If you are a job seeker who wants to make a first impression on the employer then this article will help you improve your CV writing skills. You need to work on your resume as it is the first marketing paper of candidates that represents their academic/professional achievements and qualities. Thus, you need to create a clear resume (CV) to gain your employer’s attention for a specific job vacancy. I worked as HR manager for top multinationals and have experience of reviewing millions of resumes (CV’s) which is why i found a need to guide job applicants on the principles of writing a CV through my article so read the full article to learn how to write a resume for a job application.
1# Keep Resume (CV) to The Point
Employers get millions of resumes from around the world so they only have a minute or few seconds to skim through your resume (CV). Keeping your resume short will help the employer to read your relevant experience and accomplishments in your professional life. I also recommended you to keep your CV up to one page only and include all your important but relevant details specific to the job you are applying for. If you are wondering what to include and what not to in a resume or a CV then i recommend you to go through wiki’s guide on contents of a resume (CV).
2# Highlight Relevant Experience in CV
It is crucial to add only relevant experience in your resume (CV) so that it doesn’t look wordy and also to draw the employer’s attention towards it. You need to keep in mind that HR person would just spare a minute or less to skim your resume therefore if your resume is wordy then you would have already lost it there. I do not suggest you to use the same resume (CV) for different jobs as this would indicate a lack of interest from the candidates who didn’t put effort into customizing their resumes.
The best way to customize your resume as per the job vacancy would be to use keywords the employer used in the job description to get them an idea that you have carefully read the job description and you got the skills and solution HR was looking for. And then HR would find it interesting to extend their time to review your resume in detail or would shortlist it for further review. Here, your next task would be to add your past job experience which was relevant and for this purpose i want you to please read this article on improving experience section writing in resume.
3# Keep Your CV Professional
You can keep your resume professional by using a basic colored theme and simple fonts so that the employer can clearly read your resume. Avoid using any neon or bright colors that can reduce readability. Moreover, incorporate bullets and headings to highlight your skills, experiences, and other important details. Write a resume summary that depicts your personality, self-image, and your expertise. To help you polish your resume writing skills in the direction of making it fully professional i suggest you to read University of Marylands article on do’s and dont’s in writing a resume.
4# Choose a Suitable Resume Format
One thing that always bothered me while reviewing resumes for job applications was wrong format of resume files and this is why most resumes takes forever to load in latest version of PDF or MS Word. Therefore it is always advised by me on first place to cross check your resume file format and create it using latest softwares.
You also need to choose a professional resume format such as a reverse chronological, or functional resume to stand out among rest of the job applicants in the eyes of your hiring manager. As per my review the reverse chronological format is widely used by job seekers as this helps job candidates to enlist their previous jobs and educational details in a backward manner – starting from the current, most recent, and then to older ones.
Whereas, a functional resume format helps you to highlight your skills more than your experience which brings the attention of the employer to the skills you have developed in your previous jobs.
Lastly, there is another resume format known as a combination resume and as the name implies this format uses a combination of a reverse chronological and functional resume. So, technically speaking combination resume format is a hybrid of functional and chronological resume formats and it is used specifically to apply for specialized jobs that require a list of experience and skills.
5# Use Active Language in Your Resume
Write your resume in active language as it gives a clear view of your skills and helps you to keep it precise. You also need to avoid using passive voice sentences in your resume because this doesn’t give a good impression and lacks originality. What i saw in most resumes that lack the use of active language was the impression that the resume was created using a tool and lacks the original voice of the candidate.
6# Highlight Your Achievements on Resume Paper
Just adding your position in the past job doesn’t give details about your achievements rather it will only give a general idea of your experience to the hiring manager. So, in order to stand out among other job seekers you need to speak about your achievements out loud. You can use bullet points to highlight your achievements in your past jobs on your resume and i advice you to add those achievements only which are very much relevant to the job you are applying for. Furthermore, you can also add numbers to quantify your achievements such as you can write down the percentage of the sales you have managed to increase in a number of months.
7# Include Verifiable Accurate Information
My most important advice to you is to ensure that you have provided accurate and verifiable personal information on your resume so the hiring manager finds it easier to verify your claims in your resume about your academic and professional achievements. Add all your important information such as your full name, a professional email address, contact number, and your LinkedIn URL to make it easier for HR manager to get in touch with you if needed. You can either add your full address if you want to or you can just write the general information such as your city, or area of your residence. If you are wondering if it is safe to add your personal details to resume or not then my recommendation to you would be to read this article on what not to include in a resume.
8# Proofread and Edit Resume
Well, this is my favorite one and to be very honest i never took more than 15 seconds to reject a resume if i spotted any proofreading issues in it. So, please do not give HR manager a chance to reject your job resume due to a small proofreading resume. If it takes you a day to write a resume then please also spend another 30 valuable minutes proofreading your resume so you can spot unseen errors and fix them.
Therefore, the last and most important step of writing a resume is to proofread and edit it multiple times. Check for any spelling and grammar mistakes. Act like you are reading your resume for the first time so that you will be able to detect any errors. You can also ask a trustworthy friend or family member or read this article on how to proofread your job resume just to ensure that it’s error-free.