A lot has been written and spoken about resumes (cv) recently – how to write them, what to include, what not to contain…Perfect Resume CV
I feel like most CV writing advice comes from people who have rarely written their own CV, let alone attended job interviews and won them!
Maybe that’s why so many people continue to put together terrible resumes?
10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
I decided to lean on my personal statistics of 99.9% CV writing success rate and 100% interview success rate to introduce you to the ten rules of a perfect CV that I always follow.
1. The main purpose of your resume is to get you an interview
When you’re putting together your resume, don’t forget this for a moment. Any other notion or attitude towards resumes is absolutely worthless.
Imagine a situation where there is a stack of 40-50 resumes on the employer’s desk. Out of the whole batch, only 8-10 people will be invited for an interview.
You may be an excellent professional with the right education, experience and skills, but if your CV is worthless, you are unlikely to be invited to an interview unless you were the only applicant. Too bad for the employer, and especially for you.
2. View your resume as a sales tool
Yes, through your resume you are selling yourself. If the employer likes what you sell him, he will buy it, ie. will meet with you to discuss the position and how you can work together.
Most people write standard resumes. In them, they seem to say to the employer “I need you, I need a job, please…” These are the bad resumes (cv) that remind me of the bad commercials on TV.
It is critically important that your resume demonstrates what you value to the employer. It should contain evidence that you are the right solution to his problems.
3. Choose the most suitable resume format for you
Each subsequent vacancy you apply for is different. The employer organization is different. The situation is different. All of this requires you to be able to judge which resume format (cv) to choose.
- “Chronological resume” – use it if you want to emphasize your career growth. This resume will tell the employer that you are someone with experience in the specific field.
This format is also suitable when your former positions and/or the name of your last employer are impressive.
Do not use the chronological curriculum vitae (cv) when you have changed too many jobs, when you are looking for a job for the first time, and when you are changing the direction of your career development.
The chronological curriculum vitae (cv) is the most common format, but also, all too often, the most poorly used.
- “Functional resume” – use it if you want to emphasize that you have strengths and achievements in specific (functional) areas, for example in sales, in marketing, in advertising, in design, in programming, etc.
This format is suitable if you are looking for a job for the first time or if you have changed jobs too many times.
The disadvantages of this format are that you cannot demonstrate career development through it. A functional resume (cv) is also not a good choice for people who have performed a limited number of tasks in the past.
- “Target resume” (my favorite) – it focuses on a specific position. This assumes that you have a good knowledge of the requirements of the position you are applying for.
A targeted resume (cv) will do an excellent job if you want to make a strong impression, if you are aware of the job and if you have the skills, even if you lack much experience.
Do not use this format if you just want to have one CV for all occasions. Also when you lack skills and when you don’t have a good idea of what position you are applying for.10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
4. For each new application, compile a new resume
Many people use the same curriculum vitae (cv) for different job vacancies. Some of them even photocopy it and send it everywhere they can.
Such behavior is a prerequisite for failure, and is probably predestined by the candidate’s failure mindset. It is as if he himself does not believe that he will be invited to an interview and begins to bet on the Law of Large Numbers: “The more resumes I send out, the greater my chances become. What have I got to lose?”
In my opinion, such people are really increasing their chances of major failure and just wasting their time.
Before sending your resume to a new employer, take a critical look at it. Does it contain enough useful things for the employer? Has anything new happened in your professional life worth adding? Does it contain outdated, useless or inadequate facts, figures, names?10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
5. Fit your resume to 1 page (!)
Yes, I know there are people who think it’s not how long a CV is, but whether it works. However, I reason like this: “The longer a resume is, the less work it does.”
A 1-page resume will make your thought more focused, your messages to the employer clearer, your words and details more precise.
Also, by not revealing everything about yourself down to the last detail, you give the employer an opportunity to get to know more about you by inviting you on a date. Is that what you want?
Longer CVs run the risk of boring many employers and preventing them from reading them carefully. Especially if the pile on their desk is large.
If you really want to emphasize some facts but can’t do it within one page, consider preparing 1-2 attachments to your resume.
For example, if tomorrow I decide to apply for an assistantship at a university, I will put the titles of my books and more interesting articles in a separate application titled “Publications”. 10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
6. Use powerful words
As made clear in rule #2, a resume (cv) is a sales tool. To do this, sell through powerful words, especially verbs, because they are the only thing from which the employer will draw valuable conclusions about you.
