Contrary to popular beliefs that a long resume is not a good idea, we think that it is a more successful strategy than writing a short CV. The copy-paste approach is an extremely bad maneuver. Do you know how tiresome and time consuming it is for recruiters/employers to read short CVs with almost no useful information about the applicants? Can you imagine what it feels like to read one and the same page of a book over 100 times? Please, have mercy on them!
Write your resume as if you are a thriller author: unfold the story of your professional life; make the audience keep reading – and the length will not matter.
However, before you begin to write your resume, first you should decide what your dream job would be. You can read how to do it in our previous post.
When you are ready, you can move to the next step, namely:
Tailor your CV to the job(s) you are looking for!
Begin with a short general professional summary. If you have changed many hats in your professional life, choose only those which suit your dream job. Then for each position you have listed in your resume, add a summary of your accomplishments, main responsibilities and major clients of the respective company (the last one is optional).
Be careful this is an extremely important part of your resume. Here you need to include eye-catchers in order to arouse readers’ interest. Add the areas you are experienced in: While working for …, I gained experience in …. Then continue with your skills: I build and maintain strong relationships with both clients/partners and team members. Key words like passion and enthusiasm would help recruiters/employers to form an opinion on your personality and favorite activities. Explain whether you are passionate about writing, working with people, computers, etc. The summary can be 2-3 paragraphs long.
Summary of Accomplishments
In this part of your resume, give more detailed information about how you contributed to the growth of the company you worked for. Be specific and, if possible, quote figures:
I boosted sales by …%
I increased company’s profit by introducing an innovative approach …;
My article was published in ……..
I improved company’s work processes by adopting ……
In this section, you can use bullets to enlist the responsibilities you had in a particular company. Pay special attention to those that are relevant to the job you are looking for.
If you insist to add your skills to your resume, have in mind that they mirror the skills of 90% of the applicants. Therefore, it is a good idea to give a proof of your skills somewhere else in your resume. Avoid just listing your skills and abilities: a self-starter, multitasking abilities, prioritizing skills. You know why! Everybody is a great self-starter, excellent multi-tasker and a tremendous prioritizer on paper. A more successful approach would be to give illustrative examples for these skills in your professional summary:
For each position I have held, I have undertaken more tasks than I have been assigned – tasks that have fallen within the scope of my competences and responsibilities as well as tasks which have required the acquisition of new skills and knowledge.
As a freelancer for so many years, I have become a first-rate self-starter. I have learnt how to plan and manage my time and be more flexible – by combining a full-time job with freelance services and, what is more important, to keep clients and employers satisfied with my performance.
Skip all the redundant information such as: I am proficient in Microsoft Office. It is self-evident when your CV has a “.doc” extension. If you want to show that you are an expert, you can write:
During my employment at ….., I prepared PowerPoint presentations for sales trainings wherein I gave a lot of illustrative examples in order to capture my audience.”
When you are ready, you can move to the next step.
Translate your CV into the language of your potential employer!
There are two strategies you can use here. If you have targeted a particular company and/or a vacancy, then you have to tailor your resume to their specific needs and requirements. Carefully read the job ad you are interested in. Take into consideration even the smallest details: industry, company, mode of address (formal or informal, serious or humorous) in the job ad, position description, requirements to applicants. If necessary, edit your resume by adding or deleting information or translating it into the language of your potential employer. If the add is written with a sense of humor, you can also add a touch of humor in you resume.
If you decide to broaden your job search and apply for more positions in various industries, then you can either stick to the initial version of your resume or write its witty version. Then send it to as many job advertisements as possible. Even to those you are a 50% match. Do not make assumptions about what potential employers would think. Let them judge whether they need you.
However, keep in mind that there is a fine line between humor and ridicule and you should be very careful not to overstep it. For example,
I become a master of self-discipline and learnt to deftly juggle with priorities when I was appointed ….. Since the workload did not mach my potential and did not gratify my need to be constantly busy, I gladly volunteered to take on my shoulders the responsibilities of ….. Then I understood the true meaning of the frequently used word creativity. To overcome a fundamental difficulty, I needed two things: a positive attitude and an innovative approach.
I am a great multi-tasker. Right now, I am writing a cover letter, checking my resume for mistakes, listening to Bruce Lipton, trying to find more information about quantum physics for future reading and talking to my husband over the phone. Of course, I have priorities. My first one is the cover letter because if I am not meticulous in my writing, how anybody would take me seriously. My second priority is my phone conversation because my husband may tell me something important this time, not the usual: “Hi, what’s up?” I put on third place Bruce Lipton’s presentation (I highly recommend him to you; this guy may turn your views about life upside down). And my Internet search is last. Eventually, I will have plenty of time to do it if I don’t get this job.
Furthermore, I significantly improved my communication skills when my child was born. You will get a clue of how I did it if you try to engage an infant in a rational conversation, reason with him and understand his viewpoint.
The second example sounds funny, but it would look ridiculous in your resume or cover letter, unless you want to become a creative writer.
Test your CV
When your resume is ready, put yourself into your readers’ shoes. Read your resume and give it to your friends and relatives to read it and ask for their feedback. After that apply to job ads for vacancies in which you are not interested or for which you are overqualified and analyze the results. Then you can make changes in your resume, if necessary.
Be patient and do not expect immediate results. It is not always easy to find your dream job. Sometimes it takes longer. Maybe the right job or the employer looking for somebody like you has not appeared yet.
And last but not least, have fun while you are preparing your resume and just take it lean!
If you want personal or professional advice, to share your opinion or experience or just feel like chatting with somebody on the topic, leave us a message in our blog or write us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org