If you are in the job market you will need a CV. Many out of work today experience feelings of being lost and anxiety with the prospect of having to write resumes. Some of these people worked for the same employer for 20 years or more before they lost their jobs. In addition, it’s likely that many in this group never even thought that they’d face the prospect of unemployment.
I’ve seen thousands of resumes. Some of them were very good. Others were not so good and some of them were so bad I could not even consider them.
Here are some tips to help…
Highlight accomplishments. Too many resumes simply regurgitate duties, and responsibilities instead of accomplishments. If you grew a profit center from £10 million in annual revenue to £50 million, for example, you’ll want to include this on your resume. Employers want to know why they should hire you, and accomplishments help differentiate candidates from the competition. List your accomplishments and skills at the very top of your CV.
Make sure your document is electronic, and sent in Word or plain text format.
In the seventies and eighties recruiters often stored resumes in filing cabinets and used Rolodex. Those filing cabinets are now called back office systems or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) (electronic databases) and they are capable of storing thousands of resumes in word or plain text format. Send a resume that can’t be stored in one of these formats, and risk having it overlooked by employers and recruiters.
Include key words from the job descriptions. Interested in applying for a job? Read the description carefully and make sure that your resume includes the key words written in the job descriptions. This will improve the chances of your CV getting read. If you are a nuclear project engineer then say so.
Avoid non-job related information. If you became a Scout 30 years ago, congratulations but unfortunately hiring managers and recruiters aren’t interested in this information. They want to know why they should bring you in for an interview so list key skills such as; experience in selling to the nuclear industry or written papers on your specialist subject then say so, whatever your skills are they must be mentioned for you to be found.
Make sure your contact information is visible and includes name, address, phone number, email, and social media addresses. Recruiters rely on electronic communications because it’s faster than telephone, or face to face so make it easy for them to contact you electronically and improve your chances of getting contacted. Oh and make yourself available, if you have to be chased all the time recruiters will look elsewhere!
Take advantage of social media. If your resume is not posted on the profile sections of LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + and Twitter then you’re reducing the chances of a recruiter finding you.
Don’t forget an electronic cover letter. Showing interest in a particular job by including a personal cover letter goes a long way toward differentiating one job applicant over another. Clearly lay out why you are a good candidate for the vacancy. Did you save your employer money or devise new systems that made them more efficient?
Use spell check and have your document proofread by another set of eyes. Sending a document filled with typos is unprofessional and creates a very bad first impression. Make sure you use spell check and get someone else to try and find any mistakes.
Finally, it’s important NOT to get discouraged. Employment is still very high and rejection should be expected. Keep the focus, stay upbeat, and don’t give up. There are jobs out there for people who want them badly enough and I have clients with urgent requirements!!