Writing a CV that will help you get an interview can be as challenging as the entire job search and it is definitely one of the most neglected parts. Knowing employers spend as much as 7 seconds per CV, makes you wonder how they even choose who goes to the next round. Well, they search for the ones that pop out. Is your resume that one?
Think about it! What makes your CV good? And here is a little hint: it is not your experience.
It’s How You Sell It.
People often make mistakes thinking that by putting more words on the resume is better than having only one page. It’s not. Stressing over small details will get you nowhere (in 10 seconds) plus between 200 people who sent their resume, the employer will not spend 5 min on those who talked about facts on 3 pages.
The truth is there will always be that someone who has better or more experience than you. So, what can you do push through? Push their facts aside to make room for your narrative.
The reason we all state a bunch of facts is because by now we have learned how to repeat them and not spend too much time telling a longer story…
This is what will get you through the door to the hiring managers and recruiters. So you might as well invest time in your craft because it is not only finishing a degree and expecting the world to give you back all your effort and praise you with benefits on amazing job positions.
Let’s take a look at this example: You walk into the store and the manager tells you: ¨We have this TV. It’s amazing. Samsung.¨
Are you going to buy it? It doesn’t make a difference if you went into a thousand stores and all sales managers told you the same. (It’s Samsung. Buy it.) I wouldn’t. I would go somewhere else.
But if the sales manager comes to you and tells you: ¨We have a series of TVs that you might like, but the one I would recommend would be this Samsung because …¨, and tells you a story about how that TV will benefit you, would actually mean he invested time and dedication to present the full story without taking shortcuts. It is absolutely the same with selling your own experience to the employer who goes over thousands of resumes in his daily routine.
So the big question now is:
What Story Will Make Them Remember Your CV?
One of the mistakes we all make (I did also), was to craft one general story for all the companies you applied at. Stop doing that. The story you tell needs to be specific to the job position you are applying to and to include the company’s values as your own. The employer really isn’t looking for someone who tells them how the company can help you, but how and why will you be a good asset to them. Invest time to research the company and use the job description to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. And while doing that, don’t just state you have communication skills, tell them how you gained them and how you used them on the previous position. It will get you one step closer to the door.
Make Each Word Count
There is no need to tell all the stories. Again, the employer has to go through hundreds of resumes and unnecessary information that goes for pages and pages will not be the one where they stop and say: ¨Wait this is the person we are looking for. ¨In this case, less is more. Keep your CV short and up to 2 pages maximum. If you have a lot of experience or you change jobs often, choose to include the stories of the ones who will benefit you more when they go over your resume. Again, craft it for the job position you are applying for. The rest you can list below with short facts about your achievements in a couple of sentences.
You might think everyone lies on their resume, but it is actually not correct. Saying little white lies on your resume takes away the space for the narrative you can craft that will actually get you the job. Your CV only gets you through the door, it doesn’t actually get you the office. As a recruiter, I faced a couple of potential employees and straight on caught them in a lie. It was a completely unnecessary lie, so why ruin your image on the interview and lose the position completely? Especially when it isn’t important for the role you will be doing.
Check The Grammar
With most employers experiencing massive volumes of applicants, giving them the excuse to dismiss your application because of avoidable errors is not going to help you secure an interview. Even if you are a native in the country little slips can happen, so double-check your grammar after you’ve completed the resume.
Every resume you craft should be kept in both Word and PDF versions. Why? Well as we discussed above, you need to constantly keep it new and adjustable to the job positions you will apply for, and because sending Word documents to employers doesn’t make you seem professional. Use it as a PDF as it will show you invested time to craft your final word before you get called for the interview.