5 essential top tips for a great CV or resume

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Whenever you create or update your CV or resume there are five essential points you should always consider:

1. You are trying to make it easy for the recruiter to read. So structure your CV/resume with sections, headings and bullets that guide the reader’s eyes to the parts you want them to notice.

2. Highlight relevant skills and qualifications by creating a key skills section, putting them in bold or making sure they are at the top of a section.

3. Use keywords strategically throughout your CV or resume so recruiters can easily match up what’s in the job description or on their website with what you’ve written. It also means you are more likely to be picked up by any online screening tools.

4. Separate out your responsibilities or duties and your achievements or accomplishments. The latter demonstrates what you are really made of, how you have performed and what you made happen. The former just tells them what was expected of you. Where and how did you add value?

5. Finally, back up what you say with facts where you can. Recruiters are looking for something they can quantify, so when you’re writing about your achievements include time frames, percentages and monetary values.

Example 1: As part of xxx team, which did xxx, that led to x% increase in revenue or x% reduction in costs.

Example 2: Managed a team of xxx in doing xxx that led to an increase of £x/$x in xxx months.

As a graduate you may find this trickier but consider, for example: how training you helped to implement improved customer satisfaction; how publicity you generated increased readership or membership or number of listeners; how your process improvements increased takings.

Try to boil each of your achievements down to one simple but powerful and convincing statement.

When you think you’ve finished, always put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and think: is it easy to pick out my best bits? Do I come across as a professional/organised person? Is the content relevant to the role? Have I backed up everything I claim? In short, do I believe what I’ve written? If you’re so pleased with what you’ve written that you can’t be objective, or so relieved you’ve done it you can’t be bothered, ask a friend to read it and tell you what stands out.

Source: HN Global