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CV Tips

May 4, 2008

In my previous post I talked about my expectations from a IT job interview. This time I would like to discuss some of my expectations from a new applicant’s curriculum vitae or CV:

Make it Look Professional

Before they see you in person, all your future employer would see is your CV. A clean and neat CV will make a great first impression. If you are not sure with your design capability, try to search the Internet for some ready to use templates.

Tip #1: If it is in English, check your spelling and grammar. Sloppy spelling and grammar is a major turn-off. If you’re not sure with your writing skills, ask a friend to check it for you.

Tip #2: Use serif fonts such as Georgia (on Windows) or Bitstream Charter (on Linux) because they look professional on print. On the other hand, avoid Times New Roman. It’s overused and boring.

Tip #3: Don’t use WordArt. They don’t look professional at all, amateurish even.

Send a PDF File

A PDF file maintains its layout and typefaces (fonts) consistently. It will ensure ensure that your CV will look exactly like you wanted on whatever OS it is opened with. Plus, a read only PDF file gives your document a professional feel.

Make it Complete

Try to be as complete as possible. Don’t forget to write in your GPA and the title of your final thesis if available, especially if you’re a fresh graduate. Include a short one or two line summary on each of your past work experiences.

Have Work Experiences

Experiences are much more valuable than formal studies. It shows them that you’re ready to work. If you’ve been in the business for quite some time this part is easy, but what if you’re a fresh graduate? Don’t worry, there are many ways to gather work experiences as a student.

Internship program is one of them. Another one is to work within your campus as a teaching/lab assistant. You can also seek experiences by working freelance.

List Skills Instead of Application Names

I don’t know why but people seem to love listing application names in their CV. They mean nothing. Tools doesn’t matter, the skills are. When you say you know Dreamweaver, your future employer can not be sure whether you understand HTML or not. They would think that you can only do web design with Dreamweaver and nothing else.

Only list skills that you are really good at. It is better to have a short but reliable list of skills instead of a long list of skills that you don’t really understand. It will also tell your future employer what your primary focus is.

Don’t Put in Your Photo (or any other unrelated personal information)

Unless you’re applying for a job where your looks would matter, leave your photo out of it. It does not add any value to your CV. Let your future employer judge you based on your skills and experiences instead on how you look. Let them judge your appearance during the interview.

I would also suggest to leave out your religion, ethnicity and marriage status. It might be customary in Indonesia, but they are actually useless data. It’s your skills that matter most.

Finally, please note that this is not a complete guide! There are other things that should/should not be in a CV that are not listed here.

  1. Don’t forget to put the copy on the net.
    use googlepages if you don’t have hosting server.
    Like mine, it’s actually a googlepages :D.

  2. nanungnurzula permalink


  3. Very nice ;) btw very good tips i will use some of them. Some i did not knew.

  4. VZX permalink

    Would you put your GPA if it’s not too good?

  5. @VZX:
    Yes I think one should put in their GPA no matter how bad it is. It’s much better to be honest upfront. It’ll be awkward when they ask your GPA in the interview. Because then you have to say the number yourself.

  6. it jobs are very much in demand these days because of technology boom–~

  7. simply reasonable 0_0!
    thanks for sharing.

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