Workshop on the art of self-introduction and self-marketing
The Cultural and Student Life Department at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi organized a workshop, for undergraduates and alumni, on the art of writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV). The workshop tackled ways and purposes of CV writing and focused on how to attract the reader’s attention. It pointed out words, expressions and sentences which must be avoided in CVs and emphasized the need to learn self-marketing and highlight the student’s strengths.
Eisa Al Raeesi, Head of the Cultural and Student Life Department, said that Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is keen on supporting its students during both the undergraduate and postgraduate phases. Therefore, the seminar was organized to introduce the students to the principle of self-marketing and guide them on how to promote their skills and abilities in the labor market. Al Raeesi added that the importance of the resume stems from the fact that it represents the letter containing the job seeker’s specifications, qualifications and skills, which are read by a person who doesn’t know him/her at all.
“The CV is one of the most important job requirements, amid the fierce competition on opportunities in the local and international labor markets. Thus, it is essential that the graduates of the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi have the necessary skills to write a CV reflecting their education, employment abilities and qualifications, according to the best standards in terms of format, content or drafting method”, he said.
HR Specialist and seminar presenter, Cédric D’Halluin, said that the CV serves as liaison between job seekers and employers and as the official spokesperson for his/her owner, before people who have not met him/her or got to know his/her true character. D’Halluin asked the audience to maintain diligence and accuracy in describing themselves and highlighting the skills and abilities that fit the job. He also noted that CV owners should be confident that they have clearly outlined their skills, abilities, academic and professional degrees and that they have conveyed, through their CV, a summary of their academic and professional lives, allowing the employer to envision them before the interview. He added that the CV is the key to a job interview with the employer and the first step towards getting a good job.
“Do not expect to impress the employers at first glance of your CV, but be convinced that you need more to reach your goals. This shall embolden you to continue to persevere, learn and make a lot of effort to develop yourself. It is also necessary that you acquire general knowledge and be aware of events and developments taking place locally and internationally, since having a great deal of information enhances self-confidence”, he said.
“The CV is usually the first impression employers get from the job seeker. You only have seconds to attract their attention and make them more willing to read your resume and invite you for a job interview. So your CV must be the launching pad for the personal interview and for getting the job”, he added.
D’Halluin explained the steps of CV writing, pointing to the need of clearly including contact information, such as the full name, full address, e-mail and phone number, so that employers can contact the job seeker easily. He added that this may seem obvious, but many people miss some of the necessary contact information in their CVs.
“Each CV should include a brief description of the position for which the person is applying and a sentence summarizing the skills filling that position. It should also highlight the job seeker’s potential contribution to the institution. Language used should be positive to give a good impression and express a spirit of leadership. “I” or “me” should be avoided in the beginning of the resume. Effective and concise sentences are always a preference”, he said.
D’Halluin emphasized the need to specify the field in which the person is looking forward to work. He added that each career field requires a certain resume which highlights, positively and clearly, the job seeker’s relevant skills.
“The CV format should be consistent and titles shouldn’t be randomly mentioned. Details should, preferably, be written in a unified font and in sharp bulleted sentences instead of long and boring paragraphs”, he explained.
D’Halluin warned against misspellings and grammatical mistakes, which make the employer reject the CV immediately. He advised students to proofread their resumes before emailing them out, pointing to the importance of honesty in educational qualifications, professional experience, dates and names of education and work institutions. “Lies and semi-truths are unveiled sooner or later”, he added.
“It is imperative to make sure that the CV was sent to the right person or institution, attached with a brief cover letter reflecting the personality of the job seeker, his/her professional abilities, goals and potential contributions to the job. It is also better to try to identify the recruitment decision-maker so as to send him/her the CV directly”, he concluded.