BY: HÜSEYİN GÜRSEV FALL 2009 • A Curriculum Vitae or (CV) is a marketing tool used to promote yourself to a prospective employer. • CV is your first contact with potential employers and will open the employment door for you. • When applying for a vacancy you generally first have to send your CV to present yourself to the prospective employer. • CV is just the first step in job search. • A CV is by and large the only document a recruiter has to evaluate the job candidate before the interview. It should thus distinguish you from other candidates. • CV should reflect your biggest accomplishments and must be concise enough to glance through and get a good impression of your abilities • CV is like a chronological shopping list of what you have achieved rather than description of your education and work history (if any !). • CV is a little more formal in format than a R Résumé, usually two pages (or more, if you are highly experienced). CV vs. RESUME A Résumé is a document that contains a summary of relevant job experience and education. Résumé is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used in USA to screen job applicants, Résumé is comparable to, but substantially different from, a CV. • In many contexts, a Résumé is short (usually one page), and therefore contains only experience directly relevant to a particular position. • Since increasing numbers of job seekers and employers are using Internet-based job Search Engines to find and fill employment positions, longer Résumés are needed for applicants to differentiate and distinguish themselves. Many Résumés contain precise Keywords that potential employers are looking for, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner. KEYWORDS Nouns and noun phrases that are easily noticed by an employer whilst scanning a CV. Keywords can mark: - job-specific skills, - Profession related skills, - Industry specific skills, - Technical terms, - Descriptions of technical expertise, - Certifications achieved, - Previous job titles, - Names of products and services. GRADUATE CV • Whether you are a recent graduate or are returning to work after some time as a mature student, applying for that first job can be a rather nerve-racking experience. • However, by giving that little extra attention to your CV you are also giving yourself the best possible chance to beat the competition and be selected for interview. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE A CV DRAWN UP ? • You should write your CV as soon as you are graduated from University/ • Sooner you start writing your CV the better it is. • When you have the CV written down well, your thoughts will also be organized particularly to your strengths and weaknesses and other aspects that you will be able to present better and better. • The fact that you have control over the facts will in turn give you increased confidence which will clearly come through in your CV and your interview. • WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HAVE A CV DRAWN UP ? • It is utmost important to write a CV in time. • The timeliness of having CV document ready will unleash a useful circle of processes by which you can only benefit. • Do not wait until the last moment before you need to apply to write your CV. When in hurry and under duress, you will tend to leave out many beneficial points which would have otherwise gained you an interview with the prospective company. • Be careful in how you invest your time for your future - a small delay may cost you dearly. • Every time you apply for a new job, you need to re-write your CV which should be tailor-made to the job you are applying for. • You CV should be update regularly as soon as you gain some experience, certificates or accomplished an achievement. WRITING A CURRICULUM VITAE • Writing a CV is hard work. It is not just the way you put together your personal data - but rather the way you arrange that personal and professional data to attract the attention of the interest of the prospective employer. • CV writing is an art that has to be perfected with time, patience and practice. • CV is the most important tool in job searching since it gives the opening line to the employer and thus creates the first impression about you in employers’ mind. WRITING A CV •The documents and materials needed to write a CV: • Educational transcripts • Records of seminars/conferences attended. • References • Job descriptions for all positions held (If any) • Performance reviews The above documents are best collected throughout while studying or during your career and saved as these will make writing your CV much easier in the future. WRITING A CV • It can be difficult to remember all the responsibilities you had on previous jobs but a detailed CV is essential for a successful job hunt. • Keep your qualifications in a safe place. If you lose any, schools and universities can provide you with copies. • Letters of reference are given to employees when they leave a job (if they have done a good job!). It is always a good idea to include copies of these letters in your job application. . THE BASICS OF WRITING A GOOD CV • The function of a CV is to present relevant information about you to the prospective employer. • There are a lot of angles to the presentation of information in a CV, which mostly depend on what type of job you are applying for. • However, whatever the type of the CV, the basics remain the same/ THE BASICS OF WRITING A GOOD CV A good CV should : • Represent accurately all the relevant info to the job information (personal and professional) • Be crisp (make sure you do not have any long winding sentences while describing experience and other qualities) • Be written well to make interesting reading for the prospective employer, highlighting your best achievements(avoid tabulated form unless the information requisites demand it. • Highlight your match to the job through relevant experience, qualification and personal qualities (some examples are good communication skills, friendliness, fast learning ability, etc.) THE BASICS OF WRITING A GOOD CV • Be tailor made - (or rather written) to match the exact requirements of the proposed job. • Follow the standard format of the country, such as the order of the presentations of information . • Written in impeccable language • Absolutely free from any spelling errors • Preferably printed on good quality white A4 paper • Preferably give two good references or mention that references may be given on request • Be accompanied by a COVER LETTER THE BASICS OF WRITING A GOOD CV In summary A good CV should : • Not only be tailor-made for the job you are applying for, • It should also match all your talents and capabilities to