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4 CV/resume hints for students

Creating your first CV/resume doesn't have to be a tough task if you understand the target of your resume — to get interest of your potential employers. What they really want to know is: will this candidate add value to the company?

If your resume answers this question effectively — by clearly communicating your strengths — employers will invite you for an interview. It really is that simple.

1. Research Job Adds
In order to demonstrate your value you need to know what potential employers are looking for. Start by researching job adds that interest you. Look for frequently-mentioned requirements. Ask experienced professionals what they consider important when they make hiring decisions. Read professional publications and websites related to your target industry. Once you know what is important to employers you can target your resume to address those issues.

2. Information to Include on Your First CV/resume
Many students and recent graduates worry that they don’t have enough experience to create a compelling CV/resume. Don’t be concerned. Remember that experience is in everything we do — especially in the most important areas such as maturity (grown-up attitudes) and emotional intelligence, communication, creativity, responsibility, determination, integrity, compassion, problem-solving, etc. Once you start to really think about your background, you’ll be surprised at what you have to boast about. The content of your resume will be determined by your own unique experiences, skills and background but  as a general guideline  you should include:

  • Positive personal characteristics
    Consider and show achievements and qualities from your life, relevant to the job, such as: leadership, teamwork, creativity, initiative, problem-solving, self-motivation, discipline, reliability, persistence and determination, compassion and humanity, love and care for others
  • Technical and computer skills
  • Coursework relevant to your desired profession
  • Educational accomplishments 
    Since you are a student and have no real professional experience, your major achievements would be mostly in the field of academics. Make sure you highlight the best of such achievements in your CV/resume. You could also enter here any special projects or tasks you completed , the certificates you won at competitions, etc. which further prove you an 'expert' in your area of competency.
  • Competencies
    All you have to do is think of the industry you have chosen and look back into your life and come out with concrete examples where you showed clear aptitude and talent. Everything that would prove to the reader that you could do the task needs to be listed here.
  • Work History (include unpaid work if it relates to your target positions)
  • Hobbies and extra-curricular interests only when these match or complement the job
3. Don’t forget in your  CV/resume about:
  • Clear formatting to make easy to scan — recruiters will give each Curriculum Vitae a maximum 10 seconds
  • Neat typing — preferably laser printed — in a font that is easy on the eyes; avoid handwriting fonts as these are difficult to read fast
  • Correct English, simple and short sentences (preferably in bullet points)
  • Correct spelling and punctuation
  • Correct contact information
4. Target your CV/resume to a specific job
You need to keep in mind that a CV/resume has to be tailor-made for each job you are applying. When you do so, you will need to tweak your core competencies/skills and achievements in such a way that these would complement the position you are applying for. This is a vital factor that most often marks the difference between success and failure in getting the interview call letter.

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