Spruce up your CV!
WITH the world’s financial health still recovering from the recession and the global employment market becoming more selective than ever, even jobs that you may be over-qualified for seem hard to come by.
So what’s your passport to that coveted interview you ask? A magnum opus of a curriculum vitae! If you think about it, the first thing an employer judges you by is your CV and, if it fails to impress, astonish and astound, it will soon be bound for the reject pile.
Being a student and growing up in a city that, until recently, didn’t allow teenagers to work or even to intern, you might already be discouraged by your more-than-probable lack of work experience.
Fear not, for the art of emphasis and presentation is open to you. Although I may not be the authoritative voice on dos and don’ts of CV writing, I’ve learnt from the many rejections and few acceptances that the aesthetic appeal of the layout and the words are just as important as the content.
Get the layout right
The first obstacle you have to tackle is the basic layout. The easiest way around this is to use a basic template from Word.
If that proves a little too hard, simply ask your friends for a copy of their CVs. Pick the one you like best, and change the information accordingly. Presentation sorted!
Use emphasis to effect
Next is content, and this is where the skill of emphasis can be put to good use. A CV might not be a platform from which you can show your creativity or express yourself, but don’t be afraid to up the ante with a little persuasive prose here and there; a little emphasis can go a long way.
Keep in mind, however, that the aim is not to deceive, but to say things eloquently and with a little more finesse.
Say you worked at a retail store for about a month. Instead of stating that you ‘worked at the counter’ make your role seem slightly more important. No, you didn’t just work at the counter; you ‘provided customers with recommendations and insight on various product ranges,’ and ‘executed customer transactions’. Without having lifted a finger (except to type), your market value has gone up at least 10%.
Shout about your experience
Remember that work experience doesn’t just include paid work, but volunteer work and internships too.
Potential employers will appreciate that you’re a student or recent graduate, so don’t fret too much if you think you don’t have enough experience.
Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net
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