Unit 10 Career Opportunities
Before you read
a. Have you ever applied for a job?
b. What documents do you need while applying for a job?
c. Are you familiar with the terms: bio-data, resume, CV and personal profile? Do
you have any of them?
Read the following text about the skills in preparing your CV and do the given
We’re going to devote a whole chapter to CVs (as we shall call them) because this is
the single most important document that you will ever compile relating to your career
development. You need to approach the compilation and maintenance of a CV as an
on-going, career-long task.
If you haven’t already got one in a good state, you need to make a start now. Do not
underestimate the amount of time and effort that this work will take. Remember that your
CV needs to be accurate and truthful. A prospective employer may need to verify your
statements regarding, for example, work permit status, qualifications and may need to
take a criminal record check (especially if the job involves working with children). False
statements made in job applications may invalidate any subsequent appointment. Don’t
risk it. Having said that, our aim here, is to help you in the best possible way Curriculum vitae is a Latin term that literally means ‘course of life’. In practice, it
is a document that sets out a whole host of your personal details, experience and
achievements as they relate to your working life. Your full CV should be a well set
out, up-to-date, thoroughly accurate and exhaustive data bank of all of these details,
although you may well shape slightly different versions of your CV for different
You need a good CV when applying for jobs, seeking promotion and trying to get
research funding. In addition, you will need to draw information from your CV for
things such as when you’re asked to be an external examiner for a course or a research
thesis; for audits of teaching and research activity; if your faculty or department has to
be validated by an external professional body – in short, any circumstances in which
somebody needs to judge your individual professional competence or that of you and
your colleagues collectively.
Compiling your CV also provides you with a crucially important opportunity to reflect
on and plan further developments in your career. What’s more, for those moments
of self-doubt about just how good you are, a well set out CV that demonstrates real
achievements can be very reassuring (and contrariwise, it might make you buck your
ideas up and get on with things).
When reflecting on your CV and how you need to develop it, think about whether
it is what Rebecca’s PhD supervisor called a ‘staying’ or a ‘leaving’ CV. A ‘staying
CV’ is that of the good university citizen, including plenty of committee work and
administration, pastoral care of students, a heavy teaching load as well as a credible
research record. A ‘leaving CV’ will reflect the interests of a prospective new employer
and will probably highlight research achievements, while still showing that you are
generally competent and willing across the range of duties undertaken by academics.
You should never place yourself in the position where your CV won’t allow you to
Graínne is planning well ahead. However, planning to move is not the only reason why
you need a leaving CV. Always remember that your current circumstances may change
rapidly and without much warning – you might get an obnoxious new dean who makes
your life a misery, or you might be made redundant. Never, ever thoroughly nail your
colours to a single university mast – the ship might sink at any moment. Also remember
that you don’t necessarily know when your perfect, dream job is going to come up. If you
have a staying CV when it does, then you won’t be in the best possible position to grab it.
It follows from what we’ve said above that, because a CV is an important career planning
tool and you may need one in a hurry when that perfect job comes up, it is never too early to put your CV together. Don’t be put off starting because you have comparatively little to
put in it. Starting now will encourage good work practices, help you establish a good
basic framework and ensure that all your on-going work activities are recorded and
Preparing and maintaining your CV has to be a collaborative, interactive and iterative
process. You need to enlist the help of your friends, family, mentors and more
experienced colleagues because it is a rare gift to be able to see ourselves as others see
Later in this chapter we set out what we think is a pretty good CV pro-forma that you
might like to use as the basic framework for your own. Using a framework helps to
structure your recollections and thinking. Most people find constructing a CV using
this type of framework quite an affirming experience – they start off thinking they’ve
achieved very little or nothing but as they start to fill in the boxes they find that they’ve
actually done quite a lot.
You should show your draft CV to people who know you and/or who know what an
academic CV should look like and ask for feedback. Typically, they will remind you
of things you’ve done or skills you have demonstrated that you have overlooked or
underplayed. They will also help you with layout, prioritisation and emphasis. This
can be a fairly lengthy iterative process. Once you have done this basic spadework,
keeping your CV up-to-date should be relatively easy and a far less time consuming
You must update your CV regularly, and little and often is best. Some people pop things
into their CVs as soon as they occur – for example, a paper accepted for publication.
Others keep a running note, perhaps in the back of their diary or a list on their notice
board, of things to add. Yet others update it with great regularity on the same day each
month and set up their computer to prompt them to do this. You need to adopt a system
that works for you. Whatever your system, you must:
a. Have a system whereby details that need to be included on your CV do not get
lost or forgotten – something that can happen all too often.
b. Regularly revise your CV to reflect major new developments in your work. For
instance, you might move into a distinctly new theoretical area.
c. Revise your CV for current accuracy. For instance, you might have put down a
project that you were seeking funding for and it has not come to fruition or has
petered out. Equally, you might have a book or a paper down as ‘forthcoming’
for which you now have the full publication details.
Your CV should look like a bone-china display cabinet – the best pieces should always
be highlighted, your collection should be as complete as possible, and everything
should be clean and shiny.
