Friday, March 13, 2009

Pay attention to your Resume

Your Resume or CV is one of the most important documents that you may write in your career. Mistakes in your CV could therefore cost you the opportunity of a lifetime.

It's the first meeting between you and a prospective employer...

You have heard the expression "First impressions are lasting ones." Well, your resume is the first meeting between you and a prospective employer more often now than ever. So, how do you want to be remembered? Wrinkled and unorganized. Neat and structured. Long and boring. Precise and interesting. Companies do not have the time to interview every applicant that is interested in the job. If they did, there would not be a company to work for. They use an eliminating process. That's right - resumes.

They tell the employer a great deal about you...

Resumes tell an employer a great deal about you. Where you have been, where you are and where you are headed. However, the story must be told quickly and clearly. You only have a few moments to convince the employer that your resume deserves further attention before it's trashed. Your resume needs to shout - professionally, "I am the one you want on your team." So much so, that even if you are not appropriate for the advertised position, he or she would be inclined to start one for you.

They tell you a great deal about yourself...

Resumes also tell you a great deal about yourself. Many people are unsure of exactly what they do for a living. Most people underestimate their importance to the overall success of the business. Once you stop and think about your job responsibilities , you realize you do and know a lot. You begin to gain confidence about you and your qualifications. This new found confidence can be carried to the interview.

Its purpose is to get the interview...

The purpose of the resume is to get the interview. After reading it, employers should want to get to know you better. Your resume is your friend, if properly prepared. If not, it could be just the thing that loses your opportunity. Use it to your advantage. You have complete control over whatever employer knows about you. Never falsify information, but emphasize the good, and de-emphasize the bad. Make sure your lasting impression is a profound and positive one.

 Here are some common errors to be avoided while writing your CV:

1) Spelling Mistakes: Spelling mistakes can leave a poor impression. So have your CV read by someone to remove such errors before you go ahead and apply for a job.

2) Factual mistakes: Incorrect tenure in an organisation, incorrect education details, chronology of experience, can all lead to misunderstandings.

3) Long flowing sentences: This distracts the scanning eyes of a Recruiter due to the limited time they allocate to reading CVs. My suggestion to all, make some key bullet points in your resume that would summarise your experience, skills and achievements.

4) Formatting: The size and type of font chosen can have an impact on the readability. Please do not hilight unnecessary points with colourful fonts, keep it simple and to the point.

5) Incorrect contact information: This being the second most critical data after your experience and skills must be correctly presented. You should mention both your present and permanent addresses with direct contact numbers such as your mobile and landline number. If these details are not listed you might miss an opportunity by a missed call.

6) Lack of objective/focus: Unclear objectives can leave a Recruiter guessing which field or type of job you are interested in. A great objective statement clearly defines your career goal aligned with the job you are targeting for.

7) Length: The CV should be descriptive enough to explain what your key skills are, yet short enough to retain interest of the Recruiter.

To add this, you should also know that a Cover Letter adds a few stars to a great CV. It highlights your interest and summarises your objective for applying for a particular profile. So, once you have worked on your CV, get working on your Cover Letter. This can greatly increase your chance of getting an interview call, which will be your key to securing an opportunity.

1 comment:

Neelum said...

This article is a must read for everyone from fresh graduates to experienced job-hunters. One has to be very careful about their CV.
I want to draw attention to the correct pronunciation of the word Resume; the correct way to say it is Ray-sue-may. It is a french word and the last 'e' in the word actually has an accent mark from the french language, which stresses the 'aye' sound.
Another point is to tailor-make your CV to every company/position you are applying to.