Resume (CV) Writing Guide

(Khawaja Mussadiq Rafiq, Karachi)
1) Be Complete

Make sure that your resume includes EVERYTHING your prospective employer would need to know to be able to offer you an interview.

It is NOT unheard of for your carefully-crafted cover letter to be separated from your resume - if your contact details were only on your cover letter, how will they get in touch to arrange the interview?

Therefore, make sure that your resume includes AT LEAST the following information:

* Full contact details
* The position you are applying for or are interested in
* Employment history
* Personal and professional achievements
* Academic and professional qualifications
* If not included elsewhere, evidence of your key strengths that will make you an irresistible candidate!

And while we're at it, functional resumes are a big NO-NO!! As a professional recruiter, when I see a functional resume, I think "What is this guy (or gal) hiding?". It's like smelling fresh paint on an old car. Just stick with a chronological resume ALL THE TIME and paint any inconsistencies (e.g., career breaks) in as good a light as possible. This will ALWAYS be better than trying to hide it in the first place!

2) Be Relevant

Seasoned recruiters are AMAZED by the number of applicants who have clearly not tailored their resume to the job they are applying for.

Make sure that you put yourself in THEIR shoes. Think about what they are looking for in your resume.

If, for instance, you are applying as a job as an office manager and your experience is in telesales, make sure that you emphasise your team leadership and time management skills.

If, however, you were applying for a sales job, then clearly focus on your ability to get leads, convert leads into sales, and sell more products to existing customers.

In short, every time you mention something you've accomplished in your resume, make sure it will strengthen your case for being given an interview.

3) Be Recent

As well as being relevant, make sure that your resume content is RECENT.

If you are a seasoned manager applying for the position of CEO in a large company, is your experience managing your university's theatre company particularly convincing?

On the other hand, if you are a recent graduate, that could be exactly the right thing to put on your resume as it will demonstrate that you have some management experience. Just make sure that you back it up with specific accomplishments in the role!!

4) Be Specific

Be as specific as you can on how YOUR performance served the company you were working for.

As an illustration, consider these four descriptions of an applicant's experience managing a sales function:

* Responsible for 50 people in XYZ Corp's sales department.
* Managed 50 colleagues in XYZ Corp's sales department to increase sales by 100% over 4 years.
* Led 50 colleagues in XYZ Corp's sales department to increase XYZ's share of the widget market from 15% to 20% over 4 years.
* Led XYZ Corp's 50 strong sales team to increase XYZ Corp's share of the widget market by radically overhauling the compensation structure, fostering a more collaborative culture within the team and redesigning the customer acquisition process.

5) Be Clear

Make your resume as clear as you can in five ways:

* Font: Use an easily-readable font. Verdana is a classic, is easily readable and is easy on the eye. Other favourites are Times New Roman or Georgia. Try to stick to one, or at most two font sizes (nothing less than 8 point and ideally nothing less than 10 point), and do not over-style your text. Italics, bold and underlined words on the same page look clumsy.
* Format: Make the format of your resume as easy to follow as possible, and consider using horizontal rules across the page to separate sections.
*Language: Ensure that the description of your experiences and accomplishments is as clear as possible. Test them with your friends. Ask them whether it is possible to make the descriptions clearer or more concise.
* Consistency: Make sure that you are consistent in every way - this significantly increases readability. For instance, use a consistent date format throughout. If your first position is listed in the order of [date, company, position, achievements] then make sure they are ALL listed like that. When listing your achievements, make sure that they all start with a verb. And make sure that font sizes and styles are consistent for similar words - for instance if your previous employers' names is in bold, then they all should be.
* Spelling and Grammar: Use your word-processor's spelling and grammar checking facility. A spelling or grammatical error in a resume is quite simply inexcusable and could be enough ON ITS OWN to send your resume to the bin. Once you've checked it on the computer, check it with someone who you trust to pick up any last gremlins in the grammar.

6) Be Brief

Ideally, a resume should be just one page, although if you are applying for a job in which the assessor will need significantly greater detail on your past accomplishments, then the resume can spread to two pages.

Though remember, this is the exception and not the rule!!
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Reviews & Comments

Fa ka bad agy kai krna chaiya study me jis sa asani sa jobe mel jai
By: ali haidar, bhakkar on Feb, 24 2019
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thanks a lot.......... it is very goooooooooooooooood
By: mariyam, lahore on Oct, 02 2013
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To support job seekers in making a powerful CV that makes a real impact, Skills For Life has launched a 1 day workshop which will help you develop a WINNING CV!
By: mehmoodayaz, karachi on May, 16 2013
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Fantastic article!

To support job seekers in making a powerful CV that makes a real impact, Skills For Life has launched a 1 day workshop which will help you develop a WINNING CV!

Remember, most CV's do not get shortlisted because they do not impress the employer or HR department.

Come and join our workshop in Rawalpindi and meet a real employer who will share some good advise and tips on how to powerfully display your abilities on your CV!
By: Ali Khan, Rawalpindi on May, 27 2011
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By: SYED GHULAM MUSTAFA, Karachi on Mar, 19 2011
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sir pass bs geology 2010 i need job from sindh university jamshoro
By: zohaib Hassan, Daharki on Mar, 16 2011
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i want to ACCA i have done my in 2009 i am doing job in in call centre as agent please help me what i can do to ACCA
By: sumbul salamat, karachi on Jul, 19 2010
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hi its absolutely right suggest to create a c.v. be clear be specific and to the point. thanks
By: reema, rawalpindi on Feb, 01 2010
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hi,the suggestions r v.good bt it is better to provide a sample c.v also.thanks
By: jamila, gujrat on Jan, 22 2010
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really its so beneficial. thanks alot
By: jawaria khan, karachi on Nov, 16 2009
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