Writing a successful resume (Also known as Curriculum Vitae) can seem like a daunting task. Not to worry though! There are a few ground rules we should try and follow to get the basics correct. Let’s go through those few things together.
First off — a cover letter
There should always be a cover letter for the positions you apply for. What should the cover letter include? Here they are:
- Your contact information (Name, address, phone, email and as optional information you can add for example your LinkedIn)
- The date
- The basic information of the person you’re writing to (Name of the company and person and their title)
Then let’s move on to the actual cover letter portion, that should include mainly these things:
- Something to get them interested, something to get the person to read further, the less generic, the better.
- What you have to offer, how could you use your skills and knowledge to perform well, the more concrete examples you can use, the better.
- That you’re the right person to fit in that specific organization.
Usually, a good cover letter is about 3 to 4 paragraphs, so you cant tell that much. That is why its good to spend some time and work on the cover letter in peace.
Moving on to the Resume
Now we have a cover letter ready, what do we need to tell in our resume? Most of the time the Curriculum Vitae will have a sequence of:
- Your contact information, the date, and potential professional websites
Of course, a good CV is always tailored and built for the specific industry that you are applying to work in, but here are the ground rules.
Make it visual!
Make it grab attention, just don’t overdo it. Using photos, different fonts (as fonts go, stay rather conservative though), colors or such to guide the recruiters’ attention to those areas of expertise, that you want to highlight. To those areas, that show the recruiter why you’re the best candidate. To avoid overdoing it, check that its easy to read and interpret. There shouldn’t be a chance to miss out on key information. To make sure your CV is on point, it might be a good idea to you can ask a relative for feedback, or ask it online, for example on LinkedIn.
Key information up top and center!
Most recruiters only check resumes quickly (according to most studies under 10 seconds), that’s why it’s important to tell the main points quickly and often the most effective way is to write it in an elevator pitch form. Make it short, sweet, up top and in the middle. An elevator pitch most often is something you can speak in about 30 seconds. You can also use for example keywords to show your main skills easily on the top of your resume.
Work experience and education…
When talking about your work experience, try and tell concrete examples if possible. Remember, you do not need to tell everything, you can — and want to — select those experiences that are the best in showcasing your skills that relate to the position you’re applying to. You should try and fit your resume on one sheet of paper and add all your work experience easily makes your resume look stuffed and crowded.
When talking about education — unless of course, you have recently graduated, the education is mostly there to show you have the necessary papers and degrees. That’s why a lot of the time education is best left on the bottom of the resume.
— A resume is a way to get you to the interview. You can always tell more of your work experience or education there. That’s why when talking of work experience and education, boil it down to the most relevant pieces of information. Of course, we could still talk about language skills, achievements and such, but the main idea is to tell all those things that work in your favor.
A good resume is an ad and you’re the product! It pays to use time and make it good.
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