In the previous part, we discussed the importance of building a great CV and a few actionable points on the same. Before you proceed any further, if you have not read the previous part before, make sure you do that.
Let us begin this part by understanding why most CVs fail.
This comes from a lack of research before building your CV. Most people invest very little time in building their resume, which is a recipe for disaster, since this leaves little room for research on the job description.
Most people end up lacing information in their resume without properly assessing its relevance. Imagine applying for an FMCG Sales role while you fill your CV with only your work-experience in the field of Digital Marketing. While it is not a good idea to completely eliminate that information, it is best that you summarize it in brief.
With this in mind, here are some important points to consider while building your CV:
1. Start with key competencies in mind: As mentioned, you must start by researching the skill sets which are required in the job role that you are applying for, whether it is Operations, Consulting, Marketing or Sales.
Remember that your CV is not about you, it is about how you want to signal yourself to the interviewer. If you are wondering about the research, LinkedIn is a great place to start with.
2. Do NOT exaggerate: This is the most common mistake that people make while building their CV. Imagine the facepalm moment when you read something like:
Changed a Lightbulb - Single-Handedly Undertook responsibility for restoring the operations of an illumination device.
Exaggeration is a sure shot strategy to put off the recruiters if you are asked to justify any of the points mentioned in the resume. Hence, it is in your best interest to stick to your authentic self.
3. A CV should be a one-pager: A one-page resume is ideal for entry-level workers and professionals with 3-5 years of experience. Most employers do not want extraneous information which you might painstakingly fill in the CV.
Most hiring managers only have a few seconds to review your resume, hence, it is imperative that you keep it compact. Do not just fill up the whitespaces in your CV, add something only if it is relevant.
4. Use the reverse chronological order: This is the format which is most commonly followed while building a resume. The most obvious advantage of writing backwards is that it highlights your career chart as an upward progression.
This means that you start with your work experience, move on to educational qualifications, and subsequently the other parts of your resume.
5. Update your contact information: The final tip I leave you with is the know-how on what should ideally be updated in the contact information section of your CV.
What to include: Name, Phone Number, Email address, Languages Known, LinkedIn Profile/Personal Website.
What NOT to include(unless asked specifically): Mailing address (City/State), Marital Status, Age, References, Social Security Number etc.
The golden rule, once you have to build your CV, is to get it reviewed by experts. This process since it requires iterations to get it right, however, do not be dispassionate while doing this given its huge payoffs. A great resume is a personal brand that you create, and should nudge the recruiter to listen to your story in a way that makes you stand out.