A résumé, also known as curriculum vitae (CV), is a document containing a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education, usually for obtaining an interview when seeking employment. “Curriculum vitæ” is Latin meaning “course of life.” Often the résumé or CV is the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker, and therefore a large amount of importance is often ascribed to it. In other words, a curriculum vita is a marketing tool of a person seeking a job.
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.
Curriculum Vitae(CV) – Crucial in getting an Interview
Your CV is your first communication with the perspective employer. It serves as personal advertisement for you and must therefore, be organized in such a manner to make it interesting, attractive, brief and informative. If you wish to be one of the few to be called for an interview, you must ensure your CV is distinct from the hundreds of other CVs of candidates who may be as experienced or as well qualified as you. There are some golden rules to be followed while preparing your CV –
Remember you are advertising about yourself. So, highlight your strong points and try to shield your weaknesses. The prospective employer will call you for an interview if your strengths are highlighted.
Shielding your weaknesses does not mean that you lie. No, do not indulge in misrepresentation of facts. It does not pay dividends.
Essential information including phone number (if possible, mobile) must be included.
Try to keep your CV as brief as possible. At the same time, it should include all vital information about you.
It should contain relevant information about the job, experience etc.
Make sure there are no grammatical errors in your CV. It leaves a bad impression.
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
There are certain items which must be included in every CV. Other items may or may not be mentioned depending on whether they are relevant or not. The items which must be included are given below :
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
Stick to these proven guidelines for writing a CV :
The term “Bio-data” is out. Curriculum Vitae (CV) has replaced it. Make sure that your CV is not longer than two pages. It should, at the same time, not be so short that your prospective employer does not know anything about you after going through it. It must be concise and should be informative.
Make sure your CV looks good. Presentation is of utmost importance. You must :
Avoid spelling mistakes.
Use good quality paper.
Do not send curriculum vitae with spelling errors corrected by whitening fluid or by hand.
Use proper margins and spend time formatting it properly.
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.
You may include references at the end of your CV. These are names, addresses and phone numbers of two or three people who could vouch for your character, competence and commitment. Ideally, these should be people who have worked with you, or your college professors. Many job seekers starting out in their careers feel that important people’s references will impress prospective employers. Nothing could be further from the truth. A big name will communicate that you are a name-dropper who gets by on his father’s contacts rather than achievements. An experienced interviewer will be far more impressed with the references of people who know you professionally. In any case, your prospective employer will check with referees, so make sure you ask your referees’ permission before putting their names in your CV.
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 combination 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.
A final word : – Be honest in preparing and presenting your CV. Any manipulative presentations are bound to reflect back badly at some point in your career. Do not give any false information about your skills or experiences anywhere in you CV.