Today’s job market is a whirlwind of wonderfully skilled and qualified
people, resumes and job leads that seem to go on into forever. The job
market evolves and changes often, as does the skills required in certain
careers; and as people themselves evolve and move to careers that fit
their skills, abilities and lifestyle, a job search can sometimes become a
full time job in itself! Anyone who has looked for a job has likely run
the gamut of job search rituals. From poring over your resume to
practicing interview etiquette, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing
left to do but offer a prayer to the gods and hope that someone gives you
You probably know your resume by heart. You want your resume to be a good
showcase of your talents and abilities so each potential employer can see
that you are the right person for the job. But then, so does everyone
else. What can you truly do during your job search to get your resume on
top of the pile- or even onto the right desk? First you need to slip into
the shoes of the person who is doing the hiring. How many resumes do you
think this person is seeing for the same position? Lots! So your best bet
is to keep your resume and cover letter short and sweet! Too much
information could mean you will get passed over simply because there isn’t
enough time to read it all! It’s good that you were captain of your sports
team in highschool or in charge of office supplies at your last job but
the person doing the hiring is wondering what’s in it for them if they
hire you. During your job search, study up on the requirements for the
position you are applying for and adjust the skills on your resume to fit
perfectly with the position. Do not exaggerate your skills. Simply use the
skills that are there.
Avoid the Scams
Online job search sites are a blessing and a curse for those in the job
search market. Where there is a wealth of information and opportunity
available there are also the predators that look to take advantage of
numerous hopefuls who are just trying to find employment. This can involve
everything from ‘Work from Home!’ ruses that amount to nothing to actual
phishing and identity theft. Avoid ‘cold call emails’ (emails from
‘companies’ that contact you even though you did not send them your
resume) that ask you to click on a link taking you to another site and
asking for personal information. Do your own investigation by entering the
company’s name into your browser instead and visit their website. Contact
the company and if they are still asking for personal information right
off the bat- such as your social security number- step away. Predators
also will send fake emails that look as though they come from legitimate
job search sites asking for credit card information. Legitimate and
reputable job search sites such as Monster will never send an email asking
for that type of valuable information because they know this is how the
Just the Facts: Researching a Potential Employer
It’s been said before and rightly so: knowledge is power. Companies spend
lots of time and money on research and development to give them the
competitive edge over their competition; and to make your job search a
success, you should, too. The good news is, you don’t have to spend
millions or an extensive amount of time just to find out what industry the
company is in or the names of the senior executives (including the one in
charge of hiring). Most of that information can be found on the company’s
website. Do a little background reading on the company and find out who
its big name clients are, for example, or even if it has had any financial
or legal problems of late. Should you be given an interview, then it is a
good idea to do get into a more detailed search about the company. When
the prospective employer asks what you know about the company or the
position, you’ll be able to give an intelligent answer. You will also be
able to ask intelligent questions. Employers like that.
Keeping Yourself in the Loop
When up to 80% of jobs never get advertised because the positions are
usually filled by ‘someone who knows someone’ who is currently in their
own job search, you know networking is a great way to find a job. Even
though it helps to an extent, you don’t necessarily have to sign up for a
program that blasts your name through a network or attend every job search
fair. Just talking to others is a reliable way to keep your job search
going in the right direction. Giving the heads up to others as well when
you find information that might be useful makes networking a two way
street that will benefit you in the long run.
CV Development !
Curriculum Vitae or Résumé is an advertisement for the individual, whose
objective is to show what you have to offer in a compact and
principal purpose of a CV is to secure a job interview but it can also
provide a useful structure for the said interview.
A good CV is your
primary marketing tool.
Your CV is a sales document, you are the product
and the employer is the consumer. You are aiming to market yourself and
How to Produce a Winning CV?
Although there are some common formats, there is no set layout or order
you have to follow. You should include relevant information in
sufficient detail to provide evidence to support your application and choose a layout that works for you. Remember, an employer is
likely to be scanning your CV very quickly, so put your best stuff near
the top of the CV to entice them to read on.
Common CV formats include chronological, skills-based and academic.
Sample CVs are available on the website. They exist to give you ideas
about layout and style but should not be copied. All styles of CV
Personal and contact details:
Name, address (home and term time), telephone number, email
Do not feel obliged to include other personal details (e.g. marital
status, age) that are not relevant to the job
Higher education – institutions attended, dates and course of study,
actual or anticipated result, examples of modules and projects (expand
Secondary and/or further education, dates and qualifications
Work experience/employment history:
Employer, dates, job title, brief description of duties if relevant,
transferable skills developed, achievements.
Similar items can be grouped together to raise their profile e.g.
Legal Work Experience
If the employment history is long, you can bring similar
non-relevant jobs together under a group heading e.g. "retail experience
with a variety of employers including……." particularly if the job was
some time ago
Skills and experience :
Demonstrate the match between your experience and the employer’s
requirements by building in a major emphasis on skills.
Illustrate relevant skills with examples from your education, work
experience, outside interests
Alternatively, build these skills into each section of the CV or
create a separate section listing the skills relevant for the job and
giving good examples of where you have demonstrated them
Leisure, voluntary and other activities. Make it clear where you
have taken on additional responsibilities and what you have achieved
You need at least two referees. Your Faculty Office will tell you
who you should use as an academic referee
Only include as much detail as is relevant for the application. Your
CV is a sales document not a personal history. However, there should
not be gaps in the dates.
Be positive, personal and specific. Say what you achieved in each
Use reverse chronological order throughout - most recent first.
Consistent, attractive layout
Use positive, active words or power words.
