Pitch right with your CV

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By: Tinky Ningombam

For a fresh graduate out in the job market, making a good CV is an inevitable necessity. Jobs, scholarship applications, grants call for a list of your life’s milestones, education, career and achievements with a well-crafted CV.

In the real sense of the word, a Curriculum Vitae or a CV is a cumulative showcase of your “life course”, your personal information, starting with your educational qualifications, professional information, achievements etal. A resume, however, is a more precise summary of your professional and educational qualifications and achievements customized for a particular job hunt/application. Especially in the US, CVs are mostly used for academic applications while a Resume is used in job applications. However, formats for CV’s/ resumes can differ as per country. Though in most countries the two can be quite similar and interchangeable.

In our country there is no clear distinction between a CV and a Resume when one is applying for a job interview. So, people normally have a classic format for a CV, which is description of one’s qualifications: both professional and academic and customized descriptions of key skills relevant to a job application.

If your answer to making a CV is searching for an appropriate sample from the internet and a Ctrl+C then you are definitely headed for a dismal first impression from your recruiter. Normally, what ignorant first-timers tend to do is to copy a format from a friend and fill in the blanks with their own details. Why, I ask, in your right minds will you do that?An ideal CV should not exceed more than 2 pages. Being brief and relevant is the key. For instance if you are applying for a particular an IT job in a Tech company, your passion for country music is hardly going to make an impact in your 1 pager CV.

Take out time to find your key strengths, your goals and what you will deliver in the job role. These should be your highlights for the CV and these are points that you will complement with your professional and educational qualifications. You should learn to find the right keywords that will stand out when it comes to describing you as a potential candidate. The last thing you want to do in your resume is make it look like a wish-list of character traits. Above all, the CV should be able to answer the three questions:

–      What are the things that you should definitely know about me in my synopsis?

–      What skills do I have that can be of use to you/to this job?

–      What are the achievements/relevant experiences that I have to complement my skills?

With increasing numbers of youngsters flocking for employment, there are carbon copies of CVs with similar sounding Professional objectives pasted on the top of Resumes that fail to impress HR executives and recruiters alike. Not many are endowed with exceptional writing skills to come with an award winning CV, but a simple and clean designed format goes a long way. Normally there are two phases in one’s life when making a CV can bring agony. First is when one graduates and the CV ends at half a page and second when one suddenly starts working and the job descriptions take up the next dozen pages. Fresh graduates can always play with extracurricular activities that can help them in their desired job role. Such as interest in team sports can signify a team-player or a course in Creative Arts in school can help in Creative job roles.  One needs to outline the key skills required from the job and those than the candidate can fulfill to make a CV stand out and become relevant.

Keeping these in mind, the basic information that you put down is your

•Personal details : Name, Address, Contact Number, Email Address, any social media presence (preferably Linkedin, Twitter, Skype

•A personal profile stating your key skills, areas of expertise, keyword highlights for your profession

•A history of your career in chronological order, starting from the present job

•Achievements and/or voluntary work/assignments if any

•Educational profile

•Interests (that is conducive to the job profile and/or which will enhance your CV)

•References

It is however not necessary to list down every nitty-gritty detail of your work and responsibilities if it will not help your cause. Your high-school projects and billion inter-team sports championship trophies are not required for most job-profiles. So, pick well and market your best skills for the job. In the end, it is all about packaging it right. And please no typos.

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