the requirements of the job and the goals of the company. • Your CV should make your candidature for the job look like it is a win-win situation, i.e. the company will profit from engaging you just as much as you would profit from being part of the company. In summary A good CV should : • Not only be tailor-made for the job you are applying for, • It should also match all your talents and capabilities to the requirements of the job and the goals of the company. • Your CV should make your candidature for the job look like it is a win-win situation, i.e. the company will profit from engaging you just as much as you would profit from being part of the company. GUIDELINES OF WRITING A GOOD CV The following guidelines will give you a good idea of what you should do to create a winning CV. 1.Ensure that you have the right style of presentation (CV Style) Employers are accustomed see the CVs in some order and if they get it in another, they will not have the patience or time to reorganize their thoughts to follow your style of presentation, and your CV will be summarily rejected. 2. Treat your CV as an advertisement for yourself. Why should the employer choose you? Put this question to yourself and write the CV in such a way that the answer should be evident. 3. Be as much to-the-point as possible; Employer will go through hundreds of CVs in one hour. The time for perusing one CV would be about 5-6 seconds. In 6 seconds the employer should get the relevant information from your CV and decide whether you are suitable or not. Your CV will have only 6 seconds to make an impression. GUIDELINES OF WRITING A GOOD CV (Continued) 4. Before you send your (CV) to the job, ask a colleague, preferably in the same line in which you are applying, to go through your CV in 10 seconds and get their feedback; If your colleague do not see you as a suitable candidate then redo your CV by Incorporating the critiques received. 5. Tailor-made your CV to enhance your chance as the best match a) Research about the job in general (what it involves as responsibility, qualifications, growth) b) Research about company (its goals, its products, financial status, past success, future plans) c) Research about job description (from present employees, ex-employees, direct approach or via Internet) A good source for all the above are the company's own public report, news and website 6. CV should be written from the point of view of the reader. CV GUIDELINES SUMMARY • CV should be written from the point of view of the reader • CV should be accurate and correct • CV should not be too long (2 pages if possible) • Contact information should be clearly visible on the first page • CV should be typed in an easy-to-follow format, (i.e. the headlines should be indented and highlighted so as to catch the attention of the reader easily ) • Achievements should be listed in a bullet point format (Bullet points act as a headlines in case you need expansion) • Any skills development training, or additional hands-on experience you had should be listed • Academic qualifications should be presented clearly and concisely starting with the highest degree and working backwards CV GUIDELINES SUMMARY • Give two unrelated References (make sure you do inform the person thus named so they would be prepared if the prospective employer contacts them) or mention that references would be provided if required • Do not forget to write your areas of Personal Interest, such as hobbies • If you know other languages, and/or have additional skills , which do not fall in the purview of the job your are applying for, write them under ‘Other Information‘ • Photos are not required unless your visual appearance is important for the job, such as a photo model or it is stated by the recruiting organization • Do not make any false or possibly misleading claims on your CV Remember : Your CV is actually a key to the interview and unless the reader feels interested enough from reading your CV, you will not get to the interview stage. FORMATTING CV FOR BEST RESULTS • CV formatting is concerned with what a CV should contain, and in general terms, how it should be arranged on the page. • In spite of knowing all the technicalities, people still commit the mistake of writing a run-of-the-mill CV with the same headlines, the same order of ideas, and the same general matter in a dull business language. FORMATTING CV FOR BEST RESULTS • CV formatting should be backed up by the right information, but in order to have a good flow of ideas, the CV should have a ‘Building-up style’ of presentation. i.e. Start the CV with the Personal details, or Educational qualification and slowly build up to show how your talents are best suited for the job at hand. • Bullet points look perfect when listing Job responsibilities, or personality traits, or overall achievements headings. Bullet points must have an anchor that explains what they are otherwise it will be difficult to hold prospective employer's interest. FORMATTING CV FOR BEST RESULTS • Paper presentation of your CV creates impression and unwitting impact on the prospective employer. Make sure that you use this trait to your advantage. - Quality of the paper used to print CV, - Arrangements of the text, - Font, and the typesetting. • Each and every aspect of your CV should work towards creating the right impression with the employer. This will be done with the help of a lot of research on CV Writing. CV CONTENT CONSIDERATIONS • The Content of a CV and how it is presented is more important than the CV Format. • You only have a limited time i.e. less than 30 seconds to show your skills and capture the reader's attention. • Make sure to present the most important information in the top 3 sections of the CV document. Either in Skills summary, Objective or Personal profile. CV CONTENT CONSIDERASTIONS • A CV must have focus. When a recruiter reads your CV he/she should understand your career path. Always keep your objective in mind while writing your CV. • Write Job Descriptions in bullet point form. Avoid lengthy and boring Job Descriptions; whenever possible, • Make sure to emphasis your Achievements in your CV. Because the employers need to see your achievements and understand how you are able to implement these achievements in the company. - Achievements example : Save money, Increase turn over or profits, Improved productivity, Better customer quality. Include actual figures (if available.) CV LENGTH CONSIDERATION CV LENGTH • Even though the shorter CV is preferred, you shouldn't cram the information to fit on one or two pages. • You need a lot of white space and if your experience and qualifications necessitate more space then use an extra page. • Many job hunters have CVs far too long because they repeat tasks and accomplishments for every job. • You can shorten your CV by eliminating duplicate entries. