News and Advice

Profile photo on CV, to do or not to do?

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Without doubt every candidate wants to stand out in front of every other competitors. Before you want to take any action, please think about the following questions: Why you should include a photo? And Why you shouldn’t include a photo?

 

Why you should include a photo?

The industry that you have selected plays a significant role. Candidates in other professions apart from creative professionals might benefit from adding a cv photo. Including a photo of yourself on your resume can help you develop your personal brand. And, by using the same photo that appears on your LinkedIn accounts, a consistent professional image will stuck into interviewers’ mind. By doing so it will help to build your own brand.

Moreover, we are now living in the visually driven era of social media. Just look at the popularity of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where eye-catching photos are key to generating clicks and followers online. This directly relates to including a headshot on a CV, since hiring managers are naturally drawn to visual elements. Thus, adding a photo to your resume can potentially capture a hiring manager or recruiter’s attention—and lead to a job interview.

 

Why you shouldn’t include a photo?

This depends on the field that you are choosing from. For some conservative field like information technology, health care, or finance, it’s probably best to not add a photo to your CV. The reason behind is that you want the employer to focus on your ability instead.

If you would like to include a photo on your CV, go to a professional photographer and get one done. As they have much better equipment and skill to make you look more professional than having a friend or family member snap a quick photo of you.

Make sure that you are properly dressed for the photo, be sure that it is a businesslike portrait or a dress code that suits your job nature. Photos should be recent, show only the head and shoulders on a neutral background, and feature you in your normal professional attire. After all, you don’t want your future employer to have a wrong first impression on you right?

How to write a good CV?

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Your CV is the first impression that an employer has of you so it is very important to make it precise and easy to read. Before writing the content, you need to figure out the purpose of sending this CV.

1. Purpose of a CV

  • An written version of elevator pitch of yourself
  • What are you key selling points?
    – Academic achievement
    – Relevant experience – not necessarily relevant but experience that shows you are an achiever
    – Network – professional association? Chamber of commerce?
    – Career objective – at least it shows you are applying the right job

2. Content of a CV

  • Full name and contact details (phone, email)
  • Objective
    – Specific job functions that you are looking for
  • Education (universities, qualification, major, year of graduation)
    – Is secondary education needed?
    – HKCEE/HKALE/public exams for universities admission?
    – GPA?
  • Relevant experience: work, internship, extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, business case competition or any other experience that adds value
    – Chronological order
    – Title
    – Name of employer / organization
    *A short paragraph of brief description is recommended. Hyperlink welcomed.
    – Dates of employment / participation
    – Responsibilities – can you divided your responsibilities into 2-3 core functions?
    – Achievement – quantifiable achievements

3. Tailor-made CV

Know the specific requirements of the job that you have applied, summarize your relevant skills set
and experience into several paragraphs
The headline sells more than content

 

Pay attention to:
– Spelling or grammatical mistake
– Inconsistent formatting
– Avoid graphics
– Avoid being too fancy

Go through this checklist before CV blasting

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Through our interview workshops, we always emphasise different technique for different types of interview including Face to face interview, phone interview, group interview or even role play. But take a step back, have you ever thought about the following questions? Here is the checklist you need to go through before blasting your CVs out.

  1. Can you do the job?

    a) This is about your ability and experience. The interviewer would like to figure out your area of specialty and evaluate whether you have the relevant skills for the role.
    b) Highlight your experience and skills transferrable to the role. Provide specific examples to illustrate your skills and achievement.

  2. Will you do the job?

    a) This is about your motivation: ability means nothing when you do not have the motivation for the role/company that you are applying.
    b) As to evaluate your motivation for the role, interviewer may raise questions like:
    “Tell me your understanding on our company/role.”
    “What are you interested in our company/role?” “
    “If X company in Y industry makes you a better offer than ours, will you accept?”
    c) Think of a solid reason that why you are particularly interested in the company and the role: be as specific as possible.

  3. Can you make a cultural fit?

    a) Will you or your colleague be comfortable working together if you get on board
    b) You cannot change your cultural background and personality but you may pay attention to the followings:
    Are you speaking the right language?
    Does your dress code suit the workplace?
    Do you share the same value as the company?