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 CV Development !

The Curriculum Vitae or Résumé is an advertisement for the individual, whose objective is to show what you have to offer in a compact and easily-digestible form.

The 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 your skills.

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 should include:

Personal and contact details:

Education:

Work experience/employment history:

Skills and experience :

 

 

Other interests

Referees

Key points to remember :

 

 

Detailed Analysis

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 specific vacancy.

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 discarded.

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 about.

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 page.

 

 


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'.


Content

The Curriculum Vitae should ideally be a self-contained document including your contact information, a summary of your experience and full supporting details.

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.

Nationality/Age/Sex Issues

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.


Summary Justice

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 experience.

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.


Education


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' interviews.


Employment Summary

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 solved.

So do let them know about your non-technical skills as well.


Other information

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 space taken-up.


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 - did you?

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 or updateable.

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.
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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.



Final Polish

CV spelling mistakes stick out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.

Furthermore, typing errors with valid spelling will not be spotted by your WP spell-checker.

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.


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