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Fresh graduates, more often than not, spend the first few years of their new life without a job. Not for lack of trying and certainly not for a lack of skill or credentials. No, the real issue is a lack of familiarity with the practical world and this becomes readily apparent once we take a look at their résumé.
A stale concoction of words thrown in together in awful proportions intended to dazzle but ending up a hot mess. This is because a lot of youngsters are unaware of what actually has an impact, so they get advice from other so-called “professionals” who suggest useless filler instead.
A CV or a resume has to be a compact list of credentials, experience and achievements while detailing your desirable traits that are actually relevant to the job proposal. If it’s too long, sprawled out, disconnected, disjointed, contains a lot of filler or irrelevant information, chances are it’s going to find its way into the trash within seconds.
The world is becoming an increasingly competitive place and with the thousands of job applications for every vacancy, a recruiter is not going to scrutinize each and every resume that lands on his or her desk. Instead, it is up to the applicant to find a way to make enough of an impression with their resume so that it stands out.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while creating your resume.
Professional Vs. Pretentious
The line between these two sometimes gets blurry, for some people. However, if you truly take some time to think about it, the distinction becomes much clear. Your resume needs to be professional: it needs the right tone, the proper language, correct spellings, an elegant structure and tidy formatting.
Being pompous, is something you should avoid at all costs. The recruiter should not feel as though you’re stroking your ego or full of yourself.
Now, that does not mean that you cannot talk about your skills or qualities. After all, that is a necessary part of your CV. However, there is a particular manner in which you should insert that information so that it appears to be genuine.
The resume should detail your academic life, the institutes where you obtained your education, the certificates you have been awarded, any and all credentials that are relevant to the job post and of course your previous experience in this particular field.
You can follow that up by listing some of the necessary skills that are required by the job advertisement such as “impeccable communication skills”. You can also give an example of situations where you have utilized that particular skill. This is fairly easy. You can, very briefly, mention your involvement in any organization or event where such a skill would normally be used. This gives credibility to everything you say.
Dispense with all the filler content which adds nothing to your potential suitability for the job. For example, words like “passionate”, “dedicated”, “quick learner”; these are all redundant. Throw them out so that your resume becomes easier to navigate and therefore more attractive.
We are not saying that being passionate, dedicated and a quick learner are not desirable or relevant traits. What we are saying is there is no point in listing such things as everybody can say the same things about themselves. Nobody is going to admit they are lazy on a job application, even if they are.
Depending upon the kind of job you are applying to, it is imperative that the formatting and style of your resume is in sync.
Some places, for example an advertising agency might be looking for something a little more flashy and buoyant, which is an endearing quality in that particular profession.
On the other hand, a place like a law firm will require an elegant style that is less colorful and more smooth.
Therefore it will help you if you familiarize yourself beforehand with the inner workings of the organization or firm you intend to work at.
Highlight Key Points
Every job has its list of requirements and desirable traits but there is usually one or two particular things that are valued about all others.
For example, if a job ad is asking for a freshly graduated electrical engineer, you and a whole host of other people will immediately apply. But if the job also states that applicants who are well versed in C++ coding are preferred, you’d be well advised to highlight that particular aspect on your CV so that the recruiter’s eye is immediately drawn to that first.
This increases your chances dramatically of being picked for that job vacancy.
Personalize Your CV
For every different job application, tinker with your resume a bit so that it becomes exclusively fit for that particular job description.
These things are noticed by the management because they realize that the applicant isn’t simply flooding the same CV all across town but is actually taking the time to highlight particular details relevant to the job in question.
In other words, your CV becomes tailored exclusively for a particular job which makes it more relevant, genuine, noticeable and therefore has high chances of being shortlisted.
Adding to the concept of personalization, you can also write a cover letter to accompany your CV. Where the CV is short and precise, the cover letter has the advantage of being more detailed. You can add information that you considered to be too redundant in your CV but also too important not to share.
The cover letter can also include your passion for the job and why you feel you’re the most suitable candidate. The best thing about a cover letter is that it doesn’t detract from your CV. If the recruiter has time and considers it worthwhile, they may read the cover letter. Otherwise they can just ignore it.
The cover letter has the added advantage of letting the recruiter know how serious and passionate you are about the job in question since a cover letter, unlike a CV, cannot be flooded at random. It is specifically directed to one particular organization or firm.
This article was written by Paul Verbiton, blogger at Verbiton.com and content writer by profession. Leave him a comment below if you liked his article or visit his blog and contact him if you want to hire him for content writing services.