Preparing a resume For Your Interview

Your resume is a brief summary of your professional life written in a paragraph form. On the other hand, your curriculum vitae, or CV for short, sometimes also referred to as a bio-data, is a structured delineation of your biographical information. However, in practice the term resume is used to mean CV. Here also the terms have been used interchangeably.

The job market has a peculiar dual nature. The demand supply equation works both ways. As a job-seeker, you are in the market with a need or a demand for good employment. Companies on the other hand also have a demand for people from the supply of job-seekers.

In today’s scenario, both markets are in short supply. There are not enough good people to go around for all the companies. Yet there are not enough good jobs to go around for all the people. Under these circumstances, an individual is nowhere in the job market if he cannot distinguish himself. But he will have enormous demand if he can stand out from the crowd. Even then, unfortunately 99% of applications have nothing that distinguish them from others. They usually comprise a CV and a standard covering letter.

The curriculum vitae invariably has the following items: name, date of birth, address, phone number, a table showing educational institutions and marks/grades for classes X and XII, bachelor’s and postgraduate levels and hobbies (usually one or two of the following: reading, cricket, music/movies, travelling and interacting with people).

Resume

Let’s look at each item on the CV. The name is irrelevant to the selection process. Most applications for a given job are from those of a similar age. The address and phone number are only for logistical reasons. Everyone has passed class X, XII and college and most have some kind of postgraduate qualification.

Except for the few who have a big-name institution in college or post-graduation, again there is very little to choose from Pastimes such as watching cricket-you’d be surprised how many people list this are not usually hobbies and in most cases indicate that you may not be able to cope with a 50-hour workweek. And finally, career objectives that look as if they could apply to any person in any situation or are just nothing but statements in ornamental language.

The positive in all of this is that this is a wonderful opportunity. If you can make your job application different and if you can do that in the right way, the you are definitely going to get the attention of the recruiter and you will benefit from the present situation in the job market. Prepare a standard CV and it should be customised for the job and the company you are applying for so that it looks unique. This means that for each job re-mould your CV and not just keep on photo copying your CV and sending it.

General Structure of CV

In general, CVs are structured along following headings:

  • Name
  • Contact details
  • Education
  • Professional qualifications
  • Work experience (if any) Extra-curricular interests
  • Special achievements References

Some CVs have additional headings such as: Career objective

  • Skills
  • Portfolios

Summary

A curriculum vitae can have three structures. Depending upon the type of job you are applying for and, more important, depending upon the strong points in you, you can choose that which is most suitable to you:

1. Functional CV

A functional CV is best if you already have a fair amount of work experience. You can then arrange the information in your CV according to the functional experience you have. For example, Ramesh, who was applying for a stock market job, had experience in the areas of mutual fund, project finance, and portfolio management. So he used these as headings in his CV. Under the heading of Mutual Fund, he wrote about the course in Mutual Fund he did during his MBA, he mentioned the seminar he addressed on the subject and gave examples of his project finance work from each of his 2 prior jobs.

Resume / CV

2. Skills CV

The second approach to writing a CV is the skills-based CV. This is suitable if you are applying for a job that calls for specific skills, such as ‘software programmer’. Here, you would do well to use the various languages/platforms that you are familiar with as the headings. Under each skill you could highlight your specific strengths, education and experience pertaining to that skill.

3. Chronological CV

The chronological structure is suitable for most fresh graduates. Here, you would arrange the key elements of your CV in date order. The usual way is to put education in date order and summer trainings or any other work experience in reverse date order.

Your CV should highlight your aptitudes, skills and personality in the context of the job you are applying for and should, therefore, be unique. Not only should it be different from other applications, it should also be different from your applications to other companies. Of course, you have to be prepared to invest time and money to develop separate CVs for each job that you apply to.

Think of your abilities and skills and ask yourself how they can be useful to the company. Select those of your strengths that are relevant and highlight them. When you are writing about your strengths get to the point quickly and back up your claim wherever possible. For instance, if you say that you have good writing skills, you should mention it if you edited your college magazine, or wrote applications for it.

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