Writing a resume is easy, simply list out all you’ve done in the past in bullet points, it should not be too hard a task should it? Applying for a job vacancy is the same, go to seek or Linkedin, click a few buttons and job done. If this is the mentality you are having then it might take quite a while for you to land your dream job.
Imagine yourself being an HR or recruiter that thrown at dozens of CV’s a day, put yourself in their shoes and think about what would make your CV outstanding against others, because really that is the first roadblock you have to remove before anything can happen.
With a few job hunting experience under my belt I am going to share with you a few quick tips on how to become a super star in writing a great resume:
Read your job description. If it is a role within your current industry which mostly is the case, find out key words that describe what sort of personality/character traits they are looking for. A role that says a lot about a fast-paced environment hoping to recruit someone that is fun, proactive and hungry for success might be quite different from a role that requires someone that is highly organized and detail-oriented. Print this in your head and try to skew your writing in the style of characters they are after.
Put a small paragraph to sum up your career highlights and what role you are after on top of your list of job experience. This serves as a mini cover letter without making busy recruiters having to read your cover letter. It should give readers a clear and concise snapshot of who you are, and what kind of jobs you are interested. For example when I started looking for jobs in media back in 2008, I did not have any media working experience so it was hard for my CV to stand out. So at the end of this magic paragraph, I wrote a line that says: looking for admin roles in a media corporation – I figured my experience would only allow me to ease into the industry with a junior role that does not require too much expertise of the industry. I ended up getting that role, and the sales director at the time told me the reason my CV caught her eye is that line! She said that was Exactly what she was looking for: someone who can handle mostly admin duties in their media sales team.
Ditch the Cover Letter. If you’ve gone so far trust you already know what I think of cover letters. I am telling you to bin them because I’ve spoken to a lot of friends in recruitment an HR – they do not read them. When people are burred under a sea of resumes they only look for things they want to know about. Printing out and reading a separate piece of word document isn’t exactly exciting for these busy guys. Instead of putting a full on one pager, try to minimize it into a small paragraph as described above, and the fact that you put that at the beginning of your CV makes it compulsory for people to read before they read on. You will be amazed how well it works.
Taylor make your CV accordingly. There will be times when you are applying different types of roles or in different industries. In those cases please make sure the resume matches what is expected for an ideal candidate. A project manager’s role will require someone that is highlight organized and a good communicator as it needs you to deal with internal stakeholders a lot; a sales manager’s role will require someone who is hungry for success/money, be proactive and great at building relationships; a software product manager’s role will require someone who understands coding and UX design. The easiest way to cheat on tweaking your CV is copy and paste the listed job descriptions, and modify it under your own language without having to deviate from the truth – which is your real working experience.
After you’ve done all of the above, read and re-read the work, try to imagine if you’d like to hire someone behind these words if you are the hiring manager, this is the most effective way to check how well you did your job.