When you decide to look for a new job or career, the first step is to get your Resume/CV in place – whether be it drafting/updating. Without a good CV, nothing moves forward in the recruitment process. Recently, i have seen a tick in criticism against using CV’s for hiring. But, none of them have presented an alternative or even an efficient method to replace CV. Until then, CV will continue to be your most important career document. Before you could progress to the interview stage, your CV does 2 important things.
- It Kick Starts the Formal Process – In the current days – no matter what role or level you are at, a formal interview/selection process begins with a CV. Hence, it is the document that represents you in your entirety to the Recruiting world. Yet, many do not arm their CV to its fullest to get the desired results.
- It Opens Doors – If your CV passes the Recruiter’s eye, it gets shown to the hiring managers and if it manages to impress them, it gets you an interview call. Also during the interview, CV remains the central anchor pin for the interview structure, content and direction. Hence, it is easy to understand how much significance this piece of paper can hold for you and your future.
Before you Get Started
- It is okay to be Uncomfortable – There is always an uncomfortable feeling when you have to dust off your CV – isn’t it? A lot of thoughts and emotions flood you. You start to wonder what to add, what to exclude, what should be the template, how long it should be etc.
- It is okay to be Perplexed – When it comes to drafting and keeping your CV updated, it is a scary and perplexing process even for the most seasoned executives. Why is it so? Most of us are modest and conserve achievements to oneself, while others are determined to showcase all that they have done and end up with a CV that is an overkill.
A killer CV tactically portrays the relevant information in an appealing and simplistic way. One thing i hear repeatedly from those who had to kick start their job search is – “I don’t know how to start and how to ensure that my CV is up to the mark”
I have been in that situation and my answer is – don’t think too much, just get started and take it step-by-step.
Be not afraid of going slowly. But afraid only of standing still – Chinese Proverb
This is what you need to do to “Get it Right”
To attain the right balance and make it a winning ticket is a tricky challenge. There is no single strategy or template that can deliver an exceptional CV. The internet is flooded with advice, articles, tips and tricks. This makes it more difficult and confusing. But, if you would exercise thoughtfulness, critical thinking and self-reflection, you will be able to tailor your CV and benefit from it.
The only one who can judge what is the best CV for you, is you
Hence, having a CV that gets the results you want is important. Let us look at some aspects that will enable you to do so. Below, I share a few attributes that will make your CV stand out and achieve your objectives. A successful Resume/CV should help the Recruiter in the following ways
- Gain a Quick Understanding (30 seconds) of your entirety – past, present and future
- Give the confidence that the information you have presented is clear, logical and objective
- Intrigue the Recruiter and elicit the desire to know more about you
- Not make the Recruiter guess or feel the want for more information
- Be visually compelling, easy on eye and highlight the prominent parts
- Form a mental image that is a real Reflection of you – wrong reflection forms wrong opinion and a potential mismatch during the interview process
- Generic Etiquette’s – no gramatical or spelling mistakes, right font size, formatting, writing style, improper abbreviations etc.
It is very important to know your strengths, weaknesses, skills, personality and achievements. Knowing yourself and what you want, gives confidence and this confidence gets imprinted on your CV
How to Draft/Update your CV?
When you get to work on your CV, set your objectives as to what you want it to achieve for you. Work on each objective one by one if that will make you efficient. I always encourage self-reflection. Take time off from work / take a holiday / reserve the weekend in a quiet place / surround yourself in an atmosphere where you can reflect on yourself and future.
Often, a common issue is the lack of time. But in reality, spending a couple of days to reflect and work on your CV is far more efficient than dragging it for 2 months and still not feel confident about your CV. Reflect into your innermost being as it is the key to success.
Fine-tune till you Succeed
Once drafted, share it with your family and friends and ask them to assess your CV towards the objectives you had set. A good CV should be understandable by all and not just by industry experts in your field. Based on the feedback, fine tune them. If you have a mentor, it might be a good idea to check with them as well. Also, another sure way to assess the relevance of your CV is to gauge the response rate that you get from recruiters. A right CV for the right role always gets the right response.
Now go ahead and draft your killer CV. If in case you already have one, review them again.