5 Top tips to make your CV stand out
Even if you think you’re the best candidate for the job – I see too many resumés that just don’t get this message across efficiently. Here’s some top tips for details that should make yours jump out of the pile.
1. Strong Objective.
Think of this as the answer to the question “So, what’s your goal…where would you like to end up?” Employers want to know which way you’re heading and how ambitious you are before they hire you. This should be the first section of your Resumé with the header Career Objective and read along the lines of “To contribute and develop within a…” Doing this will also later help you with the Interview Question of “Where do you see yourself in 10 years…?”
2. The Past
Get this down on rough paper and make a list of your education with Diplomas and Awards received within your College. Place it under the header “Education” then work it backwards from today. This will be followed by your “Work Experience” – remember to include the Company name and location, what your job title was and of course the dates you were there. (NB each persons situation/age/background will depend on the order of these 2 sections)
Make sure you have ALL experiences in the same chronological order though, as people will look no further at your resumé if it’s not logical to follow.
3. Duties & Achievements
A duty is an assigned task and an achievement is how well your performed this duty…in other words a positive result of your efforts. Employers of course need to know what your tasks were in past jobs…but they love to hear and are much more interested in what you achieved. So when describing past jobs – go for it – this is your time to bring up specific accomplishments and brag a little!
Example: One of your duties was organizing staff rosters, and you solved a big scheduling problem. Write for this position “Efficiently solved scheduling conflict.”
4. Sharp & Succinct
You need to be short, sharp and succinct in a resumé so it is the norm to use abbreviated sentence construction. Leave out the subject (I, my colleague) and possessive pronouns (my/mine, his/hers), and sometimes even articles (the, a). If you’re listing more than one achievement in a phrase then you can replace the word and with a semicolon. Example: “I led an important team project and my manager gave me an award” would become “Led key team project; awarded by manager.”
5. Dynamic Action
Action verbs are specific and energetic, e.g. organized, initiated, created, achieved. Passive verbs are weak and vague am, was, have, had. In a resume, action verbs can make all the difference in giving out the message that you’re motivated and dynamic. Example: “Created and organized a banquet for over a hundred people” is better than “Had a few banquets”
Nobody wants to hire a dark rain cloud – they want a beaming ray of sunshine to be a part of their team!
So….how do you sound on paper..? You have one chance to shine and to make it to the next step – be invited to an interview.