CV and Resume in PakistanWriting A Killer CV or Resume
If your CV or resume isn't winning interviews for your dream job, it might be time for a rewrite.
Before you even sit down in front of the computer, consider the type of job you want. Think about the skills you want to use daily, and then determine two or three job titles that encompass them. Also, determine the type of company you want to work for--small or large, private or public--and the preferred industry.
"If you don't have that in mind, you can't focus and present the information that will get you there," says Louise Kursmark, an executive résumé writer and author of several book on résumés. "Everything should be filtered through that lens." Leave items out that don't pertain to your desired position.
In Pictures: Seven Steps To A Successful Résumé
The next step is easy: contact info. This might seem obvious, but recruiters report that an alarming number of job applicants don't put their contact information in a prominent location. Many recommend putting it at the top of the résumé. Include your address, e-mail and phone number. "I find some in the bottom of the résumé or not in the cover letter," says Diane Borhani, head of U.S. campus recruiting at Deloitte & Touche. "It's too much work to search, so we go on to the next résumé."
If you're just starting your career and don't have much job experience, include an objective section at the top. For example: "A position as an account executive with a consumer products firm." For those with more than a year in the workforce, a summary is more appropriate. It's broader than an objective--it states what you are looking for and who you are. It might say, "Account executive with a track record of improving business and proven skills in sales." In other words, it's a snapshot of your professional accomplishments.
Speaking of accomplishments, they are what you should focus on in the job history section. It's fine to include a few lines about what you did at work, but the bulk of material should include the things you did that made you stand out. Did you secure several new accounts? Did you have work published? Try to make yourself stand out from other applicants.
"Recruiters know what you do because of your job title," says Kursmark. "Instead of listing your daily tasks, talk about what you did that made your company better or your department more successful. Talk about the unique things you did, so your résumé will not be the same as someone who has the same job title."
The résumé's length is a source of conflict. One thing holds true: If the résumé exceeds two pages it better be worth it. Don't ramble on--the idea is to keep the résumé clear and concise. If your job title is impressive put it in bold. If it's not, but the company you worked for is, put that in bold. The rule of thumb: Only use bold for things you want to stand out. Under the title and company name, use bullet points to explain what you accomplished.
Use keywords--buzzwords--to describe your accomplishments and roles. Not all keywords are the same for all jobs. Therefore, examine five to 10 of the job listings you're applying for and highlight repeated words. Some common words include "leadership," "team player" and "self-starter." Then sprinkle those words throughout your résumé.
For those just starting out in the work world, Deloitte's Borhani recommends putting your education section first. List related coursework to the type of job you're seeking, and include your GPA if it's a 3.0 or higher. (Explain if it's cumulative or not.) Also, if you worked to put yourself through school mention that--it shows initiative. Don't mention every waitressing or store clerk position you had from high school and beyond. Only include it if you progressively gained more responsibility.
Borhani's bottom line résumé advice: "Keep it short and sweet."
How to write a great Cover letters
Your cover letter is your introduction to a potential employer. How do you want that presentation to be? Do you want it to be professional, clear and full of purpose or do you want it to be unfocused, messy and hard to follow? The answer may be obvious but how to write a good cover letter isn't. Follow these tips, and you'll go a long way to creating a great first impression.
Before you start writing
Research the company and its industry. Most companies now have an elaborate website with a mission statement, quarterly reports, press releases and staff bios. Trade papers can help you research the industry. Reading these pages, along with carefully going through the job description, will give you an idea of where the company wants to be headed and the kind of people they want to hire to get there. News from CareerStructure.com will also help you to keep up to date on the latest projects taking place in the industry.
Carefully think about what you can offer the company. In practical terms, this means understanding how your skills apply to the job. Mentioning past work achievements is great for this, because not only does it help communicate how your skills apply to the position but it also shows you have excelled in some facet of a previous job. And achievements aren't just awards. Was a project able to be completed ahead of time because of your efforts? Did you help a previous employer find new projects to work on? These are the kinds of things a recruiter would love to hear.
This is a very straightforward paragraph. Keep it short, just two or three sentences long. You want to tell the recruiter:
What position you are applying for — be specific so there is no doubt.
How you heard about the position if it's relevant, such as in the case of a mutual contact.
And, most important, why you are interested in the position. Be brief and specific. Sweeping statements will not work.
I am writing in response to your advertisement for an architect. Having worked as an architect in several projects both in the UK and abroad, I am confident that I can contribute to your firm's projects and goals.
This paragraph is the meatiest. In essence, you want to write why you are qualified for the position, but you want to be clear and concise. Choose two or three points you want to get across. Focus on experiences and the qualities you exhibited. Here is where you can mention achievements at work. In some cases you may have to break up the paragraph if it gets too long.
When writing this section, remember:
Use specific examples in your career, as they go a long way in helping the recruiter understand, and remember, your abilities.
Just use this as a place to repeat block passages of your CV. Your CV lays out your work experience; your cover letter explains how those experiences apply to the job at hand.
Mention the job and the company. This shows the recruiter you are really thinking about what you can bring to the job.
I began my career 12 years ago, and since then I have been a valuable asset to my employers by helping projects complete on time, being an integral part in acquiring the right planning permissions in the UK and in overseas markets and working with suppliers to keep costs low. At ABC Company, I was the architect on an urban development project in India. We completed that project ahead of time, thanks to being able to work efficiently with the right representatives to begin the project. Then at DEF Company, I created forward-thinking designs that used eco-friendly materials. Securing the materials was an important part of this project. I enjoy challenges, and I can assure you that my experience, knowledge and track record to date make me a strong candidate for this role.
This is the wrap-up, but you still want to be sure you mention certain key things. In particular, you want to:
Refer to the enclosed CV.
Request an interview to further discuss your candidacy. Specify when you are available.
And thank the recruiter for taking the time to consider you for the position.
I have attached my CV with this letter. I would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss my candidacy further. I am available for an interview after the 15th of next month. Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this position.
Check before you send
Now that you have completed the letter, it is very important you read through it and check for misspellings and grammatical mistakes. Most text editors are good at checking spelling, except when it comes to names. Make sure you have the company's correct address and that you have spelled the person's name correctly. It's ideal if you can get someone else to read the letter and give you feedback.
Also, be sure you've included all the information the job description asks for in a cover letter. Some companies want you to include extra information, such as salary requirements and start date availability. That being said, there's no requirement to include personal information like your marital status or age. In most cases it's not relevant to your suitability for the role. Any requests for personal information should be stated and explained in the job description, such as the need for a clean driving licence, for example. There's no need for you to justify lifestyle choices such as why you want to work part-time.
You may be tempted to use the same cover letter for several jobs. It may save you time but is it really going to help you get the job? You should see a cover letter as an opportunity to convince the recruiter you're the right person for the job. If they are reading your cover letter, that means they are interested in you. Ask yourself what kind of introduction you want to make.