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10 Common Sense yet confusing questions regarding CV / Resume



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10 Common Sense yet confusing questions

regarding CV / Resume
Rohit Jain
posted on 08 October 2014

A cv or resume is the most important

document that will help you to get the best job
offers. While many are strong and sound on
academic and presentation front, still they feel
confused when it comes to CV and resume.
Questions of myriad type arise in the mind of
students , even on the basic things. There is
nothing wrong in this. Many have started
resume making services and are earning quite
nicely. Is resume writing that much
complicated. Its really complicated. There are
hundreds of opinions, formats etc.
I therefore thought it better to write some
common yet confusing questions regarding
CV. There is nothing new in this. Therefore this article is only for those who do not know. Those
who know it won't find this , as interesting
Is a photograph on a resume / CV a must?
This is the first question that often arises in the mind of a person while submitting a CV through mail
or by hand etc. Those who are seasoned employees know this and therefore this question caters to
only those who are novice. Generally a photograph is not required when you submit your resume to
sites like Naukri.com or any such portal. However when you are sending your CV to a government
department (government departments need printed form for job applications) and the specific
format is not given it is really better that we submit the CV along with a photograph. Generally it is
observed that if you are applying for a job that requires or has emphasis upon personal interaction,
then in such instances, a cv with a photograph will be beneficial. Therefore ideally, as a matter of
privacy or unless specifically demanded a photograph on online CVs is not required. However when
you apply directly through mail or send application by post (our government is still in archaic times),
it is a necessity that you submit your photograph also.
Of what exact length should a resume be?
This is the second most common question. What should be the length of CV. Too short and we fear
that we are missing out on certain details and if too long, that becomes prosaic. What exactly
should be the length of ones CV. The answer is, strictly one page. The answer is this plain and
simple because anything longer than this will make the recruiter feel dizzy. A recruiter especially of
a large company has to see hundreds of resumes and therefore he cannot spend his time seeing
CVs which are detailed like a bill of materials. Therefore when preparing a rough CV, take care that
you are neither too long, neither too short. Whatever extra things you want to convey, you can




10 Common Sense yet confusing questions regarding CV / Resume

convey them through a statement of purpose or a cover letter. Therefore strictly adhering to these
norms will bring out a good CV.
Which format is the best format for a CV? Should your CV be too much tabular?
There are thousands of CV templates available on the internet. Some are plain Jane, some are little
bit diagrammatic and some are painstakingly tabular. There are many people who fancy fonts,
tables, grids, bullets etc. in a CV. Yes, tabulation is soothing to the eye, but too much reliance on
tables in the CV makes it messy and eye soaring. A plain text CV is the best option in my view. The
concentration should be more on text formatting and no other element. Minimal margins, a specific
text size, specific spacing and highlighting in a different form will be the simplest yet effective format
for drafting of CV.
To what extent does styling and formatting of a cv affect the chances of being shortlisted for
a job?
The answer to this can be quite controversial and is highly subjective. Generally when pressed for
an opinion, HR people emphasize on preferring properly formatted CVs. However that does not
mean that they will select only based on this factor. Therefore 70 % weight will still be on the
content or qualification, but some weightage is also given to the styling and formatting of a CV.
Do Social achievements / extracurricular activities have any importance in a CV?
What is the social responsibility of a professional like us, one may ask. One might say that many
companies have their records littered with bad corporate governance and therefore how can they
ask or demand social achievements from candidates. This reasoning is right from our side.
However, since we are general and not special, this type of reasoning should be kept at its right
place. I happened to see a profile of a very prominent person on LinkedIn. That profile was what
struck me. Therein, equal emphasis was given to social and curricular achievements apart from
professional experience. The social emphasis was on the social events that the person helped to
conduct, the classes/seminars/events that the person undertook for social upheaval of the poor etc.
Since that person was on a very senior level, it will be very wrong to assume that he is
exaggerating. Therefore if youve participated in any social event (not college event), its better to
emphasize on it as strongly as other points in a CV.
I have too many qualifications? Which ones need emphasis? To what extent older
qualifications should be highlighted in a CV?
I happened to read a CV writing guide on a foreign university career cell. The opinion in that guide
was that you should not give much preference to qualifications older than 5 or 7 years (unless its
your last qualification). So let us assume that you are CA/CS/ICWA. There, your SSC and
HSC/CBSE marks should be expressed in maximum one or two lines. Whatever space you save on
it can be used to throw light on specific modules / specializations that you underwent in your
professional qualification. For eg , if you are a qualified CA, then you can , in short describe the
various verticals that you studied in your articles.
If you want to prevent missing out on some facts you can attach a SOP with your mail in the
Many sites offer a chance to post video CVs. Those confident and presentable enough can utilize
this style also. IF there are some sites that allow posting videos that demand access key , you can
find such sites , post your video there and provide temp access key to the recruiter (I dont know
any site like this, if you know please suggest)
Are there any special Methods / Styles or Is there any special type of approach needed when
applying for a government job?
Everyone has attraction for government jobs and there is nothing wrong in that. While applying for
a government job, that requires application in specific format, take care that you also send a
covering letter along with that format. A covering letter gives you a chance to express those things
that you cannot express in your normal CV. Therefore a neatly typed cover letter (or hand written if
you are sending too many job applications) will add that extra layer of professionalism in you.
Government staff is lazy, but when it comes to direct recruitment, they are very strict.




10 Common Sense yet confusing questions regarding CV / Resume

Should there be a specific type for a CV for specific type of job application?
Job sites encourage you to post more than one CV. Since most of the readers here are CAs and
CWAs who can apply for jobs of various types, chances are that you require more than one CV.
Someone might be interested to directly apply for a Finance post while someone might be
interested in research (recently the research wing of icai had posted job openings for its accounting
research foundation, a section 25 company. Many newly qualified CAs might be interested in this
type of jobs also). So it is advisable for designing 2-3 sector specific CVs. Job portals have a facility
of choosing a particular cv from the bunch of uploaded CVs when applying for a job. Therefore,
sector specific CVs are a good idea.
Will sugar coating or hiding of facts be beneficial for me ?
No. Sugar coating or hyperbolic statements might tar your image if you are caught in verification.
If there is a certain gap in education or employment, dont hide it but be ready with sufficient
reasons for describing them.
These are some of the many questions that arise in the mind of every person in his educational and
professional life.
Thats it for now.
[I believe in the supreme court doctrine of 'if you do not like it , do not see it'.....Please dont waste
your precious time commenting if you find this article irrelevant. There are more things that you can
do. Based upon my experience on this site , i am giving this disclaimer]
- Rohit jain
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7 Comments for this Article

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mizbah khan 09 October 2014

Very well written. Good work.

Shalu 09 October 2014

Thank You for enlightening us so well !

MANJOT SINGH 09 October 2014




10 Common Sense yet confusing questions regarding CV / Resume

Nice one .thanks :-)

Show more Comments

All Comments :: 7

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