Resume & Career Advice

September 28, 2010

Resume vs. CV

The Difference Between Resume and CV

Should you submit a resume or a CV?

Both the resume and the curriculum vitae (CV) are important marketing tools. They are documents containing the most vital information about a person related to his education and job experience needed for employment search. While most people use resume and CV synonymously in the workplace, this two are different. Knowing their differences is important especially in making sure what to use and when to use what.

A curriculum vitae is more thorough than a resume. Resumes are ideally made up of one to two pages only, as employers do not usually have the time to study lengthy documents. Only the information applicable to the job one is applying for should be included in the resume – contact information, relevant education and job experience. In short, a resume is a summary of all your skills and experience needed for the job.

On the other hand, a curriculum vitae is a much more detailed document. As what its name suggests, the CV highlights your educational and academic experiences. It contains not only your past jobs but the special trainings you have undergone, your awards and merits, your affiliations, organizational memberships and scholarly publications you have written, if there are any. You can also put some of your views about your past jobs in your CV, how they have contributed to your personal and professional development.

Employers would just usually ask for a resume but naturally a CV is needed if the work you are applying is more academically or research-inclined. In some countries a CV is needed when applying for academic or research positions or in applying for scholarship grants. The bottom line is, needless of what your potential employer may ask from you, you should write your resume or your CV well to ensure you of getting the job you want.

June 14, 2010

How to Dress (Your Resume) For Success

While not as volatile as tendance of its textile-oriented counterparts, trends in resume writing are sometimes compared with fads in fashion. Indeed, it’s not that farfetched to relate a well-dressed applicant with an organized and attention-grabbing resume.  Perhaps a misplaced adjective or an unrelated job experience in one’s resume really does say as much about the person behind it as a mismatched wardrobe or un-pressed slacks.  It seems prudent, then, to know what’s “in” in 2010 resume writing and what’s, well, something like baggy neon pants.

One common faux pas committed by jobseekers in writing resumes is ending with “References available upon request.”  People have been oversaturated with that phrase that it is now simply assumed.  Besides, testimonials from former bosses or colleagues in your LinkedIn profile are often sufficient to cover this.

Speaking of LinkedIn, social networking and other online community sites are increasingly becoming a reliable supplement to a resume.  Your profile and relationships in these websites are often referred to by employers in looking for potential hires.  An increasing number of applicants are also resorting to online resumes to enhance their marketability.  Apparently, new media is the craze nowadays.

Further, just as having only one tie wouldn’t cut it, experts are saying that a one-style-fits-all resume is definitely out.  You should write your resume to cater to specific fields and industries, as well as to your own history and experiences.  Resumes no longer have to be strictly in one format either. Aside from the customary Microsoft Word format, more people are saving their resumes as plain text, as PDFs, or as one that’s designed for scanners and online databases—of course without neglecting the traditional hard copies.

Also, as a generation spoiled by Twitter and its 140-character limit, hiring managers are now as impatient as ever in reading long, wordy resumes.  As such, the top part of the first page of your resume is most crucial.  Your contact information would include your email address, LinkedIn profile (if any), and one mobile number where you can be contacted any time.  Your summary should be crisp and succinct, containing keywords that employers look for in resumes and highlighting accomplishments instead of a vague list of responsibilities.

Many today advocate removing the Objective from resumes.  Others are dabbling with color.  Some, recognizing the rampant online distribution of resumes, recommend limiting your address to city and state, in order to prevent identity theft.  However you format your resume, always keep in mind that—just like in fashion—you have to consider your own style and personality, as well as your audience’s.  It never hurts to make sure that your resume, as your personal marketing tool, is “tailor-suited” to your needs.

June 7, 2010

Reinventing Yourself During the Recession

Losing a job is relatively a more difficult experience for someone who has been employed almost all his life. Recessions do not distinguish among people and, unfortunately, even the person with the highest credentials may be left jobless just as easily as any other else. But if there’s one good thing about economic crisis, it’s the fact that people learn to think of innovative and great ways to deal with the negative consequences. Learn how one of our writers coped with unemployment by totally reinventing herself. Below is her narrative.

Here I am, writing Web copy and immersing myself in the intricacies of keywords and Search Engine Optimization – all without pay while my work is evaluated by a lady young enough to be my daughter. Unlike some of my well-meaning friends who were aghast at this turn of events caused by our economic crisis, I see this as a step towards self-reinvention, not demotion.

I continue to send online resumes during my off-hours. Evenings, I still make time to network with former bosses and colleagues to get job leads and promote that I’m once again out on the market. But this half-day internship in this start-up online magazine actually helps me learn the latest trends about online media. Doing them hands-on by myself polishes my skills. An education in itself, it’s something I would have relegated to my staff in my old job as editor-in-chief of a now defunct business newspaper.

This non-paying stint is my first big break in months. Constant rejections after three months of steadfast application have been discouraging. To remove the stress, I’d swap notes and share leads with other unemployed friends. I’d go to the public library and bone up on the latest resume-writing techniques and job interview tips. To relax, I borrow and read books, since my depleted savings and welfare checks have forced me to cancel my gym membership and cable TV. Another inexpensive way I use to cope with stress is jogging around the block every morning.

The internship also has removed my bouts of unemployment depression and given me hope. Once the economy rebounds, my new online abilities combined with my editorial management experience will give me stronger leverage in my next job interview. My resume will show that, while others were lounging at home, I was actually doing something productive in-between jobs!

This testimonial and in a certain degree, a success story, emphasizes the need to reinvent one’s self during a crisis to keep focus on certain career goals. It is truly noteworthy that a person caught in a bind by difficult circumstances must not give up and throw in the towel. As all other endeavors we could possibly face, it is best to look for ways to take negative things in a positive light.

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