Preparation for a CV session with Chris Eilers

It will speed up the CV/résumé preparation process if you have to hand the following information prior to our first CV/résumé preparation session.

Work history

If possible, list all the job titles or self-employment roles you have had since high school, along with the names of the organisations you worked for, the city or town in which your work was based, and the years in which you started and finished each job:

• If it is only two or three years since you left school, include any paid work or unpaid work experience you did while at school
• If it is more than fifteen years since you left school, your earlier jobs probably have little relevance, but some recruiters like to see a complete history so it is generally preferable to include these jobs
• If you worked in two or more jobs in any one year, don’t strain yourself trying to remember every job and every employer — we will probably either omit one or more of these jobs or else list the job titles below a general heading such as “Overseas travel / Casual work”
• Account for the whole period — if there is a year or years in which you were not employed, list any activities you were involved in


2003–current Sales Representative, RML (1989) Limited, Christchurch
2000–03 Receptionist / Customer Services Officer, Higgins and Sons, Invercargill
1994–2000 Parenting / PTA involvement, Dunedin
1992–94 Tertiary studies / Holiday work, University of Otago, Dunedin

If you have performance appraisals, written references, job descriptions, sales records or other competency indicators from any of this work, bring them to the CV/résumé preparation session.

Secondary roles

List any secondary work, committee roles or memberships in organisations, and the years in which you were involved. Whether we include these roles in your CV/résumé will depend on whether we consider they contribute positively to your employment target.

Training and awards

Bring originals or copies of any training certificates, diplomas, scholarships, awards or university transcripts. If it is only a few years since you left school, include your school leaving report. List any conferences, courses, seminars or workshops you have attended along with the names of the umbrella organisations and the years. Again, don’t strain your memory too much — if you have attended a large number of seminars or workshops, we may decide to refer to these in general terms, or list only the ones you have attended over the last few years.


We need the names of two or three people who are willing to speak on your behalf. Ideally, these are people to whom you have reported in the last two or three jobs. We will want to include the current job title of each referee, the name of their employer, the city or town in which their work is based and their mobile, work and/or home phone number. If you reported to them in one of their former job roles, we will also want to list the former job role and the organisation to which you both belonged. If you have recently been involved in full-time study, you may wish to include one or more tutors or teachers as referees. If you have recently been self-employed, you may wish to include your accountant, business advisor, solicitor or a major client of your business. Care needs to be exercised in choosing referees — they are often a key factor in the candidate selection process. You may want to talk over possible referee choices in the CV/résumé preparation session.

© Chris Eilers 2005–20.