Applying for your dream job? Don’t underestimate the power of a great CV!
Your experience, your achievements, your identity and your strengths, all gathered together on a single white paper, promoting you as a true professional ready to take on new responsibilities and face new challenges. Your CV is the best way in which you can advertise yourself and place the focus on all of those things that can different you from other applicants and ultimately get you your dream job. Don’t underestimate the power of a good self-presentation; sometimes even the minor adjustments and improvements brought to your resume will make the difference between the callback pile as opposed to the trash bin.
What are recruiters looking for in a resume?
You may think that when a recruiter receives your CV, he/she spends a great amount of time revising all of the info provided…Think again! Recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds scanning a resume before deciding if that candidate is worth calling for an interview. Shocking, right? That makes every second count and the info you list on your CV must be relevant, clear, well-structured and organized. Time is the essence and a poorly organized resume will confuse the recruiter, making him/her move further to the next resume on their table. By the time this happens, your chances of receiving a call are lost for the moment.
You may also be interested to know that that recruiters spent almost 80% of their resume review time on the following data points: name, current title/company, previous title/company, previous position start date/end date, current position start date/end date and education. Make sure all of this data is listed chronologically and makes perfect sense. Use a clean looking layout, take a closer look on the dates, making sure there is no time lapse that may create confusion and list your education correctly focusing on your core competencies. However, if you do have gaps in your CV, don’t try to hide it. Recruiters don’t mind gaps, as long as they are provided with sufficient explanation. It’s the absence of explanation that makes them wonder.
The competition has never been this acute, and even if you may have all the qualifications for a job, always remember that there are many others, just as you, that have the same objectives and may come with the same knowledge baggage. Reinvent the format of your CV, find what best suits you in terms of self-promotion! When searching for a job, the last thing you want to be is an ordinary, run-of-the-mill applicant. A distinct resume will make you stand in a crowd and will increase your chances of being noticed. Look online for resume formats, choose from different types and pick the style that best represents you. Don’t copy from other CV’s, don’t paste info from HR websites, and don’t borrow texts from books. A smart recruiter will always tell and your best quality is originality.
Upgrade the info. Stay focused
You are on the hunt for the perfect job but your CV was created years ago? How about updating that document from a 2011 to a 2015 version? Focus on the skills you’ve gained during your professional life, maybe you’ve earned some useful experience in the meantime, maybe you’ve attended various important events linked to the job you are applying for or perhaps you’ve taken some extra courses that enlarged your horizons. List them as well – they will function as a great promotion tool. Erase all the unnecessary info: recruiters will not be interested in your life’s history; they are interested in seeing how you can handle the job you are applying for. Don’t list excuses. If you lack experience, focus on education. If you lack one skill, stress another one. Put the focus on what you want and on what will make you shine.
It’s vital that you are honest with your experience and your skills. If you have never taken a volunteer project but might think that this would suits the position you are applying for, don’t give in to the temptation to list it. Don’t add unnecessary and untrue information about your current responsibilities. If you have never taken a specific course abroad or you have never had an internship to a specific company, don’t post that on your CV, even if you think the recruiters might be interested. Stress what you have as strong points, look for courses that you have completed and personal experiences that you may have come across. Truth has a way of surfacing when you least expect it and you may lose the job you want just on the cause of that.
Focus on the job you are applying for
Recruiters need to know you have the skills needed for a job. Take a good look at the job description; focus on what you can bring to that company in terms of skills and experience. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, try and understand what would qualify you for the job. Read about the company you are applying for: what are their core competencies, what is their history, what kind of employees do they have, what business they run? That might give you a sense on whether you really want to work there, if you would blend well and if you would be able to perform in a certain environment.
Bring your achievements upfront
Experience is not the same as achievement. You can list your entire experience, gathered from one job to another, but every business is different and what the recruiter really wants to know is how you stood out from the crowd. What was your contribution to the business in a specific role? What projects have you led? How did they impact the team? What have you learned from them and how have they formed you as a professional? Did you make a change? How will you be remembered in your current company? Don’t spend too much time describing the obvious tasks you do daily and shed some light upon the extra – what distinguished you from the other employees?
Create your perfect CV, promote yourself correctly and in an honest manner, and you’ll have every change of being noticed! I wish you all the luck and …send the recruiter a CV they simply can’t refuse!
Author : Daria Ionescu