That is what a resume is – a virtual representation of yourself. If drafted well, it will result in an interview call followed by employment with a company of your choice.
It is no wonder then that the Resume Writing workshop at the P@SHA Career Expo in Karachi and Lahore were so well attended, and carried on well beyond the allocated time. In Karachi it was very professionally conducted by Nouman Sheikh. In Lahore the task was undertaken jointly by P@SHA Chairman Imran Zia and myself.
Amongst the tips that were provided were the following:
1. Customize your CV and cover letter for the job for which you are applying instead of sending out a standard cover letter and resume.
2. Highlight the skillsets that the job requires and you possess.
3. Don’t be dishonest but present your capabilities in the best possible light.
4. Do not waste the first page with personal details
5. Start with your professional skills, achievements and awards and projects that are relevant to the job you are applying for (if you are a fresh graduate)
6. Start with your professional skills, experience and achievements (if you are an experienced person)
7. Do not send an email to a whole lot of companies – they will not glance at your CV because they will realize that you actually have no specific interest in the job that they have posted or in their company.
8. A cover note is essential – and if it contains special reference to the company and the work it is involved in, you will create a better impression.
9. Spellcheck your resume
10. Do not use fancy fonts, graphics or multiple colours – it does not reflect professionalism
11. Make sure the resume is crisp and does not include irrelevant information
12. Do not use email addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a job. Use your university ID or create an address that contains your name or initials.
13. If you are attaching a photograph with your resume, make sure it is not a photo that is more suitable for a modeling job.
These were just some guidelines. A lot of questions came from the audience which both of us fielded.
After the session Imran and I were approached by a lot of youngsters who wanted us to look at their CVs and guide them on how to make it a more effective representation of their abilities. Zaeem Yaqoob Khan from Naseeb Networks and who is also attached to the University of Central Punjab (UCP), joined us in assisting the young people. After all, that was why we were all there.
What is important to remember is that a good resume is well designed both in content and form. The form should make the content stand out – that is its purpose. Many people use fanciness to hide the poor content and hence end up with what is tantamount to junk.
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