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CV tips: Dos and don'ts for freshers

Last updated on: October 15, 2012 11:54 IST

CV tips: Dos and don'ts for freshers

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Little things like updating your CV and applying for jobs that meets your requirements will fetch you better results, writes T Muralidharan, Managing Director, TMI e2E Academy.

Life for any fresher is challenging.

And for those freshers who missed the 'campus placement' bus, life could seem quite bleak. In this article, we talk about the time-tested rules that help freshers hunting for jobs online.

The internet has become a one-stop-shop for all information. So freshers must upload their resumes in cyberspace and adopt an online job search strategy.

You may visit multiple job boards (Naukri, Monster and TimesJobs) with dedicated pages for freshers or websites of special interest to freshers (freshersworld, walkinjobstoday).

You must also have a proper e-mail ID so that you can send soft copies of your resume via e-mail to companies. Sometimes companies -- especially in the IT industry -- have their own format for filling information on their websites.

They ask for the same information in your resume (contact details, school and college, extra-curricular activities, etc). There is also the option of uploading your profile on a professional website like LinkedIn.

But locating online job postings is merely one part of the story. The real trick is in putting your best foot forward and understanding what to avoid in cyberspace.

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Image: All images for representational purposes only
Photographs: Kshitij Anand/Reuters

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Upload your resume on multiple job boards

  • Do make job-hunting on the Internet an integral part of your job-search strategy.
  • Do utilise all the job-hunting tools the Interet offers beyond job sites.
  • Do pay close attention to each employer's or recruiter's instructions for submitting your resume in response to a job posting -- whether the resume is to be e-mailed as an attachment, what type of resume is required etc.
  • Do upload your resume on multiple job boards.
  • Do upload your resume on niche job boards specialising in fresher recruitment.
  • Do sign up for JobAlerts, so you don't miss out on upcoming opportunities.
  • Do update your resume every time there is a new skill added.
  • Do keep a text only copy of your resume in text format as many job sites and employer's websites ask you to upload your resume in text format apart from the word document format. Besides, copying and pasting your content from word document leads to alignment problems and wastes precious time.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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CV tips: Dos and don'ts for freshers

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Apply to each employer directly

  • Ensure that when the job site provides you readymade forms, you plug in information about who you are into the open text box. Ensure that it tells the reader something meaningful about your personality besides what you already have on your CV.
  • Be consistent. After uploading your resume, do visit the respective job sites regularly, search for the relevant position using good Boolean operators or key words, and apply to relevant openings.
  • Visit each employer's website individually and browse current job openings, review the employer's requirements, and apply to each employer directly.
  • Write every word in your resume yourself.
  • Write the truth, and only the truth in your resume (but not the whole truth -- there may be facts that may not work in your favour).
  • Select the right fonts. You don't want to come across as frivolous.

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CV tips: Dos and don'ts for freshers

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Create a LinkedIn profile

  • Customise your resume for a particular job role while applying for it to show how well suited you are for that job.
  • Have four to five different versions of your resume highlighting your qualifications and work experiences. When you are just starting your career, you might be applying for different job roles in different industries so just one resume will not work for all.
  • Write a good covering note for your online application to indicate that you are really interested in the position and explain how you are the right person for it.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile. This professional website gives you scope to elaborate on your resume if you want to. You can also restrict the privacy of your page or make it public to allow recruiters and employers to search and contact you.
  • Do get prepared for the NEXT step in your job search i.e. assessment. Remember that once you get shortlisted for a job, you will be called for an interview. You must be well prepared.
  • Do have a positive attitude throughout.

Image: LinkedIn will help you restrict the privacy of your page or make it public to allow recruiters and employers to search and contact you.
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Things you must AVOID

  • Don't outsource your resume writing to anybody (expert or otherwise).
  • Don't copy anybody else's resume. It could land you in trouble later.
  • Don't ever lie on your resume. It will come back to haunt you.
  • Don't make spelling mistakes and other silly errors in your resume.
  • Don't write mundane sentences like 'I am a very hardworking person' etc.
  • Don't forget to showcase the same profile and experience in your resume on job sites, and on your social networking sites like Facebook.
  • Don't apply for jobs when you do not meet the eligibility criteria. It only wastes your time and the employers' tracking system doesn't shortlist your resume.



Image: Avoid grammatical errors in your CV.
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The probability of getting a job online is less than one per cent

  • Don't fall for scams. For instance, job posts with big salaries and simple interview process could be a scam. It is advisable to understand the authenticity of job post before applying to it.
  • Don't expect the online job search platforms to be your magic elixir that gets you a new job. Understand online platforms are just part of your strategy to get a job.
  • Don't spend all your job-hunting time in cyberspace. Integrate your online job search into a comprehensive job-search campaign that devotes plenty of time to traditional job-hunting activities, such as cold-calling, developing a great resume and especially, networking etc.
  • Don't get depressed. 'No news' does not mean 'bad news'. Remember the probability of getting a job online is less than one per cent. So unless you apply to at least 100 to 150 online jobs online you cannot clinch one.

Yes, it is disheartening to find yourself without a job once you have graduated from college.

But some of these mantras will definitely benefit freshers speed up their job search process. However, how well you wield the trump card totally depends on you.


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