In today’s competitive world where each of us is on a race to outrun the other, a good CV or resume is of paramount importance.
These are the channels to your prospective employer or University through which you can leave a lasting impression. They can prove to be deal sealers or deal breakers.
For the successful creation of the perfect CV, you must first know what a CV is. Curriculum Vitae or a CV is basically an overview or the summary of your academic qualifications, achievements, professional and personal skills and your contributions (if any).
However, one common mistake most students and even job applicants tend to make is the overcrowding and adding of extra information in a CV.
Undoubtedly your CV is your fist chance to impress, but the entire purpose of writing a CV is to be precise.
So when you actually write a CV, you must try and make it as concise, eloquent and informative as you can.
Also, while writing a CV, remember to follow the correct format of a CV. As a student looking for admissions, you must remember that a CV made for academic purposes has a different format from one used to apply for jobs.
Another extremely important aspect of your CV is your language and grammar. Imagine your first impression on a person if you have made grammatical errors in your CV!
To avoid such blunders, keep your CV as sweet and simple as you can. Do not unnecessarily include long, incomprehensible words.
Think that the reader will appreciate a simple, easy to understand CV as well.
Agreed, summarizing 20 years or so in a single page, in a proper format, in the correct manner and in a way that it should leave an imprint on someone’s mind is a Herculean task.
Having said that, we are strong believers of “If someone can do it then so can I” policy and so we already believe you have it in you.
Just follow these simple steps and voila!
- Classifying your information under various HEADS
To begin with, you can start making separate heads under which you can give your information such as Qualifications, Job Experience, Skills, Languages(if any), Achievements, Hobbies/Extra Curricular Activities etc.
While writing about your Qualification or Academic Achievements, remember that these must be placed in proper chronological manner in relation to one another.
- Placement of your achievements
Since you are trying to stand out from a crowd of students just by your CV, you must highlight your achievements in a subtle manner so that it doesn’t come across as bragging.
Thus, the proper placement of these achievements is the key here.
Place your most relevant, outstanding accomplishments above the basic, general ones.
- Length of your CV
This is a very important aspect you must keep in mind. Imagine the number of CVs a Committee for Education must have to survey every year. A long, boring CV is almost likely to be instantly rejected. Keep your CV short, ideally one page long.
- Personal Details
Your CV must include some relevant personal details such as name, telephone number, email id and sometimes even address. Include a photograph only if asked to. Generally, inclusion of photographs is discouraged in CVs since it can lead to a biased judgment. Make sue the details you include are correct and up to date.
These should be ideally placed at the very top of your CV.
- Work Experience/Internships/Summer trainings
This is what holds the maximum weight in your CV. Place this under separate sections to properly highlight them. Of course, a work experience is most valued but the other two are also relevant.
While writing about your work experience, internship or summer training, try and relate them to the course you are applying to.
Highlight the relevant skills, knowledge and experience you gained through these. Keep your sentences short and to the point.
For e.g., suppose you are applying for an MBA in Marketing and you are writing about a summer job you had in a company.
Write:” Worked for three months as a marketing employee which helped enhance my persuading and negotiating skills.”
While adding relevant skills, make use of action words like planned, developed and organized. These words give an added effect of professionalism.
E.g.: “Organized and planned a fundraising event for the NGO I worked with during the summer of 2015. “
Try and make your job experience as elegant as you can.
For e.g., a teacher’s CV which says “Motivated and enhanced scientific interests in 5th standard students” sounds much better than” Taught science to 5th standard students”, don’t you think??
- Interests and Hobbies
This part should be brief, precise and must provide a brief insight into the kind of person you are.
Try to include hobbies and interests that may relate to your field (if any).
Else, include a variety of hobbies which are not restricted to a single element. For e.g., hobbies such as programming and playing computer games are restricted to a single hobby.
Also, make sure all your hobbies are not related to your home or yourself, least you want to come across as an introvert.
Try to include sports, or some other hobbies that represent passion, hard work and reliability.
Avoid irrelevant and unimpressive hobbies such as “socializing, partying or hanging around with friends”. We don’t think they are relevant enough!
While adding common hobbies such as reading, try writing “Reading: Harry Potter was my escape from the long, monotonous summer evenings” rather than simply “Reading is my favorite hobby.”
Use bullet points to separate them.
Generally, the skills added are additional languages or computer related skills such as “in-depth knowledge of MS Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook” or “A certified programmer”.
While this may not be very important while applying for jobs, it is extremely important while applying for further studies.Try to include references of your favorite teacher or the professor you helped last month. It is advisable to include references from senior teachers or faculty from a department or field that is related to the course you are applying to.
Now that you’re familiar with the major and most important elements of a CV, we are sure you can begin with your own personalized CV. Keep in mind that your CV must be unique and catch the attention of the reader in the first 30-40 seconds. For this, you can read your CV several times to judge its authenticity and uniqueness. You can also look for some sample CV’s available on the Internet for further reference.Happy writing and good luck!