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CVs–Getting Started

CV is not just a page to get your feet through interview doors, nor is it a mere page or two filled with automated words; it’s a purely marketing document picturing you, your education, your experience, your skills, your goals and your future. It’s your professional picture. If CV happens to be so important, then why not spend some time in making it attractive and worth reading for your employers. Before we learn how to write a CV, let’s have a glance through 2 types of CVs.

 

Depending upon the form and format, CVs come into 2 types.

a- Skills-Centric CV:

If you have little or no experience in the industry, the only positive you’ve got is your skills Instead of championing your previous work history and your experience, skills centric CV follows a form where your skills and core strengths take up the lime light, making up for experience slot intelligently.

b- Work-Centric CV:

Contrary to Skills-centric CV, this type of CV brings work history and industry experience to eyes, taking skills and qualifications to the bottom. Structuring CV through this bend allows employers to see through your all work experience and positions held mentioning the responsibilities entitled to these positions accordingly.

(Did you ever notice LinkedIn profile layout? It follows this structure of CV)

Work-centric CV is suitable for you, if:

  • you want to lay stress on your work history and experience rather than, on your skills and strengths
  • You have taken various challenging roles under specific titles and want to have your would be employer see them
  • You are applying for the same job as you have already done

CV in its knitty gritty

To skin a cat, there is always more than 1 way. That said, take following sections under deep consideration, while structuring your CV.

1. Design and layout

Brevity is soul of the wit. An ideal CV is of 2 pages, neither longer and nor shorter. In these 2 pages, show your employer what you are made of and what you can bring on the table for him.

Design and layout is more about structure and formatting of the CV. So, make sure that all your headers and body texts are easily discernable. Double make sure that all your font size, bullets, tabs and margins are equally spread through the entire CV. In order to keep the CV visually concrete, use only single font, or 2 maximum.

A cluttered CV reflects nothing but a messed up brain only.

2. Personal and Contact Information:

Full name, Date of Birth, Address, Phone Number followed by email address…. Its your personal and contact information. Isn’t it? Place this information on the top of your CV, allowing your employer to know you right away. Regarding email address, try to use an email address that sounds professional starting with your name. Never ever use a company’s email address. Main purpose of this information is to make yourself addressable and accessible, right way.

Father’s Name, your ID card number, passport number, marital status, nationality, religion should not have any place in your CV, until they are asked by your employer.

3. Career Objective:

A hard learnt message, never say anything that you don’t meant.

Including career objectives has become a trend over the years. Well, you can also add it, if you can make it clear, real and achievable. Career objective sounds better for the candidates who are already well on the route to their careers and have gained much experience.

4. Education and Skills:

Education comes first, for recent grads of course. Qualification section must include the educations from universities and colleges only, leaving diplomas and certificates for ‘Other Qualification’ section. Start education from most recent to earliest.

It’s worthwhile describing the courses relevant to the job you are applying for. A CV rambling with too much digits, dates and numbers falls hard on many brains, so it is sometimes wise to leave credits and grades. Same blows for links and references.

5. Work Experience:

Here comes the show. Employers have great respect for any work whatsoever as they know each employability gives birth to some certain skills. No one will blow the trumpets for you, so its where you have to take on your drums and beat them loud.

Start off with your latest job and describe the job with core tasks and responsibilities. Describing work is often quite challenging, so easier way is to get the job description right from the job ad that you once applied against.

And finally, don’t ever forget that

  • It takes only 15 seconds to initially scan through your CV. So, don’t lose your charms by unorganized and poorly formatted CV.
  • One bait catches one fish only. So, custom structure your CV for each job by highlighting the core strengths, academics and experience, relative to the job.
  • Plain, simple and professional language is always preferred over clichés, jargons and abbreviations. The rest is your choice.
  • Take up the words from the job description and replace them with ones in your CV. For example, replace Network Engineer with Network Administrator, only if its mentioned so in the job ad.
  • Use bullets and use phrases instead of long sentences. Keep everything specific and short
  • Spell check again. And when you have done it, do it again. Serious
  • A complete job application includes a Cover Letter first and then a CV. Make Cover Letter also.
  • Make sure, you send your CV in a format that is easily readable, as doc and pdf.