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When preparing a CV, it is natural for every candidate to try and describe each and every experience they have had, like an employment record. There is no harm in keeping a master document in which all your work experience is captured, as long as you keep it to yourself. The important thing to remember is that you have, perhaps, 30 seconds to catch the Recruitment Manager's attention.
Since companies look for skills, therefore, invest the time to cull out those activities which match the job profile advertised. Here is how you can catch HR's attention:
• Use bulleted short sentences mentioning the activity and the object of the activity. Skip articles and prepositions. Cramming too many words in a paragraph will not improve your chances; it will only confuse the reader; mention only 3 to 5 critical and relevant activities
• Make an effort to understand the keywords used in your profession. Use them to reflect the experience you truly have. Leave lots of white spaces to make your CV reader-friendly
• Be very specific in describing your skills. Skills are the physical activities associated with the job. For instance, words like 'inspecting', 'installing', 'operating', 'coding', 'supervising', 'assigning', etc., denote specific skills
• Write the work duration clearly. Even if there are breaks in employment, it is better to be open and honest about them.
The fact that the duration of jobs can get shorter and shorter is an economic reality which is here to stay. Therefore, use such breaks to learn and do something productive. Proactively look for study courses or volunteer work which can be taken up during these stints. These are opportunities that will add depth to your managerial experience and holistic development. Taken together, doing these things can make your CV stand out in a crowd.
• Focus on activities relevant to the post you want in your CV
• Use specific, descriptive words in discussing work activities
• Be open and honest about any employment gaps or breaks
Source: Geet Mala Jalota, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is an Independent HR Trainer and Consultant