Career Planning and Development – Guidelines, Cover Letter, Resume (CV) , Interview in Urdu

INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

Introduction

An interviewer has just one objective: to decide whether or not to make you a job offer. While the interviewer will examine your work history and educational background, your strengths and accomplishments are very important. He or she is also interested in evaluating your level of motivation, values, attitude and personality. In other words, to find out if you’re the right person for the job, what your potential is for promotion and whether or not you will fit into the company environment.
While it’s true that an interview is an important screening tool for companies, it also allows you to learn the things you need to know about the position and the company so that you can make an intelligent decision about the job. Always approach an interview focused on your objective: getting a job offer.

Preparing for the Interview

As with many situations, preparation is the key to success. The job market is very competitive and you probably will not be the only qualified candidate going for the position. The deciding factor may simply be the way you present your relevant skills and qualifications and how you conduct yourself during the interview.

Understand Yourself

Can you visualize resigning from your current position?

What are your goals?

Research the Company

Use a library to review annual reports, trade magazines and newspaper articles.

The Internet offers a wealth of company information and industry statistics.

Know the company’s products and services.

Be prepared to tell the interviewer why their company is attractive to you.

Items to take to the Interview

References

Use three former supervisors who are familiar with your work.

Include their name and company as well as home and work phone numbers.

Always consult with your references for their approval and to ensure that their remarks will be positive.

CV

Review your CV thoroughly and be prepared to discuss all points.

Always bring a CV copy identical to the one supplied to the interviewer.

Bring along samples of your work if possible. Never discuss or show proprietary information.

Other Items

A folder and pen to jot down notes.

Pre-prepared questions.

Directions to the interview location as well as the interviewer’s phone number in case you’re running late.

Your recruiter or agency’s phone number to give immediate feedback after the interview.

Appearance

Skills, experience and attitude will land you a job, but your interview attire is more important than you think. It’s an opportunity to make a good first impression with a potential employer.

Dress appropriately. The safest option is to wear a clean, smart, neutral coloured suit. Let your talent and personality get you noticed, not your clothes. Save the bright colors, wild prints and trendy fashions for another occasion.

Check your appearance before heading into an interview. Ensure your tie is straight, your teeth are clean and your hair is groomed.

 

The Interview

Arrival at the Interview

Arrive no later than 10 minutes prior to the interview. This will allow you time to compose yourself.

Allow adequate time for traffic, parking, and a last minute appearance check. If possible, scout out the location the day before the interview to avoid last minute problems.

Review your notes and go in with confidence.

If asked to fill in an application form complete it in full and leave no blanks. Do not write “See C.V.” as a response to any question. Respond to “expected salary” questions as “open” and “current salary” questions truthfully. List references if requested. Your recruiter’s name should be your response to any “referred by” questions.

Remember!

Shake hands firmly and maintain eye contact with the interviewer

Maintain a high energy level. Sit up with back straight. No coffee (to spill) and no smoking.

Conduct yourself with confidence and determination to get the job. You have other options, of course, and your interviewer knows this, but wants to think that you want a job with this company

Don’t play coy. Sell yourself. This is your first meeting and the position, as well as future promotions, may depend on your presentation. Are you going to sell them on the idea of hiring you, or will they sell you on the idea that this job is not for you?

You MUST present a positive attitude to the prospective employer.

You MUST NOT seem disinterested or appear to be job shopping.

The interview should be a two-way conversation.

Personnel will usually provide company information and available benefits. Questions concerning benefits should be addressed after the interview. Remember that the interview is to see how you can contribute to the company.

Give brief, relaxed answers to questions. When possible use the questions as a basis for giving information that you want to make sure is presented, but don’t deviate too much.

Describe jobs in terms of duties and give indicators of good performance such as raises, sales volume and promotions.

Include incidents involving problems or challenges and how you were able to solve or overcome them. Describe the results you achieved.

CV TECHNIQUES

Overview

Your CV is an important selling tool. The most important attribute of a successful CV is that it clearly explains to the reader what it is that you can do for them. Its purpose is not to get you the job. Its purpose is to get you an interview, and then to remind the person you met with about you. Most recruiters will spend only about 30 seconds looking at a CV. The points below explain how to make your CV have IMPACT.

