Tips to write an Effective CV
Job search can be a daunting task, following few basic steps can help you in increasing
your chances of getting your much awaited interview call.
Most of us get lost at
the idea of writing a resume. The idea is to stay focussed on three things: Why,
For whom and How.
Why explains the reason you are preparing a resume. Keep your
professional objective in mind before you start writing. Your resume should reflect
For whom part focuses on the recruiter, who will scan the resume.
Bear in mind, your resume is not meant for you to read. So make it as precise and
relevant as possible to be understood even by a layman.
How deals with how to present
your facts, career history, accomplishments. Many of us invariably write only few
of our achievements and overlook the important ones simply because it is out of
A simple way to address is to maintain a critical incident log book in which
you jot down all the critical moments in your career which includes both your achievements
and failures. This will enable you to track your professional career and will always
be handy whether it is your performance appraisal discussion or time for resume
A look at the Types of Resume:
There are essentially three types of resumes:
Chronological CV – This focuses on presenting your experience on a year on year
basis. This is ideal if you are applying within the same industry and have relevant
Functional CV - If you have several career gaps or are changing industry
or have a mix of seemingly unrelated posts then functional format is definitely
a right choice to make as it highlights your skills and expertise and what you have
to offer in totality rather than the chronology of your employment to date.
CV - It follows both the chronological and functional format, which makes the CV
slightly longer than normal. It is an ideal format if you have a strong career progression
with many achievements. This will enable you to sell your strengths as well as your
experience. It is not suitable for those with little experience or the ones with
gaps in their career.
These are some basic steps that will assist you in writing
an effective resume:
- Choose a good font size, font type and a relevant resume format
before you start writing.
- Keep the language simple. Use bullets and short sentences
to keep your point concise. Avoid paragraphs wherever possible.
- While writing significant
contributions or professional achievements of your career, use ‘PAR’ statements.
‘PAR’ stands for Problem-Action-Results which means first state the problem that
existed in your workplace, then describe what you did about it and finally point
out the beneficial results.
For instance, have a look at this:
‘As a sales manager
I was responsible for increasing the sales of ABC territory’,
Using PAR statement:
‘As a sales manager, I was successful in increasing the plummeting sales numbers
from 5% to 25% in ABC territory by adding 3 new customers , increasing sales of
existing customers by 5% and offering value added services like....’.
is not interested in generic statements, but is on a look out for what skills you
can bring to the company, what you can do and how. Your approach to handle tasks
and responsibilities is critical to them.
- Don’t make it a never ending saga of your
career. Make it precise. Most of the recruiters say that one to two pages is an
ideal length for a good resume till the time it contains all the necessary information.
For freshers even a single page will be ideal if written concisely.
- Avoid mentioning
hobbies unless you are sure it will support your candidacy.
- Don’t mention about
your physical attributes unless it is specifically asked. It is generally only required
in industries like hospitality and armed forces etc.
- Do not falsify your data. Most
HR departments do the reference check and if you are caught then it might ruin your
- For academic credentials, mention only the institution and the year
of passing. You may mention the scores or the CGPA if they are excellent. Avoid
mentioning it if there is an inconsistency in your scores.
- Prioritize the content
of your resume by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you seek.
Use of keywords that employers provide in job advertisements and job descriptions
is a key element in creating good resumes.
- It is always better to write about something
you were doing, as gracefully as possible, rather than leave the gaps. For instance,
if were doing something valuable, just mention it. It could be anything like being
a full time student or a recently acquired hobby or social service etc.
of being too elaborative in a particular section, focus on highlighting the breadth
of your knowledge.
- If you are a matured applicant seeking a job, avoid mentioning
about all the jobs of your career. Previous 10 to 15 years of jobs should be sufficient
and can be covered under ‘Recent Work History’.
- Accompany your resume with a Cover
Letter. A CV without a cover letter is a letter without an envelope.
- Your resume
is a mirror image that you create in the eyes of recruiter. The image you will create
with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming
- Proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired
could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough. You should do it twice or thrice.
Ask someone to review your resume to have second opinion on it and make appropriate
- Tweak and target your resumes to target the specific skills each employer
is looking at. This will give you an edge over other applicants. This is that what
makes you in or out.
All the best... Happy Writing