Writing a nice CV doesn’t sound so difficult in theory. It’s as simple as listing your education, professional experience, and skills. But we all know that it takes a lot more than that.
If you want to get a job worth your time, you need to take the process seriously. Your resume is no longer a short presentation of your skills and work experience. It’s the hiring manager’s first impression of you and will determine whether or not you get to the next step – the interview.
So, how’s your resume looking? Will it make you stand out for all the right reasons, or will it send you to the bottom of the applications pile?
A bad resume can mean sending out dozens of applications and waiting for weeks or months until you get a single response.
If your resume game is somewhat lacking and you’re trying to improve it by learning what you’d have to change to get more interviews, you’ve come to the right place. This article will provide you with some helpful tips and guide you in the right direction.
A Resume isn’t meant to be a measuring stick for your talent in writing. However, you will want to give your all when writing it because it’s the content that counts the most and can land you an interview for the job you’re interested in.
You have to adjust your language to the position you are applying for. Let’s say you’re looking for a job in marketing. Then you’ll want to include specific terms like lead nurturing, ROI, buyer’s journey, sales funnel, etc.
If you want to work in sales, then you should include terms like sales pipeline coverage and customer acquisition cost. Adapting your language suggests to the person evaluating your resume that you have experience in the field.
You’ll also want to include verbs like “helped,” “assisted,” “collaborated,” “coordinated,” “planned,” and “managed” since they suggest that you work well with others. Put the verbs in present tense when describing your current role and past tense when describing the previous experience.
The structure should be dynamic and straightforward. Long paragraphs will just bore and annoy the reader. You have to consider that a hiring manager has to go through a lot of resumes in a short time frame. You don’t want them to get frustrated with yours because it could mean it gets buried at the bottom of the applications pile.
Use simple structure and bullet points since it will make the content easier to follow.
Once you’re done writing the content, it’s time for editing. Read it again and see if there are any repetitions and filler words. Suppose the hiring manager spots them when evaluating your resume.
In that case, they will think that you either didn’t take the time to review it – which might suggest that you’re not taking the application process seriously or that you don’t pay attention to detail – or that you didn’t have much to write so this was a way to make yourself look more experienced.
You also have to look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Thankfully there are text editors to help you with that. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s not the problem. The problem is that if you send the resume out without correcting them, it will again suggest that you didn’t take the time to look it over.
In terms of formatting, you want to be consistent with the font. The section heading should be slightly larger, and you should include a blank line between sections. Your contact details should be in a header format.
Resumes are usually sent out in PDF format since this means that it will look the same on the hiring manager’s computer as it does on yours. With other formats, there can be changes in layout and fonts. You can edit resumes in PDF format using free tools like PDFChef which you can find here. This way, it’s easy to make small modifications to adapt your resume to different positions you’re applying to.
Less Is More
Your resume should be no more than two pages long, with standard margins and readable font size. As we mentioned before, hiring managers to go through a lot of resumes. Be concise and make every word count.
Don’t try to keep it under two pages by cramming everything in there. You’ll also want to use plenty of white space. Everything you include has to show why you’re the right candidate for the position. If it doesn’t do this, you can remove it.
Your employer doesn’t need to know all the clubs you were part of during your studies, but if one of them is relevant, you can include it.
Also, if there are gaps in your resume between jobs or during your studies, you’ll want to write down the reason and give it a positive spin. For example, you took a year off to accomplish X impressive and career-relevant goal.
It’s best to tailor your resume to the position and company, and this will determine what you include and what you remove. The goal is to show in a couple of concise, well-written, and well-formatted pages that you are someone that can do the job and fit in.
The resume summary is a short section at the top where you write the most important information in your resume. It’s best to write it at the end and tailor it to the position.
In as few words as possible, you’ll want to state your current position, years of experience, a couple of your most relevant accomplishments or responsibilities, and your desired objective.
For example: “IT Consultant with five years of experience in fintech. In previous roles recognized for X and Y achievements. Looking for new opportunities to ….”
Keep it short and simple. There’s no need to overcomplicate it. Most hiring managers and recruiters will skim this section before determining whether or not to continue reading. Go back to the job listing and see what they’re looking for. You want these few sentences to be as relevant as possible so they’ll grab the reader’s attention.