As we have said above, you will compile different CVs for different purposes. What we’re going to talk about here is your ‘full CV’, the data bank from which you might
compile shorter CVs for things like research funding applications or adapt for particular
There are many employment or re-employment agencies in many countries whose
consultants specialise in helping people prepare their CVs. Their advice, and that
given generally to people in non-academic public sector or commercial jobs, is that a
CV should be exactly two pages long and should be accompanied by a very brief cover
letter. This is the antithesis of an academic CV, which is a species all of its own. It is
absolutely imperative that you understand this and resist all pressure to make your full
CV the more common two-page summary. This is one of the most important things we
have to tell you about academic CVs.
There are two key differences between academic and non-academic CVs. One is that
academic CVs tend to be quite a bit longer than those of non-academics, and they get
longer as a person’s career develops. Between twenty and thirty pages would not be
unusual for a well-established professor, although someone in a much more junior post
might quite rightly be expected to have only three or four pages. A second, and perhaps
more fundamental, difference is that non-academics, especially when they are seeking
middle management positions, are frequently encouraged to make largely unverifiable
assertions about their qualities and skills rather than to list verifiable achievements.
In contrast, academic CVs should never make vague or unsubstantiated assertions, for
two reasons. First, it is an inherent part of academic life and training that we look for
the verification of truth claims. Proving or justifying what we have said is part of our
culture. All the claims we seek to make in our research and teaching work need to be
backed up by some sort of evidence. Second, much of our work and what we achieve
is done via substantial public events, for instance, the winning of a research grant, the
publication of papers, conference presentations and so on.
– Rebecca Boden, Debbie Epstein & Jane Kenway
Working with words
A. Complete the sentences with the correct words from the box below.
position redundant professional referee verification
consultant competence opportunity imperative achievement
a. You must learn about 2000 Kanji to develop ……………..in spoken Japanese language.
b. I can type both English and Nepali but not as fast as……………..typists.
c. When she was in class eight, she got the …………….to participate in a national painting competition.
d. The Prime Minister gave a long list of his …………………..
e. He spent many years in jail before reaching the …………of a minister.
f. About fifty workers were made ………because of the financial crisis in the factory.
g. He is affiliated to the World Bank as a senior………………..
h. They registered my application after making……………of my documents.
i. I requested my teacher to be my ……………in my CV.
j. To make our country self-sustained in food production is …………need at present.
B. Define the following employment-related terms and use them in the sentences
of your own.
volunteering, on the job training, career opportunity, skill development,
apprenticeship, career counselling, credentials, human capital, internship, soft
skills, minimum wage, recruitment, role model, aptitude and assessment
C. Based on their pronunciation, divide the following words into two groups so
that the vowel sounds rhyme with here and hare.
fear, fare, fair, bear, bare, beer, care, heir, ear, air, share, lair, leer, cheer, chair,
share, sheer, shear, tear (v.), tear (n.), mere, mare, deer, dear, dare, clear, sneer,
Answer the following questions.
a. What does a CV mean and why is it important in one’s career?
b. Does the same CV work for all job opportunities? Why or why not?
c. What are the different areas where CV can help you?
d. What do you mean by ‘staying CV’ and ‘leaving CV’? Which one would you
develop for yourself as a freshman?
e. How can you draft a good CV?
f. What is the difference between academic CV and non-academic CV.
a. CV may not represent a person’s skills and abilities accurately because one’s confidence cannot be rendered in a paper. What do you think the employers should do to find the best people for the job?
b. If the employers provide job opportunity by assessing one’s CV, how can fresh graduates compete with the experienced competitors?
Study the following advertisement. Write an application for one of the positions.
Prepare your CV too that suits for the job.
A. Study the following examples which are taken from the text above.
a. If you have a staying CV when it does, then you won’t be in the best possible position to grab it.
b. A prospective employer may need to verify your statements regarding, for example, work permit status, qualifications and may need to take a criminal record check especially if the job involves working with children.
B. Rewrite the following sentences using the correct form of the verbs.
a. If you sell your stocks now, you ………much money for them. (not/get)
b. A lot of people would lose job if the factory ……….(close down)
c. Our country won’t have to export wheat if it ……………………in November and February. (rain)
d. If we……………..him earlier, we could have saved his life. (find)
e. If he had not been wearing helmet, he …………..seriously injured. (be)
f. Unless you follow the instructions, you …………….pass the exams. (not/ pass)
g. I don’t mind walking home as long as the weather ……..fine. (be)
h. The bank will sanction you the loan provided you ……. a collateral. (deposit)
i. What ……………if you had not got this job? (you/do)
j. If you had the choice, where ……………? (you/live)
C. Change the following sentences into ‘if sentences’ as in the example.
Example: I did not go to a restaurant because I was not hungry.
I would have gone to a restaurant if I had been hungry.
a. The driver was talking on the phone so the accident happened.
b. There is no anyone at home because all the lights are off.
c. He must be an educated person because he has subscribed ‘The Kathmandu Post.’
d. His head was not injured in the accident because he had put the helmet on.
e. I am sure he passed the exam because he gave a heavy treat to his friends.
f. You didn’t take any breakfast so you are hungry now.
g. I am sure he is a doctor because he is wearing the white gown.
h. She is very rich so she drives a Mercedes.
i. I didn’t know it was only half a kilometer from my house, so I booked a ride.
j. He has hidden something in his mind, so he does not look fresh.
Visit someone who has recently passed Public Service Commission or Teacher Service
Commission examination. Ask him/her to give you some tips that may help you to face
a job interview. Make notes and discuss in class.
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