Do’s and Dont’s When Writing Your CV

Your CV may be one of a hundred submitted. Your goal is to have the recruitment team take a second look at it and stash it in the ‘shortlisted’ pile.  

When writing your CV, you DON’T want to:
1) Use selfies as your profile photo. Don’t go to the extreme of using mug-shot-like photos either. Sleeveless shirts or revealing tops are part of the no-no list.

2) Be the jack of all trades, master of none. In addition, your work experience beyond 10 years in different positions/industries doesn’t really matter unless it’s relevant to the position you are applying for.

3) Submit a novel. Detailing where you went to highschool and elementary is not really necessary. The same is true as listing your day-to-day task. 

4) Not proofread. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incoherent thoughts are elements to a CV/resume being set aside for good.

5) Fabricate stories. Most, if not all companies do a background check. Needless to say, if there are any false claims made, all chances of being hired are flushed down the drain.

You DO, however, want to:
1) Highlight the relevant skills, certifications and work experiences. You want the recruiter to know that you tick all the right boxes.

2) Use reliable job sites to send your CV. Companies rely on reputable job sites to properly match applicants’ skills and qualifications with their job requirements.

3) Include your career highlights. You would want the recruiter to know of your achievements or contributions in your previous companies. Also, let the whole world know if you can speak other languages aside from your own.

4) Use a professional email ID. We have seen email IDs such as sweet18@ or gigglymary@ that do not really fly nicely with recruiters. A recommended format would be your firstname.lastname.

5) Make sure the format matches the industry or institution. Media companies can welcome colorful and creative CVs or resumes. Academic institutions would prefer a more scholarly approach.

We recommend including a cover letter. Check here for tips on how to write a proper one.

Trivia:
The term CV (short for Curriculum Vitae) is used interchangeably with résumé although there are marked differences between the two. A résumé focuses on skills and achievements while a CV gives more weight to one’s credentials and is used for academic or research institutions.

Our Tip: 
Check the country you are targeting, and use the term that people are accustomed to. E.g. in the UAE, people often use the term CV instead of résumé. For countries that use both, submit what is applicable to the hiring company or institution. 

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