Examples

So far we’ve looked at the general principles for creating an enticing and easy to read CV; we’ve also covered the core contents and how it should be pieced together. Next I want to dig a bit deeper and consider the role examples play, in moving your CV from good to great!

What do you mean by examples? For your CV an example refers to anything that will help support the claims you are making about yourself. Once you get over the awkwardness of self-promotion, it is easy to make the claim that you are a “brilliant communicator” or a “dynamic leader”, what moves that from fiction to fact is the examples you use to support this.

Where might I use examples? Primarily in your industry experience, another great place to link in examples is in your skills section (if you choose to include one). Last time we went over how elaborating on experience by describing responsibilities and achievements is ideal. These achievements are most likely all going to be evidence (sometimes explicit and other times inferred) to support the claims you make about yourself as in the rest of your application. Likewise your skills will have a lot more credibility if you connect them back to examples.

Can you give me an example of an example? An example should relate back to some kind of evidence or data. When writing about your work experience, it’s great to demonstrate how you have brought about growth or improvement. Perhaps you identified a group of students who have a particular misconception or are not demonstrating an understanding of a particular concept; you then supported that group and now they consistently demonstrate an understanding of the content. This example requires some inference; what does it show about you as a teacher? For a start, it demonstrates great assessment skills, an ability to scaffold and tailor your teaching and communication to meet the needs of a group of students. Depending on what you are identifying as your strengths throughout your CV you might need help make the connections between an example like this and your strengths. Let’s look at an example for your skills section, perhaps you include leadership here; you could then connect this to being the captain of your hockey team for three years running or maybe link it to the fundraiser you organised with the help of a small team. In this case the examples are more explicit, no elaboration is needed unless you want to add additional details that strengthen the example.

Final advice? Get creative in your use of examples and add them, or links to them, wherever you can. Whenever possible your examples should use numbers and data as they help provide context and credibility.

With all that we have explored so far you should be able to put together an excellent CV, but even now, there is still one final ‘e’, evaluate.