5 Ways to Avoid Underselling Yourself in Your CV
You must know that your CV is a marketing tool, which shows that you’re the best professional out there. You're rather interested in your field of specialty, wanting to connect with the brightest people (in that industry). You can achieve it if you follow a few rules.
There's no room for modesty, which may caught you by surprise. But you should know better. (If you can brag about the number of countries you have visited in the continent, as well as the time that you have tried hardcore backpacking, then you can do the same thing when you customize your CV.) Not all information is relevant to recruiters, which should keep your CV to two pages. (Don't ever think that one page would be good enough. You're underselling yourself.) Last but not the least, patience is more than a virtue. It's a red badge of courage, which might prompt you to scratch your head. (You read Stephen Crane's masterpiece, yet you would wonder if there's a British counterpart of the author from Newark. He might be an anonymous writer from the Scottish Highlands, but you wouldn't know.) This should bring you to the most important thing about CV writing.
CV writing is not a difficult thing to do. You can make the most of the opportunities that are waiting for you, trying to impress on every chance that you get. You might wonder about the specifics.
Stepping It Up
Your skills section is your best friend. You don't have to be obsessed about details, but it would give you a huge advantage (if you do). There's no need to look for a software, which should list down the relevant skills that you must keep in mind. In other words, a little creativity could lead you to a call that you're hoping for. Do an online research, and the keywords (or relevant skills) that you found must match the ones that you have put in a separate file (or box). An ideal result should be a perfect match-up, but it doesn't have to end up in that way.
Don't struggle in highlighting your accomplishments. There's a difference in bragging and bragging about your achievements in your career. There's a huge chance that you might end up fibbing (while you brag to a recruiter/employer), and a costly mistake could be made there. It's not the same thing with bragging about your career accomplishments, as employers want the best candidate for the vacant job position. Remember that another applicant might have more impressive credentials, so don't hold back. Be careful about the figures, though.
No one is interested in what you have done (so far). You must answer three questions, and you won't do it on one occasion. What have you contributed to your previous employer(s)? Have you made any impact? Did you notice encouraging sign(s)? The first question would prompt you to resort to exaggeration, which may help your cause. It's a great risk, though. Furthermore, you must prepare to elaborate on it. The second question may stump you, even let your hard-pressed mind to drift off somewhere. This is not the right time to think of your next holiday, though. The third (and final) question requires a keen observation of the recruiter (or employer) during the interview. It might not be hard to figure out a facial expression, but a body language is not. A follow-up question may settle it.
Prepare a cover letter. You may have done the above properly, but your best effort would go to waste if you don't have a cover letter. It must state the position that you're applying for, even highlight what the recruiter (or employer) is looking for. In other words, there won't be any waste of time on you and the recruiter (or employer). It doesn't end there.
Proofread your CV. You must not check your grammar, even worry about running sentences. (There won't be one if you wonder about it.) There must be symmetry, which would suggest that you have present your accomplishments in a manner that won't confuse the recruiters. It means that you have the option of not listing down your previous jobs (or duties). If you're thinking of changing the font, then stop right there. Our culture might encourage uniqueness, which can be interpreted as quirkiness, but job hunting is not the right time and place to highlight it. A career in art would be an exception, though.
A Final Word on CV Writing
You want recruiters (or employers) to be taken seriously, so imagine how they react to your CV. If a former colleague happens to be working in the HR Department, then ask for his (or her) opinion. Don’t take constructive criticism personally. And less doesn’t necessarily mean to be more (in this case). You’re the only one who can find out what is more (or less), though. You might have to spend more time in proofreading. Smash it!