Good CV? Why Bother? Aren’t they all the same?
you’re looking for a job?
Perhaps you’re just out of college and are about to launch your first job. Or
may be you’re already working but have eye on that U. N. job advertised in
yesterday’s paper. Or is it that you’re so dissatisfied with your current
job that you’re determined to find a new position somewhere, somehow?
Whatever it is, you’re looking for a job. And now, it’s time to
draft your C.V. Or should you? You’ve heard reports that office administrators
spend at most thirty seconds looking over each C.V. And your Uncle Farouk has so
many contacts that he could just call up. And your friend only yesterday walked
into an office and asked to be interviewed. If this is your thinking, think
again. A good C.V. always gives you an edge. Always. Even personal or family
contacts need to be convinced that you are serious and professional. Many large
companies have a policy of C.V. first, interview later.
Recruitment agencies use your C.V. to make judgments about your
organizational skills, maturity, and language proficiency before calling you to
learn more about you.
A good C.V. is a necessary evil. It must communicate simply,
clearly, and forcefully your objectives , background , and strengths, while
skillfully understanding your weaknesses. In the thirty seconds that the average
recruiter spends on a C.V., yours has to stand out instantly.
A Good C.V. Must………
Here are some suggestions to ensure that your C.V. presents the
relevant information about you as clearly and persuasively as possible.
your C.V short! One page is recommended for fresh graduates and two pages
for experienced applicants or mid-level professionals.
all information positively, but BE HONEST. Don’t make it easy for the
recruiter to dismiss you from the list of suitable candidates by
highlighting your weaknesses or the gaps in your professional record.
sure the information presented in your C.V. is RELEVANT.
your audience. Have a "master" C.V. ready, but make sure you
tailor it to the needs of this specific job or company.
all weak words and expressions. Weak words include "quite"( I
quite enjoyed my job), " somewhat" (I am somewhat experienced in
EXCEL). Strong action verbs include: achieved, managed , produced, created,
initiated. Eliminate pretentious or heavy expressions:" Enclosed
herewith is a list of references" is heavy. Instead, use "I am
enclosing a list of references."
and maintain a list of references and have it available upon request to
submit if asked in an interview.
your resume easy to read (orscan!). Leave plenty of open space for the
recruiter to use. Eliminate all typos and grammatical or spelling errors.
look over your C.V. Before mailing it. Make sure the information included is
accurate: your employer’s name, title, address, position applied for; your
personal details: your mailing address, phone number. E-mail address.
Preparing the C.V… Check for and avoid:
It takes a few simple steps to actually prepare your C.V. We
present them for you in this section.
with Knowing Yourself
informal list of your skills, your professional experiences, your
accomplishments and your personal interests. What is the most relevant for this
Your Job Objective
objective is normally the first heading of your C.V. Think carefully about what
job objective for a particular position or company should be, given your
background, experience, and interests. Be as specific as you can, especially if
you know what you want.
out the Basic Categories
your C.V. should be tailored to portray your particular history, the C.V. should
present some basic information to the recruiter. This includes:
full name, address, phone number, fax number and e-mail.
job objective or position desired
skills, interests, activities.
on Your C.V. Style
C.V.’s are written in one of three styles:
emphasizes history (Example: First job; Second job; Third job).
emphasizes skills (organizes all information by skill groupings irrespective
of job or employer). This style is recommended for people with irregular
emphasizes the career one is seeking to build.
Your C.V. and Cover Letter
Yes, it is a
lot of writing! First write your C.V. based on the style you’ve chosen, the
categories you’ve decided on, and your job objective. Writing the C.V. is a
good exercise to prepare you for writing the cover letter and for the actual
interview. We recommend the following format for your cover letter:
with a strong first paragraph that states who you are, why you are writing,
and how you found out about the job.
second paragraph summarizes your skills and experience and emphasizes the
value of these skills for the position you are seeking.
last paragraph suggests the course of action you want taken: Do you want an
interview? Do you want the reader to send you e-mail confirming the receipt
of your letter?
is preferable that the cover letter be typed on paper that matches your C.V.
Now for the final glance over your document..
Make sure you’ve avoided:
much text and too little space.
errors; typing errors; grammatical semicolon, titles.
activities and skills References. Again, do not list them. Simply say "
Will be provided upon request."
Special Considerations for Lebanese Job Applicants
What language should you use to write your C.V.? English , Arabic,
or French? Again it depends on the position you are applying for and the
language most commonly used in your profession.
Personal information: what to include? Almost all the C.V.’s.
should include some personal information such as nationality, place and date of
birth, driver'’ license status, marital status, number of children, TOEFL test
results, list of coursework completed in college and grade received. Career
consultants advise not to include personal information in a C.V. unless it is
clearly relevant to the position applied for and is likely to enhance the
applicant’s chances of getting the job. Even in this case, such information
should be included in a concise, simple form. If you are not sure-leave it out.
Interrupted work experience, a spotty employment record, an
interest in a career change.. how much of this can you reflect in your C.V.?
This should not be a problem, as long as you can structure your C.V. to
highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. Unconventional career
paths are not unusual in this world of downsizing and soul-searching. Use a
functional format if you have the skill to do so.