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Professional CV writing tips

How to write a good CV?

Effective CV writing increases chances of getting an interview call.

13 Tips to write an effective CV

Writing a CV is not as herculean a task as you might think........

Dos and don'ts of CV writing

Tips on getting your CV correct the first time for effective job search.

How to handle gap in employment?

Ideas on writing your CV, Cover Letter and handling the interview if you have a gap in your employment.

8 tips to design an impressive CV

This article is an attempt to help the readers design an impressive and user friendly CV.

10 actions words for your CV 

This article is an attempt to help the readers design an impressive and user friendly CV.

8 Words not to be seen on your CV

This article is an attempt to help the readers design an impressive and user friendly CV.

How to dodge the pitfalls of writing a CV?

This article is an attempt to help the readers design an impressive and user friendly CV.

Sample CV - generic

Simplest type of sample CV. Also suitable for the just out of college candidates trying to hunt for a job.

Sample CV for candidates with good work experience but less qualification

Sample CV for those who have a good work experience but are less qualified for a job.

Sample CV for candidates who have switched many jobs

If you have switched many jobs in a short duration of time, this sample CV can help you.

Sample CV for redundant employees/unemployed, experienced candidates

Employed in the past but jobless now? This sample CV should help you write your CV and secure an interview call.

13 Tips to write an effective CV

Writing a CV is not as herculean a task as you might think. If you keep these simple tips on mind as you start writing your CV, you will finally get an effective CV.

Keep your CV neat
Keep your CV small
Write short and crisp sentences in CV
Start with contact details in CV
Provide a short career summary in CV
Work experience is more important than qualification
Educational qualifications in CV
Avoid un-necessary details in CV
Avoid abbreviations in CV
Use more impactful words in CV
Emphasize at right place in CV
Check for spellings and grammar in CV
Avoid using "I"," my" in your CV

Keep your CV neat

The only fate dirty CVs meet is landing up in the trash bins. So, make sure that your CV is neat and well organised. We talk a lot about the products being user friendly. Make sure your CV is also user friendly. User here is the person who screens the CVs and gives you a gate pass to the interview.

Neatness of the CV can be maintained by using punctuation marks correctly, using legible fonts and maintaining a proper space between 2 lines.

Keep your CV small

No one has time to read pages after pages about you. Keep your CV as short as possibly. Try that it doesn’t go beyond two pages. After all, certain things should be left to discuss in the interview also.

Your CV should be able to grab the recruiter’s attention in first 30 things. Recruiters receive a heap of CVs for every position that is advertised. They do not have time to sieve through your CV to find the relevant information. Put across your candidature in as few words as possible.

Write short and crisp sentences in CV

Long sentences are difficult to read and understand. Recruiters do not have time to understand what you mean. So, make your CV reader friendly by using punctuation marks properly.

Bad Example:

I used to work as Business Development manager for XYZ company which is a pharmaceutical company from 20th Dec’99 to 30th Jan’2001.

Good example:

Worked as business development manager for XYZ company ltd., from Dec-99 to Jan-2001.

Start with contact details in CV

Provide your contact details at the beginning of your CV. After your CV is shortlisted, the first thing a recruiter wants to do is give you an interview call. If your contact details are not easily found or are embedded somewhere in the text on second page, there are high chances of you losing the opportunity to the next candidate. So, provide a phone number and e-mail address where you can be reached.

Example of good contact details:

Randheer Raj,
Flat No. 52, Shivam Apartments,
Lokhanwala, Mumbai -99.
E-mail: randheer***
Phone: 099***********

Provide a short career summary in CV

Your career summary appears on the first screen of recruiter’s computer. It should say all about you and the recruiter should be able to decide by looking at these 7-8 lines if they want to call you for an interview or not.

The key to attract the attention of the recruiter here is to match your qualifications and experience with job notification & show in the 7-8 bullet points that you have all that is required for the position.

If you think you have any additional qualities or experience that would make you the ideal candidate for the job, write them here.

Work experience is more important than qualification

If you have a work experience, qualification takes a back seat. Provide information about your work experience focussing on your achievements which display your skills. If you add some numbers to the achievements, it helps you in increasing the level of interest in a recruiter.

For e.g. if you said, “Settled 4 manufacturing units in 5 states of India during 3 years” it becomes stronger than “Settled manufacturing 4 units in India”.

Educational qualifications in CV

Provide your educational qualifications in chronologically descending order. People are more interested in finding out about your recent past. If you have not scored good marks, avoid providing the percentage of marks you scored.

Include the relevant information. Your CV may require a little bit of modification according to the type of opening you are applying for. You may need to expose different facets of your personality and work experience for different openings.

Avoid un-necessary details in CV

It doesn’t matter to a recruiter what your father’s or mother’s name is. Similarly, he is not interested in knowing the number of children you have (until he has to bear their expenses).

Cut out these and other such unnecessary details from your CV. Similarly, you can do with your driving license no., passport number, nationality if you are applying to a job opening with in the country.

Avoid abbreviations in CV

Most of the times your CV will be screened by the HR people and they are not experts in every domain. So, avoid the use of abbreviations and jargons to make the CV easier for them to read and understand. If they do not understand and abbreviation or jargon you have used in the CV, it might cost you the opportunity, making the whole exercise futile.  

When you get to meet the people of your domain for an interview you can show your expertise by using the abbreviations and jargons used in your domain.

For e.g. rather than writing SDLC it is better to write Software Development Life Cycle.

Use more impactful words in CV

Use words which display your control over things. For e.g. managed, achieved, counselled, recruited etc.

Bad Example:

Passed MBA – Marketing with 80% marks from Mumbai university.

Good Example:

Scored 80% marks in MBA – Marketing from Mumbai university.

Emphasize at right place in CV

Learn to emphasize at right place in the CV. If you think, any of your particular achievements gives you a cutting edge over other job seekers for a particular opening, emphasize on it. For e.g. if you are a fresher and you have been a topper of your college or university, it is worth mentioning and emphasizing in the CV. Similarly, if you are an experienced worker and your particular achievement has been acknowledged by your employer, which you think can add more value to your CV while applying for a particular position, emphasize on it.

Check for spellings and grammar in CV

Try to keep your CV free of any spelling mistakes and bad grammar. They put the recruiter off and can put you in embarrassing situations at times.

Spelling mistakes and bad grammar in your CV reflect up on your lazy and careless attitude. They also communicate that you are not serious about this position and no body would want to hire a person who is not serious about recruitment.

At times, the spelling mistakes might put you in embarrassing situation. So, make sure that you run a proper spell check and grammar check on your CV.

Avoid using "I"," my" in your CV

The recruiter knows well that you are talking about yourself in your CV. Avoid the use of words like I, my in your CV. It makes you look egomaniac.

Bad example:

I was the winner of extempore competition at XYZ event.

Good example:

Won extempore competition at XYZ event.

So, as you sit to write your CV, keep these tips in mind and prune out any unnecessary details. What you finally get will be an effective CV.  

Also read

Begin with Name and Contact Details in your CV
Write an appealing Career Summary in your CV
Focus on Work Experience, responsibilities and achievements in your CV
Educational Qualification in CV
Write about work achievements, interests and hobbies in your CV
Write short sentences with more impactful words in your CV 
Avoid long e-mail addresses in your CV
Avoid funky e-mail ids in your CV
Avoid saving your CV with an irrelevant file name
Don't embed contact information in the text in your CV
Don't provide contact details of your parents in your CV

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