Tiju Thomas

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India


ph. no: +91 8056456442
email id: tt332@cornell.edu or tijuthomas@iitm.ac.in

Our Research Group

Applied Nanostructures Engineering and Nanochemistry (ANEN) Research Group

ID6020 Panel Discussion notes (28 Sep., 2017)

Building a good CV and resume

Chances are that you already have a CV or resume. However from my experience I have come to notice a few things: (i) a large number of students were never told the difference between a curriculum vitae (CV) and a resume
(ii) the essential structure of a CV or resume remains a perennial puzzle in the minds of most
(iii) most students cannot put themselves in the shoes of an employer, when they are building their CV/resume; and yet this is precisely what they are expected to do!

First things first: resume and CV are not the same. A resume is a very brief document (usually 1 page, and never more than 2 pages), which contains specific details about why you are a good fit for the job. Any additional details will not find a place in a resume. Precise qualifiers, and statement of relevant experiences would be the highlights of such a document. On the other hand, CV is the story of your life; told in a manner such that your potential employer understands you as a person.

In a CV, you have some space to talk about details such as awards, honors and achievements you have received. In any case, you are expected to tailor-make CV/resume in order to make it most relevant for your employer. My experience has been that most Asian employers ask for CV; resumes are rarely sought. This may be beneficial to you if you are navigating the Asian job market. You can use space in CV to talk about the breadth and depth of your experience. As a thumb rule, spend most time and space emphasizing skills and experience that are most relevant to your prospective employer.

Here are some guidelines to help you avoid common mistakes while building CV/resume:
(i) avoid using CV/resume on top of the document. You name is sufficient.
(ii) provide accurate contact information. A good and plain email id (eg. rahul@gmail.com) is important. Avoid funny sounding email ids (eg. fan-of-puppies@gmail.com).
(iii) provide only professionally relevant information (for eg. avoid mentioning marital status, religion etc.). (iv) avoid grammar and spelling errors at all cost.
(v) one size does not fit all! Tailor make your CV/resume to suit the job.
(vi) be specific while describing your duties, and highlight why experience gathered in helpful in the new job. (eg. Trouble shot X for Y people while serving at Z, which resulted in revenue worth Rs. A. Hence gained experience in EFG.)
(vii) Switching between too many font types is best avoided.
(viii) highlight soft skills that will come in handy, while you navigate through the new job.