Usually no more than two sides of A4
Use model CVs for ideas but do not copy them
Be original and creative but avoid gimmicks
Send with a covering letter
The CV Problem
Major employers receive dozens of CVs every day by post, fax and e-mail.
Being largely unsolicited, most of these are not 'filtered' to match any
To read every one 'from cover to cover' would be physically impossible so
it is crucial for the employer to grasp the essence of what you have to
offer within a few seconds.
If interest is aroused during the critical 'first pass', they are likely
to read further.
Visible Reams of Support
The readability of the CV is very much related to length so it needs to be
short but not obsessively so.
A 15-page CV defeats the reader at the outset and is likely to be
The fashionable one-page 'consultancy' CVs tend to hide more than they
reveal making it difficult to 'get a handle' on what the candidate is all
Remember - The principal object is to present your experience effectively
- Not to get it all on one page.
There is nothing wrong with a three or four page CV provided that page one
generates enough interest to encourage further reading.
The crucial point is to include all of the essential details on the first
Professional CV Writing:
CVs with a certain style
Obviously, CVs should be neat and presentable but there is a balance to be
struck between design and content.
Possession of the latest spiffy desk-top publishing package does not
actually make you 'artistic' and most employers prefer candidates who are
'businesslike' rather than 'cool'.
With anything involving design, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and
there is no 'ideal' layout for a CV - Indeed, a reasonable degree of
individuality can make the document more-interesting.
As a good starting point, the document 'templates' available in MS-Word
and other word processing software provide smart and professional-looking
resume formats without excessive 'frills'.
The Curriculum Vitae should ideally be a self-contained document including
your contact information, a summary of your experience and full supporting
Some items, such as salary required, might well be included in a covering
letter and agencies will often prefer to remove your contact information.
It is important to state what you are looking for in a positive manner -
Some candidates are quite strident in stating what they don't want.
Some politically-correct people consider that these items of information
are 'not relevant' but the potential employer decides what is 'relevant'.
Despite claims of being 'negotiable', employers tend to have a fairly
clear idea of what they want to pay and the term 'negotiable'
realistically means plus or minus 10%.
Like it or not, most employers are quite fussy and have an ideal 'profile'
in mind which thy use as their basis for filtering candidates 'on paper'.
Your CV should include any information which has a bearing on the decision
to progress your application further.
Prominently displayed on the first page of your CV should be a few
paragraphs summarizing the 'essence' of what you have to offer and what
you are seeking.
This statement is probably the most important item in the CV and needs to
be written as 'tightly' as possible.
This is not the place for a detailed list of all software used or roles
performed so just emphasize your main current skills and recent
A useful technique is to write your 'first draft' and then eliminate as
many words as possible without reducing information content.
Aim for a maximum 10 seconds reading time which is about 50 words.
Apart from recent school and university leavers whose academic
qualifications are their main selling point, general education is
'background' information which can be summarized towards the end of the CV
along with 'hobbies' and 'interests'.
However, relevant professional education should be mentioned prominently
on the first page.
For those working primarily in technical roles, the main skills should
also be mentioned in the summary with the rest listed towards the end of
the CV or within individual job descriptions.
It is particularly important to give a clear indication as to the 'level'
of technical expertise so that time is not wasted on 'fruitless'
Having read about your background in summary, most employers will still
want to assess the 'depth' of your experience by considering the evidence
of where and when it was gained.
It has now become fairly traditional to summarize jobs in reverse
chronological order giving employer name, job title, start/finish dates
and a brief description of duties.
The employer is primarily interested in the last 5 years or so and
anything prior to that can be dealt with briefly, either job-by-job or
summarized into a couple of paragraphs.
Many computer people seem to think that any non-IT background is
'irrelevant' but employers increasingly realize that technical skills need
to be accompanied by an understanding of the 'business' problems to be
So do let them know about your non-technical skills as well.
There are several less-important items which might be included in your
resume such as hobbies, references and details of general education.
If you are an accomplished athlete or have an interesting hobby, for
example, this might just give you an 'edge' with an employer on the basis
of a common interest.
Similarly, if you went to a very well-known school or college, this might
'ring a bell' with some employers although we 'hoi polloi' should just
stick to listing our main educational qualifications.
It is all a matter of balancing the value of the information against the
Let's get Digital
Most employers will be happy to receive your CV as an original copy
through the post though this may well be discarded immediately if you are
rejected for the current vacancy.
You didn't really think that they filed them neatly for future reference -
Although fax transmissions are also generally acceptable, they can produce
a variety of problems including lost pages and poor-quality copies which
will not be so impressive as your 'pristine' original.
Recruitment Agencies, on the other hand, will want to keep your CV for
long-term use in a form which is accessible, easy to update and in a fit
state to be sent out.
Essentially, this means that they need it on a computer as a Word or text
file rather than fax or scanned-in images which are not easily searchable
As most CVs are now prepared on a computer, it is
a simple matter to send copies on a floppy disk or by e-mail. ( Let
20,000 HR Managers and Recruiters see your resume.
We help you in posting your résumé to Job Recruiters all over
Kashmir / India Abroad.
Submit Today )
e-mail is a great tool for keeping in touch with agencies.
It is cheaper than phone, fax or post and will transmit a pristine copy of
your latest CV in seconds.
MS-Word documents are generally acceptable though a rich text (RTF) format
gives more universal compatibility.
Useful Tip: Agencies get a lot of
files named 'CV' - Try using your own name.
CV spelling mistakes stick out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.
Furthermore, typing errors with valid spelling will not be spotted by your
Because the author of any document tends to see 'what they expect to see',
it is always beneficial to have the CV proof-read independently.
Finally, always keep your CV up-to-date so that you can respond instantly
to job opportunities.