Title component: Not many candidates know the difference between “CV” and a “Resume”. That discussion is outside the scope of this article. Name should be in block letters and in bold font, followed by the contact number an email address. Essentially, the idea is to provide details in decreasing order of importance. While writing the address, ensure that the current address is written (permanent address is mentioned later on in the CV).
Professional Summary: As the name suggests, this is a summary of the work experience of the candidate. Companies, sectors/industries, designations, etc. are mentioned. A recruiter can get a fair idea about the candidate’s work experience when he goes through this summary. The ‘career objective’ can be clubbed with this, keeping in mind the length of the CV. ‘Seeking a change’ is at the discretion of the candidate – whether to include it or not.
Work Experience: Always mention your work experience in a chronological order. Start with your current/latest company. Designations and Duration of employment are a must. This can work in candidate’s favor; if he hasn’t changed too many jobs – it can be seen as a sign of job stability. The ‘Key Responsibilities’ should not be a mere copy of the Job Description. ‘Achievements’ should be followed by the year of accomplishment.
Skills/Technical Competencies/Certifications/Workshops: Acquired/learnt skills must be mentioned, if they are not highlighted in the “Key Responsibilities”. Especially useful if a candidate has acquired a wide range of skills but has not been able to utilize them. Additional certifications or software/packages learnt during the course of employment or otherwise should be mentioned. Everyone likes a candidate who is familiar with the systems on which a company work on, and is ready to utilize them right from Day One. For an HR professional, a certification/workshop (like L&D role, or competency mapping) can carry a lot of weightage.
Education qualification: Necessary part of any CV. Specialization should be clarified, wherever applicable. It is not very crucial to mention the grade or percentage, if the work experience is exceeding 10 years or so. The block of ‘Academic Achievements’ is intentionally excluded since they don’t carry much weight for a professional with 5+ years of work experience.
Projects Undertaken: If a candidate feels that his responsibilities and achievements aren’t really significant, they can highlight the projects they have worked on during their student or professional life. This gives an impression that the candidate indulges into something which is more than the mandatory. Projects pertaining to HR functions will draw attention (if work experience is less than 5 years).
Extra-curricular activities/Hobbies: One of the most underrated components of the resume – by candidates and recruiters alike. But, an experienced recruiter might want to check/learn what drives a candidate, what are his passions, and to what extent is he engaged in a hobby. Mention only those activities in which you regularly engage and are aware about. If you are an avid reader of magazines like HBR, People Matters, etc. – mention them without fail.
Personal Details: Some necessary details which are a ‘must-have’ for every CV. Ensure that you clearly differentiate the temporary and permanent address, if they are not the same.
References: If the individuals who are willing to vouch for the candidate are very influential or at a reputed position/company, then the candidate can opt for mentioning them in the CV. But, the common practice now-a-days is to not provide references until requested by the recruiter.