Experience in your CV: DO’s and DON’Ts

Dmitry Kaglik

January 4, 2016

SAP

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Man on the phoneCurriculum Vitae, or CV, or Resume is the document #1 for any job seeker. This is the document your agent and potential employer read before seeing and hearing you.

If you read any article or recommendation by an HR person related to preparing your CV, it is more likely than not you see a requirement to prepare an individual CV for each position you are applying for. It means that you need to re-write, or at least revisit your CV before sending it for an application to each position you consider.

How many of you did so? Let me guess… none!

Even if the requirement makes sense and you may re-work your CV slightly when sending it to a particular company, it is next to impossible to re-write it for each position when you are in an active job search. To make things even more difficult, many job ads don’t have enough information about the company and position to write a position-specific CV for. And worst are the agents that simply harvest CVs without letting you know the company or the position details.

At the same time there is a social network LinkedIn that allows you to have a virtual CV visible to anybody. You cannot predict who will be looking at your LinkedIn profile.

Can you follow the HR-related recommendations then? Obviously not.

You have to have a “generic” version of CV suitable for “generic” purposes.

SAP Expert would like to give you some advice about the contents of your “generic” CV. Let’s discuss what to avoid in the part where you talk about your SAP experience and modules you know.

High-level details

On one pole there are the CVs where you mention your expertise in high-level terms. You can write that you know MM and SD, or FI and FSCM. Will that be enough?

I doubt so. Each of the above mentioned components, as well as those non-listed, has many sub-components. Many of them are common, some are rarely used. If you write FI, does it mean that you also have experience in FI-TV and FI-AA? If you mention MM, does it also cover MM-LIV?

In my opinion, putting only the high-level components in your CV is as good as putting none.

Give at least some details.

Give at least some details.

Low-level details

On another pole there are CVs that list many detailed sub-components of SAP that the person dealt with. Putting such components as FI-BL-EBS, FI-BL-LB or FI-BL-CJ is excessive, in my point of view. Of course, it may be that your potential employer is looking for specific skills in Lockbox or Cash Journal. But we agreed above that we are preparing a generic CV. Most employers and agents will be lost in such narrow details, especially if you only list the abbreviations.

Don’t go into too much detail.

Whole Universe

There are CVs that simply list the whole set of SAP components disregarding the fact that the person does not have an experience in some or all of them. Putting the fact that this is simply a lie aside, it is next to impossible for any person to have knowledge in all SAP components. Even if you have 15-20 years of SAP career under your belt, it is very unlikely that you have in-depth knowledge of MM, SD, HR, Basis, ABAP, FI and CO modules at the same time. Any more or less knowledgeable HR person or agent will simply reject the CV that lists whole SAP Universe in the experience section. Even if such CV would pass this initial filter, it will get into the hands of the functional specialist who will be asked to interview you. That person will recognise this “issue” straight away and will simply reject your CV without even calling you.

Don’t overestimate your knowledge. Only list the SAP modules that you have real experience with.

Blind spots

There are some CVs that presume that the person who reads them knows much about SAP. Even if there are some agents and company HR specialists that do, many of them have next to nil SAP experience. Don’t presume that the person who reads your CV will automatically include MM-LIV module into your skillset if you list MM-PO and MM-WM. That’s not obvious. And if the HR person is looking for the specialist with MM-LIV knowledge, you are very likely to be filtered out where you should not be.

List all your knowledge areas.

Conclusion

Preparing a CV is a task of its own. It is a difficult task.

When you describe your experience for your future potential employers, be neither too shy nor too bragging. Give enough details for the person without much specialist knowledge to select your CV among the others.

Does your CV meet the ideas listed in this article?

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