Job hunts start with a CV. It helps if you have some connections, but trying out multiple places and hoping for the best will only bring you so far if you do not have an outstanding resume.
It is highly likely that there are hundreds of other candidates applying for the same position. And you will not even make it to the second round if the person in charge of hiring will throw away your CV after they take a look at it.
It is no secret that most departments do not bother reading through every single CV from start to finish. They skim, and if something catches their interest, they will put the resume in the “invite for an interview” pile.
Look at some of the best CV examples on the Letstalkaboutmoney website, and you will notice that there is certainly something special about them. But what makes a resume successful? You will find the answer after finishing this article.
Step #1 – Start Strong
Like already mentioned, first impressions matter a lot. You want to start your resume with a bang and make the list of the candidates who will get an interview.
Some CV experts recommend using the first two lines at the top of your resume to summarize who you are as a person. Usually, you would put an objective statement there, but those do not seem to be as effective as they might have been before.
Step #2 – Echo the Job Ad
Pay attention to what the job ad is asking you. There is a reason why companies put ads and use specific words or emphasize particular criteria for potential candidates. They want to see a response. And those who respond in a way that pleases potential employers will have higher odds of getting hired.
Echo the job ad and use the exact language that you see on the ad. Make it as if you are directly replying to a message.
Step #3 – Think About Applicant Tracking Systems
There are automated systems that can sort a lot of resumes in a matter of minutes. If such systems do not find buzzwords and other keywords that are relevant to what the company is seeking in a potential candidate, do not expect to get a phone call.
Take some time and figure out how a computer would think and react to a resume that you have right now, and how it would be different if you made some changes.
Step #4 – Keep the Resume Neat
The overall look matters as well. Employers need resumes because it is a piece of information that reflects what the potential candidate is like.
Squeezing all the highlights and trying to impress is what you may want, but going over the top will only come back to bite you back.
Overall, most resumes tend to be rather boring, so simplicity and lack of cluttered information are some of the things that will help you. Ideally, everything you want to say should be on a single page. See how much you can do with that.
Step #5 – Speak About What You Can Offer
The point of a resume is to sell yourself and get an interview. Speak more about what you can offer to the company and how everyone and the business itself would benefit from having you as an employee.
Step #6 – Do Not Stand Out Too Much
While some uniqueness can be a good thing, there are plenty of cases when people went a bit too far. It might sound counterproductive, but trying to stand out too much can also turn into a negative thing.
Step #7 – Emphasize Your Achievements
Be more specific with what you have managed to accomplish. For example, instead of saying how you worked in an IT department, mention what problems you solved. Or if you were in a marketing department, talk about how much money you made for the company instead of saying you were part of the digital marketing team.
Step #8 – Proofread
Proofreading should never be underestimated. Some people neglect this part because they believe that they are immune to typos. But everyone can make mistakes, and even a slight grammatical error will make your resume less professional.
If the person reading notices it, expect nothing but a negative reaction. Proofread the resume multiple times and make sure that it is free of any typos or other errors.
Step #9 – Include Relevant Stuff Outside Previous Workplaces
There might be some relevant things that are worth mentioning outside your career. Maybe you are in a club, or maybe you participate in local politics actively. Volunteering is also appreciated by quite a lot of employers. Such information can be put in the section where you talk about more personal stuff, like hobbies.