Updated: Jun 29, 2020
If you're planning to join the IIMs or are awaiting your results, this post will share a critical task you're supposed to do right now, which will save you later. That task is to arrange your CV proofs. Trust me, it may sound simple at the moment, but you may feel as if you're running short of time by the end of this post.
What are CV Proofs?
Till now, you must be making your CV without worrying too much about the authenticity of your points. Once you join an IIM, it is your CV which is going to get you the shortlists for summer internships, final placements and even the corporate scholarships. In order to maintain fair competition, the Placement Cell of every IIM (also called the Placecom) takes this endeavor to verify each and every point written in the CVs of the students.
This process of verifying CV points is known by different names at different IIMs. At IIM-A, we used to call it CV Vetting. Just like the name, all the IIMs also follow a different set of guidelines while performing this task. Some IIMs (like IIM Ahmedabad) are known for their stringent checks which are placed to ensure that no student stands to benefit from unfair representation of his/her CV points.
You may be wondering why this post is important right now when this process will take place somewhere around August. The reason is that many students who enter IIMs are already aware of this critical task. They plan their CV points very early on and start gathering the proofs way before they join.
This leads to an information asymmetry among the batch and many cases have been reported where students were not able to arrange their CV points in time. The intent behind this post is to make sure that no member of this blog suffers from that ordeal. Through this post, I just want you to be prepared for it in advance.
Steps for Arranging CV Proofs
Now, many of you may still be awaiting your results and hence, you may wonder how this post can guide you when you don't even know which B-school you are going to join, let alone its Placecom's CV vetting procedure.
It is a genuine question, the answer to which is that you need not know the exact verification procedure, you just need to know the steps to arrange the proofs from your end before entering a B-school. By keeping the process of IIM Ahmedabad in mind, I've enlisted 6 steps for your reference:
1. Master CV Preparation
Master CV is a document that students prepare at the onset of their CV vetting journey. It is a word file which comprises of all your achievements and points that you'd consider putting in your CV. The easiest way to prepare a master CV is to take all your certificates out of the closet and start noting them down in the word file.
At this point, you shouldn't filter out your achievements i.e. don't worry about whether the achievement is big enough to be put in a CV - just note it down. This is because sometimes, a point may come in handy to fill a particular bucket. For example, while preparing my CV, I realized that I could put a point about an "NGO internship" under the social bucket.
Suggested Reading | CV Format at IIMs
You should also not ignore any points from your school life. At this point, just note down all your academic scores, ranks, achievements, etc. in the master CV. Use bullet points to mention the achievements and bifurcate the entire document into the buckets shared in the link above (CV format at IIMs).
2. Elaborate the Points
This is a step which will act as a base for your final points. The final points are decided after several revisions made upon the recommendations of seniors at IIMs. For example, when you go to a senior for a CV review, he/she may suggest you to reword a particular point for more emphasis. So, if you have already put in effort in framing your points the right way, it will save you some time amidst the hectic academic schedule at the IIMs.
I've already shared a post on the 10 hacks of framing better CV points at IIMs, which you can go through. But, at this point, having the perfect wording in place is not required. You just need to know which numbers or emphasis words are you looking for to make that point stand out.
At this point, you will have a fair sense of the quality of your CV. If by any chance you feel that some of your buckets weigh more than the others, I'd suggest you to take up activities to boost the other parts of your CV.
3. Search for Online Links
Another thing to do side-by-side while writing your points in detail is to search for them online. For example, if you participated in a national case study competition, I'd suggest you to search for your name in all the online articles that were published mentioning your achievement.
This is done because some IIMs (including IIM-A) accept online mentions by valid publishers and you can pick up numbers and references from that post. For example, in one of the articles published about the Placement Cell of my college, there was a point about the total salary package of the batch which amounted to be INR 3.36 crores. I was able to directly use this point from that reference in my CV as I was a placement cell member.
4. File RTIs, Send E-mails
Some of your achievements may lack numbers at this moment. For example, most engineers at IIMs put the total number of students who appeared for the JEE exam in their CV to make their own rank look better. In order to put that number in their CVs, they are required to file an RTI with the authorities.
Similarly, if you have participated in a corporate competition or any inter-college event, you'd need the total number of students who participated to improve the quality of the point. But this information needs to be acquired by sending an e-mail to the concerned authorities.
5. Bucket the Authorities
After completing the above steps, you will have a rough layout of your master CV prepared. The next step is divide the master CV on the basis of the authorities i.e. who is going to provide you the CV proof for each point. Most of your points will fall under the following authorities:
Once you have this bifurcation in place, you will need to know which person will be able to provide you the proof. For example, in a school, that person is the Principal, in college, that person is the Dean or the HOD.
6. Reach Out to Them
The final step is to reach out to the above-listed concerned authorities and inform them about your shortlist/convert in advance. At this point, you should also mention about the CV verification procedure that takes place at the IIMs. This is done so that the next time you reach out to them for getting the proofs, they understand the urgency and get it done quickly.
This is especially important for people who quit their jobs to get into IIMs. Having a good relationship with your immediate boss and leaving the organization on good terms will help you get these points with ease. You need not submit any of your CV points to them at this moment because those points may need revision. Sending it to them again and again may cause annoyance. The intent is just to keep them prepared.
I'll just leave you with a couple of tips in the end so that you make full use of your interaction with the concerned authorities:
Visiting Cards - Always ask for the visiting cards of the concerned authorities. Now, this may sound old-fashioned, but some IIMs (including IIM-A) accept this document to verify your points.
Official E-mail IDs - Having the official e-mail IDs of the concerned authorities will make it easier for you to get the points verified online. This is extremely important for those studying at DU since most of the professors don't have their official e-mail IDs.
College Ranks - Often the colleges don't provide information on the batch strength or your rank in the college. The degree will not be enough if you want to present a quality CV. Hence, get that information from your college's administration staff printed on college's letterhead.
PORs - If you're thinking that getting the points about clubs and societies at your college will be an easy deal, please bear in mind that students cannot verify points for other students, the concerned staff member of the society/club has to do that job.
With this, I will let you get going to prepare your master CV and arrange your CV proofs. Some more posts for your reading are as follows:
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If you're new to the blog and want to read about CAT, IIMs and Life at IIMs, you should start from reading the genesis of this blog.