Intern Smith has been receiving many CVs for internships. At least once everyday. However, the overall quality of the CVs is very very bad. The bad part is mostly the format part. Many of you have done great many things. Good content overall. But in the format part, people commit elementary mistakes. Here are a few of them.
1. MS Word- The use and the abuse
First things first. If you can’t have one font, one size, one line-spacing and a uniform colour for the text in your CV; you are either mentally deranged or you have not put enough time on your CV. In either of the cases, the recruiter won’t take you in.
Use MS Word well. The headings viz “Academic Credentials”; “Internship Experience” etc. should be bolden-ed or can be highlighted with light grey. Whatever you do; make the CV uniform and neat. Flashiness should be ignored like bad GPAs.
And do note that recruiters are humans. A neat CV and a neat intern leave a neat impression.
2. Aims, Objectives, Mission Statement, Your purpose on this earth!!!
Argh! Sample this: “To excel in the field of law and to use my analytic and reasoning abilities to the best of my potential which will be of great use to the organization I work in and to myself as well”.
Please. For God’s sake do away with such proclivities to write aims, objectives etc. Is this objective yours? I could say that its mine as well? And of Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, Sonu, Monu and others too. Be yourself mate. Write ‘your’ objective!
Firstly, objectives like the one quoted doesn’t tell the recruiter about you. The CV should set you apart. Mission statements such as this tell that you really do not have a mission.
Either make the Mission Statement stand out from the rest or do away with it altogether. Actually the CV should itself be indicative of things like aims and objectives. Hackneyed likes such as “To excel…” actually go against you.
3. Who you are and what you do.
Please. Mentioning your mother’s name, father’s name, date of birth, marital status, sex etc is like…Argh! This is Lawctopus.com. Think CV.com. Not Bharatmatrimony.com.
What will the recruiter do with the DOB? Wish you on your birthday? I would have really loved to as a recruiter (if I ever don that hat); but well, I am sure you and your friends will have a blast among yourselves. At least for internship applications, such details are redundant.
I sometimes think I might get a CV which mentions height, weight, biceps etc. Kidding!
4. Tell me.
Here goes one of my achievements: Won consolation prize for Scripto ’10. Good! But hang on! What is Scripto ’10? Is it a calligraphy competition? An essay writing? What?
Whenever you mention anything in your CV, mention it in precise details. For example: Won the consolation prize for Scripto ’10 an essay writing competition organised by Gyan Central, Mumbai and the E-Cell of NMIMS.
Good! Its an essay writing competition. Shows off a little bit of my writing abilities. The recruiter nods in approval thank you.
5. Internship- Was it a holiday?
Interned at ABC Law Firm. When? Where? What did you do there? Tell me the sort of cases you handled. What sort of legal areas did you work on? Did you do drafting? Tell about your internships in good three-four bullet points? Otherwise whats the point mate?
Also choose a simple bullet format. Stronger and flashier ones can kill you and your CV.
More tips later. We’ll soon put a sample CV for free download. Share it with your friends.
Image from here.