Writing a curriculum vitae (CV) is never an easy task, but it is usually the first point of contact you will have with a potential employer, and so it has to you in a positive light.
When sending your CV, a message needs to be communicated that you are the right candidate for the job.
This means your CV needs to reflect something positive that will leave a memorable impression on the recruiter.
Quite often, however, students going out into the world of business do not really prepare themselves well and fail to realise that the image they project in their CV is wholly different from the one the manager or employer sees at his or her end.
Here are a few tips to help make your image shine in a future employer's eyes.
The language used in a CV should be presented as simply and clearly as possible.
This is because managers are usually busy and need to be able to evaluate your CV quickly so that they can make a decision and form a shortlist.
Two pages should therefore be something to aim for and no longer, which means that in order for this to happen, words like conjunctions (and, but, so), prepositions (in, on, at), and informal adjectives (long, popular, happy) should be used sparingly.
Bullet points should be used instead of full sentences or short arrangements of words in note form that summarise your professional achievements and experiences.
Avoid informal language, such as: want, did, or ended. Use these words, respectively, instead: require, completed, or finished.
For example, it is better to write, "MBA completed, 2004" instead of, "My degree course ended in 2004."
Use a professional formatting style and create clear sections with subheadings, such as: Contact information, Work experience, Publications, and References.
Try to begin with the most important information first, followed by the most recent, and leave the recruiter with important information about you at the end, e.g., your name, age, and nationality.
After supplying the contact information, move on to your work experience, offering only the most important information: a potted history or summary, not everything in your work experience.
Highlight all personal as well as professional goals achieved making sure they stand out from the other information included.
If you state the reason for leaving a particular job, never include criticism about your previous employer.
The recruiter may think you will do the same about his company if the job doesn't work out.
The past simple or present simple are the tenses most often used in CVs. Choose one and stick with it. If you switch to different tenses too often, this will confuse the reader and ultimately, dilute your message. The present continuous can also be used when, e.g., focusing on your current employment or training.
The present perfect tense is often used in a covering letter and also follow up interview after the CV has been sent to show the candidate's employment experiences.
For example, if you have written that you were a manager in Bangkok between the years 2001-2006, in a subsequent interview, a manager might ask you the following question, "How have your experiences in Thailand helped you grow as a manager?"
Another question to ascertain your experience might be the following, "Have you ever made a mistake and hired the wrong employee for the job?"
For pointers on using the English language effectively and forcefully in business, visit http://www.CEC.co.th or contact Corporate English Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02-248-8306 - 13.