The CV that wins
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the mirror which gives a company complete picture of the candidate. CV is a medium to market yourself.
Most people underestimate the importance of a CV (resume). Many of us put off writing our CV until last moment and do an inadequate job. Others feel that they know it all and treat the job of writing a resume far too casually. Actually, you would be well advised to ensure that both your resume and covering letter are so well prepared that they stand out among a thousand others, not only in content but also in presentation. Any compromises at this stage and you may not be short listed for the interview.
CV -Crucial in getting an Interview
Moreover, your perspective employers do not have the time or the inclination to meet all the people who may be interested in an opening, that makes it more important that among the other thousands of CVs, yours must stand out; not only in contents but also by the way it is formatted.
Essential Information must be Mentioned
Personal Information: Name, date of birth, marital status, language known, address, telephone number.
Educational Background: Institutions attended with years, marks obtained, qualifications, achievements, computer literacy.
Employment History: Name of organisation(s), years, designation(s), responsibilities, achievements and training programme attended. Include any part time or summer employment if you do not have any full time experience.
Stick to the Basic Rules
(a) Avoid spelling mistakes.
(b) Use good quality paper.
(c) Do not send curriculum vitae with spelling errors corrected by whitening fluid or by hand.
(d) Use proper margins and spend time formatting it properly.
(e) Send the printed laser outputs instead of photocopying. It may cost you more but it says a lot about you.
Don't lie even if it is a small lie. Usually such lies are about achievements, grades and marks or summer projects. The personnel departments in most companies do take pains in verifying claims.
Use one or at best not more than two typefaces while preparing your CV. If you are looking for visual relief and highlighting then you can use block capitals, italics, bold type, underlining, varying font sizes, or any combinations of these. Choose a font that is simple and easy to read. Do not go in for a fancy typeface. It will take away legibility of your CV.
Don't leave gaps in your CV. If you have lost some years between your +2 and graduation or after your graduation, explain the gap.
Special Tips for the Freshers
Your basic task is of communicating the fact that your skills, school and college education work experience, achievements, projects and extracurricular activities - all add up to make you the right person for the job.
Don't underestimate the value of your summer jobs, and your extra curricular activities. These are opportunities to use skills related to the job. They are often more job related than the academic qualification itself. The skills that you can demonstrate through any project or extracurricular activity include leadership skills, an ability to negotiate, plan and organise. In the absence of any direct organisational experience these add real meat to your CV. In other words, they help to differentiate you from the crowd and are often the most interesting part in your CV. Be sure to include all projects that you were in either alone or as a team and anything 'extra' you did.
Let us take a look at some of these in more detail.
Summer jobs: Normally any interview will include questions on summer jobs to test whether you understand the industry, the organisation and area of relevance. You are expected to be an expert in the area directly related to your training.
Extracurricular activities: These usually demonstrate interpersonal, communication organisation liaison, coordination and leadership skills. Were you elected to various offices? Did you organise any college festival? Were you instrumental in organising symposia? Did you contribute to the college magazine? Quite often any projects or extracurricular activities, are the most interesting part of you. If these are presented and defined well these activities can be a useful marketing device to land you with the right job, at right time.
Many companies have standardised application forms on the basis of which they shortlist candidates. Typically, the application form may be required to be filled in two or three methods before the interview and would include a statement of purpose. Many a candidate has slipped up in the interview even when all was going well in the interview. It is simply because what he said during the interview was inconsistent with the application form. Therefore, we would recommend that you keep photocopies of all your completed application forms carefully, especially of the statement of purpose, till the interview.
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