If I ask you to fetch me a beer, what will you do?
Case I: I am a guest;
You may ask me which brand I want. And then serve me in a beautiful glass with some ice and hand me a napkin along with it. I will be happy.
Case II: I am a friend;
You may know what I want and casually throw me the can. I will be happy.
Case III: I am your underage brother;
You may sternly but without hurting my ego, tell me that there will be a time for this for now enjoys this milkshake. I may be happy 🙂
Just like this scenario, based on the company, the role your beer (i.e. your CV) should be prepared and served.
Objective of CVs:
Point of view: Company’s side
1) What all has this person achieved and can contribute?
2) How well can this person convey and present?
3) How well does this person seem to understand our company and its values?
On the whole, is there a story about this person that we like and believe it fits with our organization?
Point of view: Candidate’s side
1) How can I impress them with my achievements?
2) How can I ensure that during evaluation my relevant achievements are visible?
3) How can I display my non-tangible qualities like creativity, smartness, dedication?
On the whole, what story should I convey such that all my relevant capabilities are evident to the organization?
How to make a good CV?
Now that the objective of CV making exercise is clear, we need to outline the steps to create the CV. Our CV should be such that it fits perfectly with the point of view of company.
Step 1: Create a Master CV
It is imperative that before making your CV you create a master CV. This master CV will list all your achievements from the first memory of yours to till date and it should cover academics, co-curricular, extracurricular activities (and as an add on for interview preparation you can also create some pages relating to unique experiences where you displayed either strength, weakness, leadership or learnt something in life). The wording of these points is not so necessary as much as capturing the essence of these CV points, each point on this list is a potential CV point.
Step 2: Understand the CV format you need to prepare
In each CV there are some CV points for Academics, some CV points for Co-curricular, some CV points forextracurricular, and some CV points for leadership/ team player positions along with your contact, hobbies, objective / cover letter. Let us call these CV point types.
The idea is to identify what could be the 2-3 most critical CV point types for each firm. A firm with high R&D focus may focus strongly on Academics and co-curricular where as a firm with cross functional role may need a bit of all. So accordingly one must order their CV sections in the importance they deem fit. It is very difficult to illustrate different formats for CV point flows here, however one must ensure to capture the story coming out of the flow of the CV points and whether that is the story they believe is the best fit to that organization.
Step 3: Create a concise CV that shows your qualities
- People who can write their points concisely and also use different color, italics or bold font to highlight key terms is appreciated
- People who can let go of irrelevant points to make the CV more visible and beautiful are appreciated for smartness and their understanding
- People who can display their performance as being consistent across time and different facets of life are appreciated
- No CV point should be more than 2 lines (it reduces its readability)
- There should be enough gap between CV points (again readability)
Keeping these three points in mind, one should create a CV. And then a take a print out and review it with your friends and other trusted people. Ask them to review it for cleanliness, easy language, and story flow and also to check whether they think you have left any crucial point from your master CV.
Good luck for standing distinct among the pool of applicant …….
**Above sample is just a guideline.
Author is an IIT Kgp and IIM (A) alumnus and currently is working as Chief Strategy Officer in Max Specialities Film