Principles and Guidelines:

Recruiting is a buying decision on the part of an employer. In order to sell yourself your CV must:

  • Highlight your achievements and how they relate to the job you are applying for.
  • Give the reader a clear indication of why you should be considered for this role.

To decide what to include in your CV, follow these guidelines:

  • Generally a CV should contain no more than 3 A4 pages.
  • It should be honest and factual – remember the truth will come out in the interview.
  • Your employment history should start with your current or most recent job and work backwards.
  • Achievements should be short statements and include your role, the action you took and a comment on the result of your action.
  • Include information that clearly demonstrates your suitability for the vacancy you’re applying for, and enhances your chances of being short-listed near the beginning of the CV.
  • Leave out information that is irrelevant or negative.
  • Include details of recent training or skills development events you have attended which could be relevant.
  • List all your professional memberships and relevant qualifications.
  • Pay attention to detail – look at fonts, alignment, spelling, grammar and overall presentation
  • You do not need to headline the trivial details of your life like your address and what primary school you went to. You do not need to tell someone that the document is a CV – they know it is.

Presenting your CV

When you submit a CV to a recruiter or a potential employer, it is likely to be the first thing they get to see or read of yours. Therefore, you need to present your CV well. In order to single you out as the most appropriate applicant it needs to tell a clear story. It should accurately detail your abilities and your potentials. Your CV and covering letter will show that you handle information well by the way they really “speak” to a reader from the word go.

Good CVs tell it quickly, they tell it clearly and they arouse curiosity and admiration.

  • Lay your CV out neatly.
  • be concise
  • Careful use of bold type can be effective
  • Typefaces such as Times New Roman or Arial are fairly standard, but it’s important to make the CV layout easy to read and if possible, attractively designed.
  • Check for spelling or typographical errors. Even if someone else types your CV, errors are YOUR responsibility. Don’t rely on a spell checker. If you’re not sure about a word, resort to a dictionary. Sloppiness and lack of care will generally be penalised.

Your Contact Details

  • At the top of the first page should be your Contact Details. Use your name as the heading – centred. Type it using a larger type size and in bold type.
  • Write your address on the line below your name as a string of text with commas separating your house name/number, street name, town and postcode.
  • Type in your contact telephone numbers but only put your work telephone if you don’t mind being contacted there. An e-mail address (if you have one) should also be recorded in this section.

Employment History

Start with your current or most recent job first so that the strongest and most recent aspects get far more attention than the early stages.

  • Dates: Quote from/to in months and years. e.g. March 1998-date, Sept 1994-July 96. The dates should be placed in the left-hand margin making it easier for the reader to scan up and down to check for continuity of employment.
  • Company and location (city or town name only): Not everyone works for a company whose name is well known. Therefore, give a brief narrative about the core business which should allow the reader to quickly make comparisons about the size of the organisation, complexity of challenges, market position, focus of organisation, etc.
  • Job title: Underneath the job title, construct a ‘function’ statement, i.e. what you were employed to do. Be selective in what you write here: mention the principal tasks and responsibilities of your role. It might be best to omit other things you do but don’t enjoy so much, unless they are crucial parts of the job you’re targeting.
  • Achievements: These, potentially, set you apart from the competition and should be alive and expressive, written in the form of short, punchy statements of fact. Recruiters read lots of applications every day. You need to make these people interested in you. The story of your career needs to build up expectations that you are worth meeting. You should arouse the reader’s interest and generate questions like how? what? why? etc. so that the decision-maker will shortlist you to obtain the answers. You need to tell them the context in which your achievements have taken place and let them know what value you offer for the future.
  • Each achievement statement should have three elements:
    – an ownership statement, for example, “Part of a team of four…, Initiated…, Implemented…”.
    – what you did, for example, “Produced…, Designed…”
    – the result of your actions (this can be quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Do try to avoid unnecessary claims. If a recruiter has read your CV and understood it you have already shown them that you can communicate. There is no need to tell them you are a GOOD COMMUNICATOR, a SELF-STARTER or a GREAT TEAM PLAYER in so many words. It should be clear in your account of yourself and what you have achieved.
  • Give full details only of jobs going back 7-10 years. Beyond that, you may prefer to just list the dates, employer’s name and job title, or have a summary paragraph such as, “Prior to these roles, I held a series of positions with a number of blue chip organisations”.
  • If you have worked for the same employer for 10 years or more, try to break that period up according to the different roles you’ve had, with different responsibilities and achievements.
  • There’s no need to provide salary details or reasons for leaving on your CV.
  • If you are a recent graduate, or have held few positions, consider all the positions you have held and your responsibilities and achievements within them. Also consider skills learnt at university – group projects etc. However what you do NOT want to end up with is an imitation of an older person’s CV where in place of actual, relevant jobs you start making a big thing of having worked in a supermarket and telling them about your ace “communication skills”. Your strong points must be implicit and proven in the brevity and relevance of your CV and letter.

