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There is no denying the fact that Pakistan had a high rate of unemployment even prior to COVID19. What exactly is the situation now, is not yet documented. It is safe to assume it would be huge right now. For every available job, the number of applicants will be much higher as compared to what it was previously.

Employment Opportunity is one part, employability is another. The candidate is finalized if the two things match. A CV is the first tool to throw light on the ‘employability’ and it is critical to the process. I am sharing some observations as a small fraction. It is with the view that

I am active on the professional networking site LinkedIn. Occasionally, I get a query about availability of job in the organization where I work or elsewhere. As a principle, I do not discourage anyone. I ask them to send in their CV and then try to help them in whatever way I can. But that is not the main point; today’s main point is CV presentation and a general attitude of sticking to our ‘unqualified’ guns.

The internet is now truly information ‘overflow’. While great stuff is available free and freely to all of us, a huge amount of crap is floating around as well. Internet has become a harboring/ advertising/ business space for quacks/ self-proclaimed consultants/ solution providers for all problems under the sky/ half-baked advisors/ and outright swindlers alongside genuine businesses. Millions of pages are available on how to write a CV, templates for CV and offers of CV preparation on payment. All this has added more confusion than awareness. I am sure there are regional and cultural influences and variations that no one is considering.

Coming to topic, I would divide the CVs I see in my part of the world in three broad categories.

Aggressive CVs – These mostly come from young people educated at bigger institutions, hailing from middle- and upper middle-class families, and having/not having short working experience in any type of organization. These CVs are formatted on shiny internet templates, are laden with heavy words, superlatives and try to give a visibly exaggerated presentation of facts and person. Since the desire to ‘over-present’ is very strong, it fails to draw a line between fact and fiction. As they do not have much work experience to boast, their main emphasis is on presenting their own person in an extraordinary manner. Once in a while, I challenge the CV holder and find them unable to defend their theses. When the interview is held in the light of the CV, it falls flat quite expectedly.

Submissive CVs – These are mostly written by those who have studied at less known, smaller institutions; belong to middle- and lower middle-class and have variable amount of experience. These people typically ‘under-present’ their work and person. The CVs are simply or even poorly formatted and have language and grammatical errors. The good thing about these is the untainted presentation of facts. They may actually do better in interviews, but they always run the risk of not reaching interview stage due to weak CV.

Confused CVs – These come from anywhere but unfortunately go nowhere. They are either copy-paste products from here and there or the CV writer has no clue as to what a CV is about and how it should be presented. The sequence, information, expression, grammar, formatting, every area leaves much to be desired.

This article is not primarily about CV types. It is about what people do when confronted with the problems with CV.

I have reviewed several CVs in detail and returned to their owners with comments and suggestions. I have requested them to amend and redo their CV. The response however is quite unsatisfactory. Some don’t return; others try to defend; the few who try to change do so in such half-hearted manner that there is no progress. A CV is a reflection of our self and our work. It is the first impression that an unknown person makes of us. It is an instrument which opens or shuts doors for us. Why are we not willing to spend the time and effort such an important item deserves?

CV writing has been made into a highly specialized work. Having said that, a CV must be given full attention so that desired benefits are achieved.

In my view, whatever format may be used, the contents must be genuine, authentic, and relevant, described in an orderly and clean manner.



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