Copywriting – Writing Your Curriculum Vitae

You just graduated and earned your degree. You’re proud of it, but another challenge arises: you need to start applying for a job. Perhaps you’re a senior student who wishes to enrich your experience by applying for a part-time job. You probably just want to have an internship in order to enhance your skills as well as put your academic knowledge into practice. First things first, you need to make your CV.

What is a curriculum vitae (CV)?
A CV is a written summary of someone’s life work (academic formation, publications, qualifications, etc.). People write their CVs when they want to apply for a job, scholarship, grants, etc.

What types of CV are there?
There are two main types of CV, and five other kinds. Depending on the purpose of the CV, and what the employers ask, you should not write one CV for all.

The two main types of CV:

1. Chronological CV
This is the most common type of CV. This CV emphasizes your education and working experiences in reverse chronological order. In other words, you should write your experience from the latest to the oldest. You shouls also give a brief personal statement at the front of your chronological CV which points out your key skills and strengths.

Advantages

  • useful for those applying within the same industry as it will demonstrate your career progression
  • favourite format for most employers, who simply want to easily identify the roles and responsibilities in each job

Disadvantages

  • a chronological CV will make gaps in your employment which you would rather not highlight more obvious
  • may not be so relevant when you are changing career direction

2. The Functional CV
Different from a chronological CV, a functional CV puts the emphasis on your skills and expertise rather than the chronology of your employment to date. A functional CV usually begins with a personal profile highlighting the achievements, skills and personal qualities that you have; followed by a succession of sections, each relating to a different skill or ability. These should be ordered in decreasing order of importance. You should describe your experience in its entirety instead of focusing on any particular job. Because you are not detailing any specific role, you can include any skills or experience gained in voluntary or unpaid work.

Advantages

  • beneficial for pointing out your skills and experience if you’re changing your job or if you have several career gaps
  • a functional CV helps the recruiter focus on your transferable skills when you’re changing industry

Disadvantages

  • you may struggle to highlight achievements in a separate section when you do not have much work experience
  • many employers do not favour this type of CV because they want to see what you have done and might make them doubt whether you’re trying to hide something

Other types of CV:
a. Hybrid CV
This is the combination between chronological and functional CV. It maintains the more conventional order of chronological but combines an ordered layout with more emphasis on achievements and skills found in the skills-based, rather than on responsibilities. The hybrid CV can be a good option if you want to draw attention to specific skills or achievements that would help you stand out.

b. Technical CV
Technical CV is mostly used by those applying IT post. This type of CV provides a format for highlighting specific technical skills relevant to the position (programming languages, systems, platforms) with all-important ‘softer skills’ that employers are looking for.

c. Creative Industries CV
This kind of CV is the most suitable if you want to apply to creative and artistic sectors. If you want to work in marketing, design or journalism, this highly creative CV format is best to use. You can demonstrate your design skills and creativity in a way that a potential employer can see and feel. Infographics are a popular tool for taking large amounts of information and presenting them in a visually engaging way.

d. Video CV
As the name shows, this type of CV is in video format. Video CV is becoming increasingly popular with jobseekers wanting to stand out from the crowd. Rather than replacing traditional paper CVs, video enhances job applications by providing employers with more insight into what an individual has to offer. In video CV, make sure the duration does not exceed two minutes as the recruiter will get tired of watching the video. Therefore, ensure to include everthing important in your two minute video.

e. Academic CV
Academic CV is written if you want to apply for a post in academia or scholarship. It’s different from other styles of CV, as it can be longer than 2 sides of A4 containing detailed information about your research and other relevant experience. The length of an academic CV depends on your research output.

How to properly write a CV?
If you want to start making of CV, there are several points your need to pay attention to in order that you don’t waste your time writing inappropriate CV.

  1. The kind of position you are applying will help you determine the best CV format.
  2. Pay close attention to what the employer wants to see from your CV.
  3. If it’s possible, find CV sample from similar position you’re applying.
  4. List your work experiences, skills, education, and/or portfolio relevant to the position you’re applying.
  5. Put your mind into the concept of your CV. You must not write the CV in one sitting. Check and revise. Ask a more experienced peer to examine your CV.
  6. Remember, don’t write one CV for all kinds of job.

Exercise
Are you ready to make your own CVs? You’re going to create your CV and video CV in English, pretending you’re applying the following job position with requirements as follows.

