The first thing a recruiter looks at while hiring a potential candidate is his or her curriculum vitae (CV). A CV highlights all the important details of the applicant, and gives a fair idea of whether they are suitable for the specified profile or not. A perfunctory glance at a CV helps the recruiter shape an opinion of the candidate – spelling errors, poor formatting, and unnecessary information can put off the recruiter big time. For example, there is no need to mention that you won the 2nd prize in the handwriting contest during Class V in school. No one is even remotely interested about knowing that.
What should you do to create an effective CV?
Your CV is your advertisement for a job. To ensure that your profile stands out in a deluge of CVs inundating your potential employer, you should follow these tips:
- Use a clear font like Arial or Times New Roman, size 10 or 12. Your headings should be bold.
- Your name, address, telephone number, and email contact details should be at the top of the page. Make sure your email address is professional e.g. if your name is Rishabh Kumar, then a preferred email ID is email@example.com, not something like firstname.lastname@example.org !
- Your potential employer receives hundreds of CVs on a daily basis for a single vacancy, so only those would be considered that match the job profile. You should customize your CV as per the job profile so that you get called for an interview.
- Two basic pages of CV are appropriate for any job. If you have a lot of work experience, then you can add another page mentioning all the highlights from your jobs.
- When you write down your career summary, do so in the reverse chronological order i.e. the most recent job experience first.
- Do not mention abbreviations and words you won’t be able to explain during the interview.
- Use bullet points to highlight your achievements in work or academics.
- Maintain an optimistic tone in your CV. Positive qualities attract people.
- Your dates should be in a flow. For instance, if you changed jobs or had an extended holiday, then write down what you gained from the experience. Gaps are generally frowned upon so make sure you mention that you have done something productive during the period.
- Be extremely careful of spellcheck so that you don’t end up with an awkward word in between the text.
- Proofread your CV thrice and get a friend or colleague to go through it once complete.