“When I first met you I thought you were…”
We have all heard this at some or the other given point of time. No matter how hard you try your first impression will not be forgotten.
Similarly, your curriculum vitae also creates a first impression in the eyes of your prospective future employers. Most graduates & sometimes individuals with less than a couple of years of work experience would just go up on Google & type “format for a CV” and submit their CVs to companies across.
Some individuals spend a great amount of time working on their CVs and applying to companies. People are making CVs in the form of WebPages, & videos. Companies do get impressed with creativity, but if you are unable to spend that kind of time, it is alright.
When companies hire for roles which require zero to a couple of years of work experience they are only looking at how fast you will be able to learn & how agile you are in your work. They will closely look at your skills & personality as they know they’ll be investing time in grooming you.
With none to maximum 2 years of work experience you need to highlight your skills & personality from your CV. Below are few points that you must take care of & do differently for your CV to get you an interview.
Title of your CV – It’s good to have a title to your CV. Here we don’t mean that you write “curriculum vitae or bio-data” at the top. The recruiters know what they are looking at.
Your title should highlight your skill & industry so that it’s easier for recruiters to see where you fit best. It will differ for someone who has worked on one profile from the ones who have worked on multiple.
Add an impressive cover letter – You may very well think of this as answering the most popular question, “Tell us something about yourself?” It needs to be all about yourself & not your family. It should be crisp and you must try to keep it not more than 300-400 characters.
Your cover letter should show what skill sets you possess, and what kind of a person you are. What is it that drives you as a person? Cover letter should be a mix of professional & slight candid introduction of you. Choose to include a personal note about yourself that you think everyone should know. If it’s about an interesting hobby that you have, then it’s even better.
Your relevant contact details – Nowadays recruiters mostly connect with you on your email id, phone number or maybe on LinkedIn. You should keep your email id as the first point to contact you & then maybe your mobile number.
Your email id should sound professional & nothing like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org is appropriate. It should always be made of your name. If you don’t have a proper email id, please create one. Also don’t add your current office id. You don’t want to be getting new job interview requests on your current id. It is not professional & can also get you in trouble.
When you add your mobile number make sure it’s correct. Don’t give any desk number or house number where you may mostly not be available. If you share a lot of content online about work, and engage in conversations about your industry then you should mention your social media profile as well. Mostly LinkedIn & Twitter are apt for your CV. Unless you’re an entertainer then you can add your YouTube channel or Instagram link as well.
Highlight your work experience – This is the most critical part of your CV, also because in about 1-2 years there may not be many projects to highlight. But at this stage recruiters are looking for relevancy and not variety. This in most cases will also be a conversation starter & will form the base of questions that will be asked during your interview.
You must add the most current project that you have done first and then rest of the information that can be added going back to the first project.
You can also consolidate and add your projects in a tabular format. If these are campaigns that can be found online or our published somewhere, you should also add links to it. It’ll be easier for the recruiters & will also add credibility.
Details of your Qualification & Achievements – This is what you need to spend the least time on. In a tabular format you can add your educational/qualification details starting from the most current. Highlight the year of graduation & specialization, if any. You should avoid not adding the grade or score that you received but in case you were a university topper, you can add that under the table in achievements.
Recruiters don’t need to know whether you scored an 80% or a 47%. But you must showcase your exceptional achievements. A few examples, any award that you’ve received at university level or for any project, any social service you’ve been a part of, and any book you’ve written & published & so on.
Lastly the fonts that you use should be clear and not fancy. Try to keep the language simple & easy to understand. Avoid using different colors in your CV, unless you want to make anything creative. This is a basic version on CVs for newcomers in the job industry.
We’re also working on how LinkedIn can be used to attract recruiters. This however will be for individuals with over 7-10 years of work experience.
If there’s anything specific that you’d like us to cover under this subject, please add in comments.
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