Job:
Freelance copywriter

Requirements:
1. Graduated from or last year student in related field
2. Have excellent writing skills
3. Proficient in both Indonesian and English
4. Communication skills
5. Possess knowledge in critical thinking, logic, sales and marketing
6. Creative

Ageism: The Underrated Form of Discrimination

People use language to motivate, inspire, persuade, and even to discriminate. Hurtful comments or opinions uttered can offend the targets we give the comments to, even though we may not be aware of the effects they cause as we say them. People from around the world encourage that we stop discriminating against certain races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. They have started to campaign the abolishment of discrimination from many means, including language. However, discrimination against ages is not discussed as much as other types of discrimination. This certain type of discrimination is called ageism. Ageism, or ageist language if it is done verbally or in writing, is often taken as a prevalent issue. On the contrary, age discrimination can be as serious as other types of discrimination. In fact, ageism occurs even more frequent in our daily lives, from home to workplace.

Ageism can take place almost everywhere: at home, school, even workplace. At home, it happens because of several factors such as to maintain discipline in the family. Parents often say, “I’m your parent” to show that they have more power and their children will listen to them. At times, ageist comments are given to prevent children from questioning parents’ decision. “You’re just a kid” is a common statement that parents tell their kids when asking them to explain their decision. Because ageism is common in family environment, we tend to take it to other environments like school or workplace. Ageism occurring at the workplace indicates stereotyping of ages. This stereotype, according to McCann and Giles (2002, p. 164), leads to ageist attitudes, discourse, and behaviours which are common at the workplace. At the workplace, it can happen to either older or younger employees.

Many people think that ageism only targets older people. As a matter of fact, ageist stereotyping is also directed at younger employees. Not only is ageism done to senior staffs, but it is also directed at junior employees. Ageist discourse can clearly be seen when companies set up age limit in hiring employees. They do not want either too young or too old workers. The age limit specifies that being too young is inexperienced; while being too old is no longer productive. Besides being implemented by companies, ageism happens regularly between employees.

Ageism among colleagues seems to be inevitable. Ageist comments given to older colleagues by juniors implicitly state that the elders are less qualified and productive to work, despite being uttered in humourous ways. For example, Indonesians like to jokingly say, “Mungkin faktor U(sia)” or “It might be the age factor” when one of their senior colleagues forgets to do something. On the other hand, it is also not uncommon that seniors at the workplace implicitly belittle their juniors as ‘incompetent’ or ‘inexperienced’ by saying, “Kamu masih muda, masih harus banyak belajar” or “You’re still so young, there are still many things to learn”. Adolescents are often underrated simply because they have fewer experiences than the seniors, they like to act spontaneously, they do not possess wisdom, and they like to take risks (Irawanto, 2013, p. 201). Both seniors and juniors are not only targeting each other in being ageist; they sometimes discriminate themselves.

It is not unusual to see older or younger employees at the workplace age-discriminate themselves. Ageism towards oneself and towards others is caused by internalised age stereotypes (Ayalon & Tesch-Römer, 2017). There are many contributing factors in self-ageism. First, they self-discriminate themselves because they wish to be compromised by the opposite age. When a junior makes a mistake, he sometimes excuses himself by saying, “I’m still new and have a lot to learn”. In contrast, older employees often excuse themselves from taking the responsibility of something by saying, “I’m too old for this” before handing it over to the juniors. The second factor that might cause self-ageism is confidence. In certain cultures, there are certain stereotypes regarding age. When one decides to do something not supposedly to his age, he is bound by the culture he stays in, which makes him feel guilty if he does it.  Going to a rock concert, for instance, is stereotyped as a ‘youth activity’ in Indonesia. If a middle-aged man wishes to watch a concert, he will reconsider his intention because he might feel insecure that people will judge his wish to be age-inappropriate. Levy at al. (2009) claim that self-ageism might increase morbidity and mortality (in Ayalon & Tesch-Römer, 2017). Age discrimination towards oneself can even be more serious than that towards others.

To sum up, even though age discrimination occurring on a daily basis can be as serious as other forms of discrimination, people still think little of it. Ageism has similar impacts to racism and sexism. Therefore, we need to prevent the impacts from happening by firstly watching our language.

References

Ayalon, L., & Tesch-Römer, C. (2017). Taking a closer look at ageism: self-and other-directed ageist attitudes and discrimination.

Irawanto, B. (2016). Menggugat Tirani Usia. Jurnal Studi Pemuda2(2), 201-203.

McCann, R., & Giles, H. (2002). Ageism in the workplace: A communication perspective. Ageism: Stereotyping and prejudice against older persons, 163-199.

 

Keywords: ageism, ageist language, ageist comments, discrimination

 

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Ageism – The Underrated Form of Discrimination