Impress before the Interview :- Your CV meets the recruiter before you and creates that vital first impression. It’s your chance to sing your own praises and make an employer sit up and take notice. So, it’s worth taking some time to perfect it.
What’s more, your CV is the one part of the job-seeking process over which you have total control. There’s no pressure, so you can take your time to fine-tune it.
But how do you decide which facts to include and which to leave out? How do you sell yourself without coming across as a know-it-all?
What should your CV Contain :- Your aim is to convince the employer that you have the necessary experience, knowledge and hunger to do the job. Many CVs do nothing more than provide a stark list of job titles and duties; but all companies are results-orientated – so you must emphasize what you’ve achieved within a role, show how you added value to a company or how you made a difference.
Always be honest about your achievements and skills and make sure the information is up to date – just one extra qualification or skill could make all the difference between getting an interview or not.
Structure of your CV
1. Personal Details:-Build your CV by starting with your personal data (name, address, phone number, age and nationality). Personal Profile: summarize your skills, experience, knowledge – and career aspirations in 2-4 lines. It’s the perfect way to give the employer an overview of your suitability for the job.
2. Work History :-Employers want to know what are you doing now and have done in the recent past. So if you are already employed, focus on your career history first and then move on to your academic qualifications. (If you are a college-leaver or still in education, start with details of your education and academic achievements.) List details of all jobs you have done in chronological order starting with the current or the most recent one. Include details like job title, the name of the company and the period of employment. Follow this with a description of the role, your key responsibilities and remember to highlight your achievements. For previous jobs keep the details briefer – unless they were more significant in terms of the post you are applying for. Incomplete details may generate suspicion so don’t leave gaps in your career history. If you took a year out to study or travel, say so and make a virtue of it.
Do not include in your resume as to why you are moving on. That will be discussed well during the interview.
3. Qualifications & Education :-Follow the same approach as with your employment history when it comes to qualifications and professional training. Begin with your most recent qualifications and work back; if you have a degree or higher qualification, there may not be a need to include an extensive list of your junior educational certificates. And if you are in education at the moment, expand on areas of your studies that might be relevant to the post you are applying for.
4. Interests :- Be honest in stating your hobbies and interests. If you can tie them in with the job selection criteria, for example, to show that you are a team player, then do so, but never risk claiming something you can’t back up at interview. The chances are you’ll be found out.
If you are just starting out in the job market, give any evidence you can to demonstrate initiative or practical skills, for example, voluntary work, elected office in a society, member of a sports team or contributor to a college magazine.
5.Presentation and Layout :- Employers are busy people, see it from their side! – wading through hundreds of CVs is a time-consuming process. Research shows that, on average, managers spend less than two minutes – and often just 30 seconds – examining each CV. So visual appeal counts. A jumbled, poorly laid-out CV is an open invitation to move to the next one; a well structured, clear and concise CV encourages the employer to read on.
6. Cosmetics :-The CV should not be too long – an optimum size would be 2 pages. Use subheadings (Career History etc.) wherever possible – they help the reader quickly find information. Keep it well-spaced, so it’s easy to read – don’t try to squash everything onto the page by using tiny typefaces. Use a simple, clear typeface – fancy fonts and gimmicky design devices reduce the clarity. Laser-print it on good quality white A4 paper – cheap photocopying paper doesn’t impress.
7. Style & Tone :-Write in a precise, clear style and sticks to the point – only include relevant information. Keep the language formal with short, crisp sentences – your personality will come through at the interview stage Use active keywords (created, devised, enjoyed, relished, helped, negotiated, managed, liaised, motivated) which have a positive impact. .Avoid jargon and abbreviations – the employer may not be aware of what they stand for.
8. Language :- Take great care with spelling and grammar – the slightest error can result in your CV being rejected. But don’t just run the CV through the spell-check – that won’t identify ‘typos’, discrepancies or grammatical inconsistencies.
Once you have checked the finished document, asks a friend to check again – a fresh pair of eyes often spots a mistake you missed.
(Article was first Published on 28.07.2007)