How to make your CV a success?

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Your CV serves as a shop window where your skills, qualifications and experiences are displayed. Your resume should be such that it catches the attention of the recruiter and lands you in the interview zone. So, here is a detailed guidelines to make your CV a success so as to take you one stop closer to the dream job.


Resume Format

Always have a .doc (Microsoft Word) format and .txt format of your resume with you. When you are filling your resume in websites, you need the text format and when you are sending resume through mail, it’s better to send the .doc format.
Few companies may ask specifically for .rtf format. In such case, you don’t have an option anyway.

Resume Size

Try to see to it that the .doc resume file size is less than 100 KB.

Resume File Name

Don’t give some junk names as file name for the resume. If you keep use junk names, there is every possibility that your mail will travel to bulk/trash folder of recruiter. Your resume’s file name should ideally denote your name, experience, technology, years of experience and company name. Keep some valid name for your resume.
Example: Shalini_resume_Wipro _.doc

Exclusive Mail IDs

Use only one (or maximum of 2) mail Ids exclusively for the purpose of recruitments. Do NOT use those mail Ids for any other purpose (Especially you should not use it for subscribing to any GROUP mails or FORWARD mails).

Standard Mail Service Providers

You must be careful about the service providers in which you open a mail account. Don’t use the mail Ids/accounts from non-standard service providers. If they disconnect services suddenly, your mail ID fails and you need to resend resumes with new mail Id to all the companies you have already applied. So, always try to create mail Ids with standard service providers like Yahoo, Rediff, Google etc.
Choose both mail Ids from different mail service providers. In case, if one service provider experiences technical problems, you can use the other service provider.

Mail Space

Always see to it that at least 50 %u0025 of your mailbox size is free. Delete unnecessary mails periodically.

Send from same mail ID

While sending the resume, preferably send it from the mail ID you have mentioned in your resume.

Always keep a copy

While sending the resume, always keep a CC/BCC to your mail ID (or at least keep your sent items ON) so that you will know whether the resume is attached properly and/or whether it’s traveling to bulk mail folder.

Subject Line

If the company mentions that a specific ‘Job Code’ has to be written in Subject Line, write that. If nothing specific, then give a proper subject line for your mail.
Example: Resume – J2EE – 3 Years Experience – INFOSYS – Bangalore

Covering Letter

Always try to include a “short” covering letter just containing your experience, current location, contact details (address & phone number) current company name, technology you are working in. Don’t write too long covering letters. No HR will spend time on reading your long letters.

Short is Sweet

Don’t make the resume too long. Keep it short & sweet. It should be less than 3 pages (and up to a maximum of 4). The HR will hardly have 1 minute to glance at your resume. He won’t have the time to read story-like resume. So, be precise, clear and straight to the point.
Better use bullets for mentioning important points.

Check BULK mail folder

Check the BULK mail folder before blindly emptying it. I have seen people who lost call letters because of it.


Header & Footer !

Always have a header & footer in your resume.
Header can contain a simple heading of your resume.
Footer should preferably contain the page number.

First Page is the best page to convey all about you !
Typically the HR expects all the important details in the first page. He receives hundreds of resumes and hardly gets 1 minute to look at your resume and so he won’t bother to search your resume for the required details, if the details are not found in his first glance at your resume.

The first page of resume must contain the following things:

Personal Details : Full Name, Date of Birth, Passport Number.
Current Contact Details : Full Contact Address, Contact Phone Numbers, Mail ID & Alternate Mail ID.
Work Experience Summary : All the companies you have worked so far, Company Address, Website, Dates of Duration in each Company. Don’t assume that everyone knows about your company. (You can highlight if your current company has any good quality levels like CMM/CMMI)
Job Responsibilities : Your job profile in your past companies. For example, you should highlight that you are working as ‘Module Leader leading a team of 6 people’ in your current company.
Skill Set Summary : Highlight all the technologies you know well. Don’t include any technologies you have not worked on.
Certifications : Include any relevant certifications you have. That gives you an edge over others.
Education Details Summary : Your Post Graduation, Graduation, Intermediate, 10 th details, Aggregate Percentage, Year of Pass out (Most important).

Contact Details at the top, not at bottom !

Contact Details should be at the top of resume, not at the bottom.
Never include the contact details in Header or Footer. They won’t be visible properly.

Always provide an alternate mail ID !

Always provide an ‘Alternate Mail Id’ also (in case your original mail Id fails, it will be useful).
Do NOT give more than 2 mail Ids in resume. The recruiters as well as you will get confused which mail Id to send/receive call letters.

No one can save you if your Mail ID fails !

Check the mail Ids you provided in CV by sending a trial mail. (I have seen people giving instead of If the mail Id fails when HR sends you call letter, no one can save you in this world. No HR will resend the call letter if your mail ID fails.)

Never use official mail ID ! (for Experienced people)

NEVER use OFFICIAL MAIL ID or OFFICIAL PHONE NUMBER in the resume. You must always provide the Personal mail Id & Personal Phone/Mobile Number. You can give the OFFICIAL MAIL ID for reference at the end the resume.

Spell Check !

Always perform a spell check and grammar check on the resume. You don’t deserve a job if you can’t write your resume without mistakes.
There is nothing wrong in getting your resume reviewed by someone else. They might catch the mistakes that your eyes can never detect.

Educational details are important !

People (especially experienced people) think that they don’t need to give the educational details. But they are important. If not all details, at least give the highest qualification, college/university name and aggregate percentage. (Some HR people simply delete the resumes without educational details.)

Reverse Chronological order !

Your latest job profile is more important than your first one. So, always write the details in reverse chronological order (start with the latest) especially when you are listing previous company details or educational qualification details.

Avoid Irrelevant Details !

Write straight to the point and only the details relevant to the job. (You don’t need to include your family tree or how many children you have or what your wife does.)
Do not write stereotype sentences like ‘I am sincere, intelligent, hardworking’ etc. That’s childish. Who in this world is not hardworking by the way?

Use simple Language !

Use simple English. You don’t need to write complex jargon in the resume.

Write the Crux of Projects !
Don’t write all about your projects. That will make the resume very lengthy. Write only the crux of the information. Following details would be enough.

Project Name, Team Size, Client Name, Duration of Project.
Short description of project (Not more than 5 to 6 lines).
Your role in project (This is very important).
Technologies used in project.

You should convey where you want to work !
Always include the following clearly in resume:

‘Current Location’ (mandatory). I have seen resumes in which there is no clue of where they are working currently. How can they expect a call letter ?
‘Desired Location’ (if you have a preference). Anyway freshers typically will not have a choice for the desired location. They better not to include it.

Experience !

Project Training done in your final academic year does not come under professional work experience. You can mention it, but not under ‘Work Experience’ section.
Always highlight your onsite (customer interaction experience) in your resume. That gives you an edge over others.

Salary Details

Better not to include current & expected compensation details in resume. You can convey them when you are asked to provide them during interview.

You are not submitting the application for matrimonial !

Do not include any photos in the resume unless specifically asked by the company.

You are not writing a love letter !

Avoid unwanted graphics: Either in resume or the covering letter, avoid jazzy graphic images, emoticons or multiple colors.
Avoid jazzy fonts: Preferably use some professional font (Arial or Times or Verdana) and use the same across. Use same font size across the resume (except for headings). Don’t write each line in a different font and size.
However, you can use some decent shades (preferably gray color), to highlight important information. That makes the resume to look good when a printout is taken.

Take a print and see !

In the next article we will lay out the tips for avoiding mistakes made in resumes.


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