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Carrier Guidance

Resume Writing

The CV is the first document an HR Personel will get from you. It is thus a ‘textual representative’ of you. In a scenario where there are thousands of people competing for the same job and position, how you write your CV could make all the difference between getting on to the ‘shortlist’ or simply being left out.

Writing a CV is supposed to be easy enough to be taught in grade 10 of most educational boards, but at that young age most of us are either too immature to remember what  had been taught about CV writing or do not accurately comprehend the importance of a CV. So, when we grow much older and are getting ready to step into the job market, writing a CV sends shivers down the spine of most young people.

When it is time for most people to write their CV what do they do? Ask an intelligent friend or colleague who is well placed to send them their CV. Why, you ask? Well, so that they can copy the template (and sometimes career objectives!). The assumption here is that since the friend or colleague is well placed, they have a ‘well designed’ and ‘well written’ CV. But this assumption need not always be true, you will notice it on innumerable occasions.

For those who are thinking of writing a CV and can already feel the butterflies in their stomach, relax. Undoubtedly a CV represents you but it is also not such a complex thing that it cannot be done with a little effort and thought.

Infact, if you are willing to invest some time, ‘thinking’ of what should go into your CV, it would be a rather simple process.

Points to keep in mind when writing the Career Objectives in your CV
  • Keep the English simple
  • Keep the sentences short, precise and concise. Cut the verbiage.
  • The tone of your Career Objective should be formal.
  • The Grammar should be correct.
  • Check your spelling more than a few times.
  • Do not copy and paste other peoples Career Objectives
  • It is best to keep your Career Objectives 3-4 lines.
  • Make sure your Career Objectives match the job you are applying for.
Simple and Good Career Objectives
  • “To secure a promising position that offers both a challenge and a good opportunity for growth”.
  • “To work in association with professional groups who offer me the opportunity for career advancement and professional growth.”
  • “To work in a stimulating environment where I can apply & enhance my knowledge, skill to serve the firm to the best of my efforts.”
  • The above Career Objectives may sound generic and broad, but when you are fresher, they will do.
  • The internet is a huge resource at your finger tips. Coming up with a shoddy Career Objective means you have been lazy and failed to actively use the internet to check on what you have written. It could be the reason why you are currently seeing months of joblessness.
Making a good impression during an interview is important

Here are ten basic tips to convince a prospective employer that you're the one for the job.

  • Research the job and company thoroughly. Try to know as much about them and their products and services as you can. Preparing will make you feel confident and you won't be nervous if you are asked specific company-related questions.
  • Carry an extra copy of your CV with you - just in case.
  • Make eye contact. It shows that you are focused and confident.
  • Show interest in, and enthusiasm for, the company.
  • Dress professionally. 'Professional' can mean so many things these days. Basically, whether the company's dress code is formal or casual, make an effort to look presentable and well groomed. It matters.
  • Try to keep your answers down to 60 seconds. You don't want to be monosyllabic, but long-winded replies will make the employer lose interest and you might lose your own thread.
  • Listen carefully and answer questions directly. If you are unclear about a question, ask the interviewer to clarify.
  • Be prepared to discuss how what you've done in the past will affect how you'll perform in a future role. Give examples that demonstrate your value.
  • Ask questions. Sharp questions will show that you are proactive and want to make sure that this company is the right place for you.
  • Send a thank-you note within two days of the interview. Express your interest in the position and thank the interviewer for his or her time. Even if you're not interested in the job, you never know who might be a good contact for you at some point in the future.
Below are some questions you may be asked in the interview
  • Tell me about yourself? (Try to hold your response to 2 minutes)
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you do for us that someone else can't?
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • What skills and qualifications are essential for success in the position of ______?
  • How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
  • How does this assignment fit into your overall career plan?
  • Describe your management style.
  • What do you believe is the most difficult part of being a supervisor of people?
  • Why are you looking for a new career?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • How would your boss describe you?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What do you think of your present or past boss?
  • What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last assignment?
  • What were the five most significant accomplishments in your career so far?
  • Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
  • How much do you expect if we offer you this position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What other positions are you considering?
  • Have you kept up in your field with additional training?
  • What are your career goals?
Some points to remember

Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply do not allow yourself to feel nervous, you'll do much better. Remember also that it's difficult for the interviewer as well.

In general, be positive. Never be negative. Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight. Don't try to memorize answers word for word. And don't be afraid to include your own thoughts and words.

Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you meet those qualifications.

In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your answers, you must find out what the buyer is buying... what he is looking for. And the best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.

You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above all: before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as the perfect “key” that fits the “lock” of that position.