CV. The goal of a CV is to introduce yourself with just enough information to make the reader call you. A CV will not get you a job. A CV should make you look interesting and get you an interview. Maintain focus and look at the big picture to craft a useful and relevant CV.
The format and details of a CV often depend on culture and industry. All CVs should be highly targeted on the specific job and on the company. A single page is sufficient. Work experience relevant to the position should be listed in reverse chronological order.
Highlighting key strengths and significant experience
Israelis expect brief, directed CVs that show strong experience in a narrow field. CVs should indicate marketable skills in the context of job responsibilities. Make use of action words to demonstrate your abilities. Highlight experience pertaining to the job you are applying for and minimize any irrelevant experience. Unless you worked for a large internationally known company, include a sentence about the company. For job seekers new to the Israeli market, any work experience in Israel, even volunteer work, should also be included to show familiarity with the Israeli work place and the ability to work in a Hebrew environment.
Section breakdown
CVs should have an education section with any college or university degrees and vocational training. Include courses relevant to the job. Leave off high school degrees and training in another field. The education section should be followed by a computer skills section. Any courses regarding computer training can be listed here. List industry specific programs that you are proficient in.
The final section on a CV should be for language. List languages you are both fluent and conversational in. Indicate proficiency, including which is your mother tongue.
Other sections such as hobbies, interests or achievements are unnecessary, leave them out. Unless you have won the Nobel Prize, keep your CV professional.

Formatting - clean and simple
CVs should be written as bullets, not paragraphs, stick to not more than two fonts and one color for titles. The document should be clear and easy to read, both on a screen and in print. Avoid graphics and designs. Check for typos. Have a friend proofread it.
It can be helpful to have your CV translated into Hebrew, if you cannot write it in Hebrew yourself. This may be necessary when applying to larger companies. Know your industry, for high tech positions it is common to send the CV in English.
Email your CV with three or four sentences in the email. These sentences are your cover letter and should explain why you are a good fit for the position. If you can write in Hebrew this is recommended. CVs should be saved and sent in a format that can be read on most computers, such as pdf or doc (not docx).
Take a look at your CV- the whole page. If your eye does not know where to go, it is possible that something is not clear and this means a busy recruiter will likely move on without taking the time to decipher what you meant to say.
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