Crafting a Compelling CV

Curriculum Vitae (Commonly Known as CV’s) and Resumes are the two words often used interchangeably.  However, there does lies difference between these two in the aspects of its length, layout and the purpose.

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Article by:  Vaidehi Ramesh, Academic Writer.

A Curriculum Vitae is a lengthy document that can spread across even 5 pages, that contains an individual’s in-depth information on the education, experience and other specific accomplishments not restricted to honours, publications and other experiences.  In contrast, a resume is a short and crispy document that has a summary of the skills, abilities and work experience, which is customised as per the job requirement.

There are ideally three types of resume formats and one need to consider the resume format that would ideally fit them based on their career.

Chronological resume – A chronological resume format is ideally a simpler format that contains an objective, summary, training, work experience, education and specific skills. The job history in this type of resume need to be in the reverse chronological order with the current or the last job being highlight at first.  This type of resume format would be ideal for those who have been consistent in their work and job profile. This would not be suitable for the people who have hopped a lot in their job, shifted career quiet often and want to change their career option completely.

Functional resume – This resume is perfectly used in cases to highlight one’s skills and abilities rather on the work experience. This resume should highlight the abilities, professional skills tailored to the applied position and experience working in specific position, Industry or country.  This type of resume would be well-suited for individuals, who have hopped jobs in the past, have been on a sabbatical break.

Combination resume – This resume is a hybrid of both the above resume formats.  This would suit a fresh graduate, making a career change, re-entering the job market and even for a consistent worker. The format for this resume includes an objective, the key skills, area of expertise, training, accomplishments and other information as per the job requirement.

One could consider any of the above formats in presenting their resume based on their career.  However, to attract the prospective employers, the following tips helps build the CV in the right track.

  1. CV’s are to be custom made based on the individual position applied. Only relevant information to the applied job be included.
  2. Expertise on the top – In most of the cases, the CV’s are scanned for key words and the hiring manager makes a glance on the CV, say for a maximum of 2 minutes. Use appropriate terminology and key words to ensure your information is not overlooked.
  3. Include brief and accurate information that would be of interest to the prospective employer that is relevant to the position applied.
  4. Showcase the breadth of your experience and skills – Highlight your years of experience and the skills that are required to be considered for the applied position.
  5. If the job applied for focuses on the educational background, ensure your resume leads with education, including the technical skills and relevant work experience. Ensure to include your project portfolios as required.
  6. Use of appropriate action verbs to highlight your accomplishments. Be objective and accurate and should be able to provide examples to prove your statement.
  7. Use Bullet points to highlight throughout the CV.
  8. Your objective should clearly state the reason for your passion for working for the particular company and how the applied position aligns with your career goals.
  9. Ensure that your resume is clear and concise. Ensure that the sentences are short and are up to the point.
  10. Ensure to include the soft skills you possess.
  11. Ensure to maintain the font, font size and the spacing between each section consistent throughout the resume. The choice of font and font size is critical.
  12. Use powerful language and start each bullet point with a positive verb.
  13. Ensure to check the Grammar and spelling in your document.