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Sunday, 28 February 2016

How to write a CV or resume that both interests and informs

Someone reading your CV is seeing you for the first time and they will want to find out what they need to know as quickly and simply as possible. 

These things are 

1) What does this person do right now? 
2) What are they capable of doing? 
3) What do they want to do? 
4) Do any of these things match what I'm looking for?

It may seem obvious, but many people simply do not put this information on their CV and instead fill it with long and clever phrases or, worse still, extracts from their job description which actually say nothing relevant! 

Both Recruiters and Hiring Managers, neither known for their levels of concentration or their attention span, will want to know the important things about you as quickly as possible, and if a CV does not tell them exactly that in the first few seconds then they usually stop reading and move on to the next one. 

I know this because I was a recruiter for more than 20 years. Part of what I do now as a professional CV / resume writer is review and assess people’s CVs and resumes – this is a free service open to anyone, so believe me I do see a lot of them! – and not many leave me with a great impression. 

Make a strong statement
Your first opportunity to set the scene is with a strong profile at the beginning of the CV which clearly, concisely and convincingly tells the reader about you as an individual, what you do, and what makes you stand out. 

The reaction we are aiming for here is not necessarily “Wow!” but more like “at last!” or “hurray!”. “Wow” is good, but remember you will have to live up to and exceed that expectation in an interview, so we need to balance magnificence with realism. 
Structure your Skills summary
Once the recruiter is safely through the profile they then encounter the skills summary, which should be a bold portrayal of your key skills i.e. the things you are known for being good at. 

It should not just consist of “Communication skills”, “Team player”, and “People person” but more substantial, job-related items such as “Project Management”, “Customer Service”, or “People Management” which give an indication of what you do and where you can be positioned. 
Include Lots of Interesting Achievements
Hopefully by now we are getting somewhere and the recruiter will be reading your employment history, probably the largest part of the document. 

However there is nothing more certain of ending your flourishing relationship with the recruiter than including sections from your official job description. These only describe function and nothing personal to you, and never make interesting reading. 

Instead, keep their interest alive by including some illustrative achievements, examples of things you have accomplished and that you are proud of in your job, but do keep them focused on the task in hand. If there are too many that are unrelated to your day-to-day role then the reader will be given the impression that you are always going off and doing something else. 

Most importantly - Remember your CV / resume does not need to include everything you have ever done!
What does yours say? 
It can be useful to get an objective view of how your CV or resume looks from an unrelated third party, who can check that it says what it should and sells you in the most effective way. 

Or who better than an experienced, professional CV writer to give their professional opinion on whether your CV gives enough compelling reasons why you should be interviewed, or whether you will never hear from that prospective employer again. 

If it needs work you could ask the professional to put it right for you quickly and cheaply so your next application will not be wasted! 

So before you send it to anyone else get your CV checked out (if you would like him to do it then send him a copy to nick@domycv.com

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