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Areas to highlight in CV

 
#1 Areas to highlight in CV
24/02/2008 02:40

Applicant

Hi all,

I'm a recent graduate currently preparing my CV to apply at MC firms. I am interested to hear from some people who have been succesful in their applications, or from some of the HR/recruiter people that seem so unpopular on this site.

What areas in your CV do you think stood out or seemed to make a particular impact on the inerviewers? In particular, were there things beyond academic record and straight work experience that seemed to make an impression?

As a disclaimer, I'm aware that there will be different answers for everyone, and I am not looking to 'borrow' things for my own CV, just trying to get a picture of how to place the emphasis in my application.

Any replies would be much appreciated.

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#2 RE: Areas to highlight in CV
24/02/2008 11:02

anon to Applicant (#1)

In my experience on both sides of the recruiting line, first as an applicant and now helping to review applications, the most important criteria is how relevant the prior work experience/postgraduate research is. At a first sift of CVs, to determine which applications are worth a second look, that is about the only criterion I look at.

Obviously, if someone listed happy-slapping as one of their hobbies that would count them out, but there's nothing someone could list in that section that would be "count-them-in" criterion. I don't mind if people don't include sections other than work and education on their CV as I appreciate that page space is at a premium and that would only be something I'd want to discuss later in the selection process anyway.

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#3 RE: Areas to highlight in CV
25/02/2008 05:18

Applicant to anon (#2)

Thanks for that anon

Another I question I have:

I spent about 6 months a while ago as a volunteer english teacher in Peru. While it is obviously not directly relevant to management consulting, I think I learned a fair bit in the process, and I've heard something like that can look quite good on a CV - do people think that this is true, and how would you go about presenting it/relating it to the job?

Any answers/thoughts are much appreciated.

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#4 RE: Areas to highlight in CV
25/02/2008 16:04

anon to Applicant (#3)

It's certainly better to put it on your application than to leave a blank if you don't have ptehr work experience.

Even if it's not a completely unique graduate experience or directly relevant to the job, at least it shows you did something constructive with that time.

As you mention, you learned a lot from the experience, and setting out what you learned is a great way to leverage it into your application. Focus on any specific competencies or skills that the company has set out in the job description.

That said, there's no need to go overboard making out that every holiday job was a fundamentally life-changing epiphany.

Your interviewer will have a reasonable idea what teaching english abroad, bar work, volunteering at a soup kitchen, involves. Seeing something like this on a graduate application, along with some intelligent analysis of what the applicant did and learned, I would think "fair enough, they did something with their time". When people go OTT about how their year spent travelling is a perfect analogy for a consulting project I'm more likely to think "either they're an idiot to assume I'm that gullible, or they're an idiot to actually believe this tripe".

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