Training and Development

The events you list under this heading should add value to your CV. Management development, computer skills courses or specialised training in your field could be listed.
Don’t list events like ‘Half-day course on the Fire Drill Procedures of XYZ House’.

Lay it out in reverse chronological order.

Education and Qualifications

This section should include all professional memberships as well as your general academic attainments. Employers like to see a good standard of general education. If you’re currently studying for an additional qualification, this should also be included (at the top of the list). Lay it out in reverse chronological order
You rarely need to explain trivial details of your early education or training except in passing.

It is quite sufficient to say “Passes in 3 subjects at ‘A’ level and 9 at ‘GCSE’ (or ‘O’) level.

Personal Details

This is often the most contentious part of the CV. How much should you reveal? In the end, it’s down to you. If you have been honest about the dates of your education and employment, most intelligent people will be able to work out your age to within about 2 years. So you might as well show your date of birth (not age). Other things that candidates sometimes add include:

  • Nationality
  • Status (it can be advisable to avoid using terms such as separated or divorced, as the reader might assume you’re still carrying some emotional baggage)
  • Full driver’s license
  • Willing to relocate
  • Non-smoker

Whatever you include, keep it short and keep it relevant. For example, if the position required you to be mobile, then it would be helpful to tell the employer you have a full driver’s license.

Only include hobbies if they enhance your image.

References

You must contact potential referees to obtain their agreement to act as referees before starting your job search. However it is not necessary to reveal their identities on the CV. Some employers will request such information prior to an interview, in which case you provide the names and contact details in your covering letter. Other employers will wait until they have met you.

What to remember when writing your CV

  • Employers are looking for real people with real abilities – not robots!
  • When writing your CV ask yourself “what will people want to know?” and “what will be the most effective selling points to focus on?”
  • Make your key strengths immediately obvious.
  • Make the design and layout attractive.
  • It may help to write it all down and then reduce it until you fit two pages.
  • Place the focus on the last 5-10 years and the highest levels of activity and achievement.
  • Write your brief and powerful introduction last, when you know what you need to say to summaries your CV, and don’t bother giving it a heading anyone can see what it is.
  • Your CV is a creative document that allows you to say what you think is appropriate, compared with forms that confine self-expression; you might as well use that freedom!

Covering Letters

Always send a covering letter with your CV. This is the place to express your vision and will show that you have thought about and are interested in the position. Your letter needs to sing, summaries, promise, capture the spirit of what’s best about you. Safe, boring, lengthy letters that repeat all the information in your CV or try to match every single minor point in the job definition will not interest the reader.

Use the sales formula of AIDA in your letter writing:

A – Attention: Read my letter.

I – Interest: I have skills / experience that you can use.

D – Desire: It would be good to meet me to discuss my skills.

A – Action: There is a route to access me – I will phone you, or you can contact me.

Tips for Covering Letters

  • Address your letter to a specific person. It is more likely to be read than if addressed to “Sir / Madam”.
  • Keep your letter relevant and brief.
  • Use the letter to encourage the reader to look at your CV.
  • Make the reader empathies with your skills and experience.
  • Finish your letter by saying that you will contact the person you have written to. This will put you in control and give you the excuse to follow up your letter with a phone call.
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