Before getting into the complex science of writing a CV, let’s speak out something. Each country, each industry, each company has different criteria of what a good resume is. Information-wise we mean. There is no perfect recipe for the perfect resume as each individual is looking for something different. This being said, we are here to share tips with you that work for us and helped us land interviews and eventually, a job.
Every story needs an introduction to set a context and help the reader understand what is going to happen next. Potential employers want to know you and what motivates you. Thus, you should dedicate five to six lines at the top of your resume to quickly introduce yourself and key strengths you have. Use this part of your CV to grab the attention of your future employer. Make them interested and want to know more: read your CV.
Highlight your key skills
If your personality can make you stand out, highlighting your key skills at the top of your resume, just under your pitch presentation will most definitely grab employers’ attention (this was validated by a friend working in HR). Choose 5 things you are really good at and that the person they are looking for must master and put them at the top of your resume.
Graphics over long sentences
Employers and HRs receive a tone of CVs and don’t have a big amount of hours to go through them one by one. We don’t mean to scare you but your CV is just one amongst the others, so you need to stand out. The people you are sending your CV to will more often than not scan-read it first, and if nothing stands out, it will more than likely get lost in a random pile. To stand out use visuals, for instance, icons or charts.
Style is important
As we said you need to stand out. Therefore don’t be afraid to add some style, your style, to your CV. Your CV should be a reflexion of who you are. Employers should be able to get as much information about you as possible, work-wise and personality-wise. Use your own voice, add some colour, play around with fonts. Show them who you are.
If colour is important, it also has a meaning. So be careful to choose the right colours. Blues and greens are fool-proof colours, they reflect confidence, wisdom and loyalty. Employers will feel that they can rely on you. Choosing blue or green is risk-free. Whereas red reflects over-confidence and power. If this isn’t bad, but it’s not suitable for every job. If you are applying for a manager or senior role it can be great, if not it may be a little risky. We advise you stay away from warm colours, and either stick to different types of blue, green, and grey.
The “old-fashioned” black & white CV can be perfectly fine, however nowadays people like graphic CV. Try new templates, use icons, move things around, create sections on your CV so it becomes interesting to read, almost fun. Like a nice inviting book cover. If you don’t know where to start Canva has loads of great templates you can use or find inspiration.
Numbers do matter
Listing the skills you acquire during a job or the tasks you completed is great. However, without a context and numbered results, it does not really mean anything. You could have tripled the company’s turnover, but by saying “helped increase the company’s turnover” the employer may think it wasn’t as much as it really is. Putting a figure on your actions and initiatives will show potential employers that what you did worked and helped the company grow, that you were beneficial to your previous employers so you will be for the next one.
Show off your IT skills
A study showed that the UK is rather backwards when it comes to digital and IT skills. Thus, if you have some, write them down. These skills are valued and highly sought for. Even if they are not part of the job requirements, it is still good to have them. It shows that you go the extra mile and are willing to get more skills. Microsoft Office is essential and must be in your resume. You can also include coding skills (SQL, UNIX, HTML), editing software (iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Suite) and online software (PicMonkey, Canva, Prezi, WordPress).
Keep it short
No more than two pages. When you are straight out of university or have very little work experience, you don’t need to try and make your CV as long as possible. Give the essential information and key performance indicators of your previous jobs or internships. When it comes to your education, listing all your classes/modules is not necessary. Your degree and the most important qualifications for the job you are applying for. If you have studied abroad, put it on your resume because it is really valued by employers.
Be proud of your hobbies & volunteering
If you are a blogger, we highly advise you to indicate it in your work experience. We know people are usually reluctant to say they are bloggers because of all the clichés on the industry, but really, you should not be ashamed. Blogging is a full-time job and teaches so much: social media, content creation, planning and scheduling, copywriting, digital marketing, ads, editing, organization, photography, coding, etc. So many skills that are super useful in today’s world! Be proud! You might land a job just for it!
Same goes for other hobbies. Telling the employer that you have been taking ballet classes for 10 years or that you have been in a basketball team for 5 years is like saying that you are someone who is determined, hard-working, a good team member and shows you like a challenge. The hobbies and interests we have say a lot of us. Even if your favourite thing to do is cosy up and read in your bed, saying you’re a bookworm will be a positive show for prospective employers.
Ask for feedback
If you feel a little unsecure, which is normal, send you CV to friends, family, former teachers, formers employers and ask for their feedback. It is important to know what people think of your new CV, but don’t just ask one person, try asking a few people so you get at least 5 different points of view. If they all come back with positive feedback, it’s time to send your CV!
Now you know everything you need to write a great resume! But keep in mind that confidence is key. If you are confident, your resume will show that, and that’s what employers are looking for. Don’t forget that you know better than anybody who you are and what you are worth. Now it’s time to show others.