Here’s a list every employer dreams of seeing:
- I manage
- I am selling
- I organize
- I invent
- I’m perfecting
- I’m optimizing
- I am developing
- I improve
- I coordinate
- I produce
- I expand
- I am negotiating
- I create
- I implement
- I appreciate
- I’m building
These verbs will make it clear that you are a problem solver and opportunity creator, ie. you not only “work”, but also bring results.
7. Be specific
There is no resume more boring than the “hollow” resume – the one that talks a lot but says nothing.
If possible, refer to number of sales, percentage growth, number of customers served, number of new customers won, names of geographic regions, number of new geographic regions developed, names of important customers, number of inventions, percent savings realized, etc.
Someone would say, “Well, it’s a trade secret!! The employer will think that after I divulge information about my former workplaces, I will do the same to him.” 10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
Don’t be so worried – not always and not everything is such a big “company secret”! Either way, the numbers and facts will come up during the interview if the interviewer is a professional who knows what he wants.
Additionally, your potential employer will want to know exactly what makes you valuable and useful. Help him, don’t make it difficult for him. Perfect Resume CV
8. Bet on the first-class appearance
The way your curriculum vitae (cv) looks can dramatically affect your chances of achieving your main goal of being invited to an interview.
Here are some ideas:
- Leave enough white spaces and empty lines between and around paragraphs – so the text will “breathe” and attract the eye.
- Use bullets (without overdoing them) – they help the reader to highlight and remember the important points.
- Underline or bold key headings, subheadings, or specific words (without going overboard).
- If you have the opportunity, use slightly thicker paper, classic A4 size and light in color. The larger weight of the paper will make your resume unique and easily discoverable in the general “cube”.
Most resumes use the standard Times New Roman font, but I guess you don’t want to be corny, you want to make an impression. In this case, use non-serif fonts, like Arial or Verdana for example (this article is written in Verdana). 10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
9. Don’t write nonsense
Ideally, your curriculum vitae (cv) will contain three types of information – work experience and abilities (1), education (2) and your contacts (3). The ratio between the first two types should be approximately 80%:20%.
Therefore, do not place useless things. This is stupid because among other things it steals from your scarce 1 page space. Perfect Resume CV
I mean the following things:
- Social security number or date of birth
- Marital status
- Eye color
- Health condition
- Any knowledge, skills, courses, interests, etc. unrelated to the position
- Addresses of former employers
- The European Union flag or other graphic image
- Headings like “CV”, “CV” or nonsense like “European CV format” – it’s clear without saying it. Just start with your first and last name.
Make sure your CV is free of spelling, grammatical, stylistic or purely technical errors. There is no easier way to ruin your reputation if every second line the employer finds evidence of your absent-mindedness or illiteracy.
10. Compose a killer cover letter
Write a cover letter every time you apply for a job. A good cover letter enhances the impact of your resume and focuses attention on some specific points in it. 10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
And the best resume (cv), however, can be understated if you compose a standard cover letter of the type “Dear Sir, please accept my cv and diploma for bang-bang-bang… I hope bang-bang-bang… “
Such cover letters say nothing. At some point, employers stop reading them. Perfect Resume CV
A whole new material can be written about the perfect cover letters ( it’s already been done ), but the most important thing to remember now is that they should highlight specific abilities, skills or achievements that are mentioned or at least hinted at in some way in your resume. 10 Golden Rules for a Perfect Resume CV
And more – the cover letter should be frank, interesting to read and enthusiastic. Such a letter will provoke the employer to take another look at your resume and, most likely, arrange a meeting with you.
11. Bonus rule: Be honest
Of course, in your resume (cv) you can easily distort, exaggerate or even make up facts and events, just to achieve your goal – to be invited to an interview.
Such an approach is your 1000% guarantee that you will not get the desired place, and that you will never appear for an interview at this organization again.
Being candid doesn’t mean your resume has to turn into a detailed life story. Not mentioning some moments of your professional path is not a lie, and as long as they are not related to the position, everything is fine – do not mention them and appear at the interview without remorse.
For everything else, however, candor is the best policy. Perfect Resume CV
These were my ten golden rules for a perfect CV. I have been following them strictly for the last few years and they have consistently brought me success (ie, I have received job interview invitations which I have subsequently won). Perfect Resume CV
Why not bring success to you too?
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