Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Don't let your CV ruin your chances...

Writing this blog again is the official end of the holidays…
And they have been wonderful but it is time to get back to the real world.

This morning I got a call from a friend that triggered the subject of this blog. She asked me if I could provide her with some anonymous samples of good CV’s. She is not the first one asking and I doubt that she will be the last one.
Obviously I review a lot of resumes. They come in all shapes and forms. Some of them fit on one page, others make my printer run out of paper.
Many blogs and articles have been written to provide you with tips and tricks. Why would I bother tackling the subject all over again…maybe because I struggle with the response? To me, there is no one right way to write a CV.

Your CV should first and foremost be a reflection of who you are. It should, at a glance, provide me (and my clients) with some insight on your experience and personality, on your achievements and aspirations for the future.
A well-written CV will not help you to land a job but it may put you out of business before we even met. So here are a few ground rules.

·       Get to the point
In these digital times, like it or not, people judge on what they see on their screen. If the first part of your CV is not interesting, there are few chances that someone will scroll down to see where the interesting stuff may be hidden.Don’t spend half a page on your personal details. I don’t need to know that you have a driver’s license, that you have fulfilled your army duties or that you are married with kids.
Use the fist quarter of the page to create a clear profile of who you are and the skillset that you have. Write a profile that reflects your own personality. Highlight what you have to offer and the things that you value.

·       Focus on competencies
Clearly indicate the competencies that you have gained through your previous experience. Job titles only say so much; its content varies from company to company. I cannot guess what your responsibilities have been or whether you have experience with team management. Including an overview of your skillset and a clear description of achievements, including P&L responsibility or team size, allows me to assess whether you qualify for a position from a technical point of view.  

·       Focus on being professional
Showing your personality in your CV should not divert you from the primary objective, which is to apply for a job. Pictures and private e-mail addresses should be in line with that objective. You don’t want me to remember you because you had a funny hairdo on the picture or because I had to e-mail to funkydude@hotmail.be.

·       Check, check, check
Word has a lot of features … use them. Run the spelling check before you save the final version. Verify if the lay out is consistent. And make sure that your reviews and corrections are not visible in the final draft.Typos, overloaded pages and review notes will never be able to convince me that you have an eye for detail… Save your final version in PDF, that way you are sure that I get to see what you want me to see.

Writing a CV that is attractive to any recruiter or headhunter is a mission impossible as we all emphasize different things. Nevertheless, with these ground rules, you avoid being thrown out from the start.


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