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS Each CV style is suitable for different situations 1. Targeted CV 2. Inventory CV 3. Chronological CV 4. Functional CV 5. Combination CV 1. TARGETED CV This kind of CV is a way to focus your career towards a particular objective, within a specific industry or a specific company. A Targeted CV is written in a way that highlights skills, qualifications and experience that match the requirements of the advertised position. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 1. TARGETED CV Writing a targeted CV is effective when: • You know the requirements of a particular position • You know which company you will be sending your CV to • You are sending your CV in reply to a specific job advertisement • You need to compose different Targeted CVs, each corresponding to a different career objective. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 2. INVENTORY CV This kind of CV is a more general overview of your skills, achievements and qualifications. A general objective or career strategy behind an Inventory CV helps in being slightly more specific towards your career goals. The Inventory CV is used when sending your CV to: • Various recruiters • When you do not have a specific job objective CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 3. CHRONOLIGAL CV The Chronological CV is named thus as it details your career history most commonly in reverse chronological order with the most recent employment detailed first and working backwards. A complete record of Career history is detailed along with a complete Education record . The majority of CVs are written in Chronological format. This style also highlights companies, dates, titles, duties, and work accomplishments. Usually, this means your most recent job gets the greatest emphasis. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 3. CHRONOLIGAL CV This style is effective in outlining: - Your professional experience in a particular field relevant to the employer - Your measurable accomplishments from your work experience - Your work experience that illustrates your work record The downside of this style is that specific skills and abilities are difficult to spot unless reflected in your most recent jobs. It is the most frequently used and is usually 2 sides of A4 sheet in length. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 4. FUNCTIONAL CV OR SKILL CV Unlike the most common Choronoligal CV it focuses, not on your career history, but on your skills, abilities and expertise. Functional CV usually concentrates most on the skills you have acquired in the past and how you have used these in the previous jobs. It may not even refer to a specific industry, as the skills detailed are deemed transferable. It is important that the skills you detail are relevant to the position you are applying for. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 4. FUNCTIONAL CV Functional CV style is useful if: - You lack experience (If you are a recent graduate) - Have gaps in your work history - You have had a variety of unrelated work experiences. - You want to promote skills and experience obtained through university or volunteer experience. - You are changing career or re-entering the job market, - Your most recent work experience is not relevant to the job, but past experience is. - You have been working freelance or in temporary employment. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 5. COMBINATION CV This type of CV combines the best of the Functional CV and the Choronoligal CV styles. In reality job applicants use this format the most. Job applicants use a little of every style when they are trying to make that winning CV. The combination CV format is normally used by job hunters who have a solid background associated with their Career objectives. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 5. COMBINATION CV Use the combination CV when: • You have a definite career path and a targeted job area that is related to your job history and experience • Each position or job had unique responsibilities • A shorter type of CV would not suffice. Combination CV Format includes sections that highlight your Education and Experience, followed by the Career history. • List responsibilities, and or achievements and skills developed after each job experience or training listing. • Stay focused; use less rather than more words. Begin each sentence or idea with a verb, for instance, Awarded, Assisted etc. See CV Action Verbs CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 5. COMBINATION CV Advantages of Combination CV • Starts with a Career Profile and followed by Career History, which is ideal for getting the attention of the employer. • Emphasizes on Achievements and Strengths, as well as Experience. • Focuses on important skills which are supported by the Career history. • Achievements are noticed. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS 5. COMBINATION CV Disadvantage of Combination CV: • CV is very lengthy. • If you fail to get attention through the Career Profile, the recruiter may not even read the job history section. Don't use the Combination CV when: • Your work experience is limited. • You have several or unexplained employment gaps. • You changed jobs frequently. CV STYLE CONSIDERATIONS What style of Curriculum Vitae writing suits you best? The right style depends upon a lot of factors and it would take a little experience and practice to really understand and discover which style goes where and what makes a Winning CV. Which ever style you might use you should remember a few tips on how to keep the Curriculum Vitae sharp and focused on : 1. Use the reverse Chronological order of events (the latest first) this is the best way to present your Curriculum Vitae 2. Give a lot of details about the last two jobs you had, since these jobs would be actually taken into consideration regarding the quality of your performance and background check CV HEADINGS If you have more Work experience than Academic qualifications, put your Work Experience before your qualifications. WORK EXPERIENCE If you have a solid work experience list Work Experience before Education in your CV. • This section includes any work experience that you have in the field you are applying for. • Even if the job position was unpaid, voluntary, summer job, internship, co-op experience or extracurricular activity list them including the type of position i.e. internship/full time/ part time etc.
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