Looking for a job is one of the most gut-wrenching and soul-sucking things I have ever done. Putting yourself down to a few pages that makes you feel like a product is a very uncomfortable thing to do for many people. Especially with online application systems, the process seems impossible and infinite. But during my own resume preperations, I have found several tips to make a strong CV that still feels like me.
Don’t just make lists If you just make a list of everything you have done it might fill the page but the recruiter will not know what exactly you did and learned from each experience. When looking at your CV (especially if you are a graduate) the employer wants to see your hirable skills, not just a bunch of company names. So add a few sentences to experiences, education and skills you have, summarizing what your responsibities were for each of them.
Personalize I have been to several CV workshops over the course of few months any every advisor’s first point is to apply smart. This means, sending the same old CV to every job you want to apply will probably won’t get you anywhere. Especially if you are applying to different sectors you want to put the relevant experience to each of them. A management company will probably won’t make any use of your fashion skills. So personalize your CV to the job you are applying each time. Even if they are small changes.
Read the vacancy advertisement well Yes, I know. All the vacancies look the same and they ask for ridicilous skills sometimes. But if you read them well and put some of the skills they are looking for, to your CV it will make you look more suitable and more attentive. For example, if the employer listed “international mindset” as a skill they are looking for and you think you can prove it, you should add it to your skills. You can also use the words they used in some of your sentences.
Prove everything This is one of the things that will make your CV more stable and more you, because you won’t be reduced to being weird words like “team player” or “fun loving”. Everytime you state that you have a skill, give the employer an example of how you got it. For example if you are saying you are creative, tell them what you do with your creativity, whether it is writing or designing jewellery. This way the employer will know you are not just writing down generic things you saw on someone else’s resume.
Place important parts in the middle Recruiters take 30 seconds to make a first judgment about your CV and the eye goes to the middle of the page everytime we look at something. So whatever you think is more relevant to the employer, put that information in the middle of the page. If you are a graduate, this will probably be the skills part and if you have a lot of relevant experience that might be the part you want to put forward.
Make it yours This is the only tip on this page that I did not learn from advisors. But even after doing all of the things they said, my resume still looked a little distant to me. It was still on a Word document and it did not represent my creativity or my personality. So I gave it a little InDesign makeover. After seeing the it, one of my best friends said it couldn’t be more me.
If you don’t have any design knowledge or if you are not applying for a creative position you don’t have to do use InDesign. But you can still use a font that you like or add a little color to your resume while still keeping it professional. But, I would not recommend sending it in Word format both because it looks sloppier and because it can look different on the recruiters computer than what you see on your own. If you don’t want it to look lopsided, lock that beauty down and send it in PDF format.
I know that all these tips also makes the writing process longer and. But if it means it will get you to your dream job, it is more than worth it. So put in the work, create a resume you love and make others read it before sending it. Ask if they get the message that you are trying to send. If they do, go ahead and apply. We will kick employment process’ ass together.
Do you have any other tips for writing a better resume?