Making a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is easy. Making it stand out from the crowd now that’s a different story. How often do you see a CV profile description says “I am a hard working, self-motivated, team player, quick learner, ect..” Sounds awkward isn’t it? Frankly speaking, it doesnt really justify who you really are in the eyes of recruiters. These “words” are most likely used by school leavers applying for scholarships. If you’ve gotten this far in your career, emphazise more on your achievements and skills, increasing your chance being shortlisted for an interview.
Lets look into important elements of a “credible” CV
- Personal details (name, address, DOB, contact, etc…)
- Education Background
- Professional certificates held
- Employment history / Work experience
- Projects involved / Achievements
Its easy to get excited with the details above and end up with a 10 page resume. Employers dealing with large pool of applicants ain’t have time reading “essays” mate! So this brings us to the next subject:
Clear and Concise format – Simple is the Ultimate Sophistication!
Research shows (though i can’t remember exactly which one i read) recruiters spend an average of 10~15 secs “brief scan” through each CV’s. This first pass is the most critical stage as employer decides weather they are (1) Interested (2) Not interested (3) So~so. Number (2)‘s are immediately lost forever and the “So~soes” will be re-reviewed only if there are insufficient candidates.
Here’s the trick:
- Use Bullets and Tables rather than text heavy paragraphs – easier to read or skim
- Use Bold Headears to divide sections i.e. Education and Qualifications
- Proper Font styles and sizes – not too big, too small, nor too fancy
- Get rid of distracting visuals – it may reduce recruiter’s analytical capability and hampered decision-making. Some even suggest not to include your photo unless otherwise requested. I personally agree on that, though I don’t look that ugly huh…
- Match your CV to the position applied – nobody gives interest to which kindergarten you’ve been to or which Mcdonald’s you had work for.
Below is an example of my older CV version I believe worth sharing. Not saying its perfect but hey, it got me through all interviews so far. (*Note changes made for privacy purpose)
Go digital and broadcast yourself
Take advantage of popular online job platforms such as Linkedin and Rigzone. Can’t stress how much important keeping up with technologies nowadays. Recruiters finds this as an alternative way searching for ideal candidates. Review your CV from time to time and keep them current.
Often someone offers you a job in social medias asking your CV through their personal email. I personaly try avoiding such things especially from uncredible sources due to certain reasons like:
- CV may contain private information (i.e. address, identification numbers, etc..)
- why through private email? why not just give HR email instead? (unless he or she owns the ship and hand picks his own crew of course)
- copy-cat geeks loves this method
Again, this is just another personal opinion, it’s upto you to decide whats best for yourself.
Be serious and fine-tune
- Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. No harm seeking help from friends, teachers and colleagues. Mr Google seems to be a smart companion.
- Unprofessional email addresses tends to be ignored (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Take this advise AVOID them!
Last but not least, be HONEST. If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t put them in. At the same time not too “naively honest” making you look completely like an unworthy candidate. Cadets and junior officers: You may be very proud of your Alma mater, but now that you’re out in the real world employers wants to see what you’ve done with the things you learned in school.
That’s all folks. Hope this episode helped boost your chance getting the dream job you’ve always desired. If you find this article useful do send us feedback and share with us your ideas and thoughts for next article.
Safe voyage and fair winds lads…
I dedicate this post to my beloved father Mr Ahmad Zaman Ismail for the tremendous support and guidance throughout my life and career. The memories of hardship he went through preparing my first ever CV, and riding motorcycle together through drizzle attending MISC’s cadet sponsorship interview back in 2005 will never be forgotten. A well discipline man who served his country for 22 years in the Royal Malaysian Navy. Salute you Abah!
P/S: Once again DNS07 Alumni would like to invite Organisations within or outside Malaysia to be part of our Affiliate Programme.