Have you ever taken the time to reflect on your job satisfaction? If you answered yes, and you’re happy with your job, you might consider making a note of the article for future reference. If not, read on. Here are my top five tips to help you create a CV that will grab the attention of your readers and land you the interview you want.
Let me start by saying that I believe people hire people who are open to collaboration and can have a good conversation with them at the cafeteria. Your professional presentation, whether it’s in your cover letter, CV, or interview, must demonstrate your skills and ability to get along with others.
Here are my top tips to create a memorable CV.
Tip #1: Position
Your “mission statement” should be placed just below your name at the top. Avoid writing too many words that can distract the eye. Your “mission statement” should not exceed 2 lines. This can be either a statement of intention about what you are seeking or a brief summary of your professional profile. This sets the tone for the main themes that will be featured in your CV’s body. It prepares your reader for the next step.
What do you think about “Innovative quantitative analysts looking for his next challenge” as an example? This information tells the reader about (1) the individual’s innovation track record and (2) the achievements in their area of expertise, quantitative analytics, and (3) the evidence that the person is prepared for more responsibilities such as a managerial or broader role.
Tip #2: Clarity
While you may want to grab your reader’s attention, don’t be too original. Unusual fonts, for example, will distract rather than impress your reader.
Clarity is what I mean by:
* Simple language: A simple vocabulary that a 10-year-old could understand easily
* Short sentences: Use the implicit first person. There is no need for you to use the ‘I’ word, but your CV should be written in the first person with the exception of your “mission statement”, which should be in the third person. Your sentences should not exceed half the page’s width.
* Relevant terms: Make sure you include in your CV the words that appear in the job description or job advertisement to create an echo and highlight the relevance of your experiences to the employer’s need.
Tip #3: Impact
Using what I call “outcome terms” in your CV is another important aspect. There is a lot of CV advice that recommends using “action words”. This allows you to clearly identify what you did, but I encourage you to emphasize the work you did. Instead of writing “produced monthly team activities reports”, I suggest that you write “monitored team deliverables to objectives”. The first sentence indicates that you were busy, while the second shows the value you added to what you did.
You can use “outcome words”, which will allow you to show your ability to contribute. They answer the “so which question”. When someone reads “produced monthly group activity reports”, will you agree that the first thing that pops into their minds is “so what?” What was the point of these reports? Your reader thinks so. Your reader will know that you are responsible for monitoring your team’s accomplishments if you write “monitored team deliverables etc”. This is a very different value proposition. You can help the team achieve their goals, not just write reports.
Tip #4: Preview
Let’s take a look at the basics. Your CV opens with a strong “mission statement”, which sets the stage for the rest of your CV. Your words flow well and you keep their attention with clear language. You demonstrate your impact in a work environment by using “outcome words”. Your reader will see how you work as they move down the page. Your reader will get a glimpse of your work environment by seeing how you do it.
What you do is only two-dimensional. Your work, however, shows you in a full-fledged, three-dimensional manner. Your CV is like the movie trailers that precede the full-length feature. When they work well, these movie teasers are compelling enough to make you want to go to see the movie. However, if they don’t, such movie teasers can be a turnoff. This is why I like to view a CV as a preview of future attractions: it gives a hint of who the reader might meet if they invite me for an interview. How do you approach your CV this way?
Tip #5 – calibrate
If you’re like me, long movie trailers won’t make it feel like you want to go see the movie. It’s the same thing with resumes. Long CVs bore their readers. A compelling CV should not exceed 2 pages, according to many CV experts. If your work experience is not yet extensive, please limit yourself to one page. If you have a lengthy CV you ramble and confuse the reader. Your achievements are not presented in the most professional way.
Pick your reader’s interests so that they are interested in meeting you. The interview is a chance to satisfy their curiosity. Keep your CV brief and concise!
These are five easy tips to create a concise, clear CV that allows you to shine and show how you can add value to the profession.
Author of the “5 Gear Shifts that will Accelerate Your Career!” report, Alexandra helps ambitious and high-performing professionals tackle their frustration at work so that they resolve a complex problems, find a way out of a difficult situation or achieve a personally-meaningful objective.
Alexandra is a Career Accelerator and works with talented individuals to get the promotion they want, organize an in-house move into a different group, succeed quickly in a new position, as well as to clarify their next job and how they can find it.
Alexandra’s clients are able to do more exciting work that they love, not get stuck in one type of job. They also have the opportunity to learn how to manage others and lead if necessary. This helps them make a bigger impact on their business and increase their income.
Alexandra will share stories and insights from her rewarding but exhausting 23-year career as a global finance professional, starting in Paris and ending on New York’s Wall Street. These stories can be used to help you accelerate your career.