What do employers look for in a CV?
Speaking honestly: Writing a resume can be a real drag.
Updating an existing one however, can be downright painful. If you are reading this, chances are you are looking at greener pastures and about to embark on a new adventure.
Well, here’s the good news: learning how to transform your outdated resume can give your job search new purpose, solidify your status as a top-notch candidate, and ultimately increase your chances of a new job. In not so many words, it’s a game changer.
After enduring a frantic 48 hour crash course in resume writing… Here are 4 tips I can share with you that aim to transform your outdated CV into a concise and to the point document, without it losing any of its power.
- Understand what is important
First and foremost, it is important to spend some time researching your potential employers. It is important to search through a wide array of job adverts in your target field (e.g. finance) and list down commonly reoccurring requirements in terms of qualifications, skills and knowledge.
This will allow you to understand what you most in-demand skills are and which skills you should not include in your CV. This process will give you a better understanding of what specific employers are looking for in a potential employee and put you in a position to adapt your CV accordingly.
- The devil is in too much detail
Did you know that recruiters nowadays allocate approximately six seconds to scan a resume? Your CV is a selling document that must sell you in these six seconds and create instant interest with the reader.
A common mistake is to include too much detail for dated roles creating an overly lengthy CV. While recruiters are interested in past experience, they will spend the majority of time scrutinising your current and recent roles, as opposed to work you did ten to fifteen years ago.
For dated unrelated roles, shorten them down to give the reader an idea of your background and career but not every explicit detail of the role.
- Cut the fat
After understanding who you are gearing your resume towards and what skills are most relevant to display on your CV, you can begin cutting out some of the less relevant details. Search through your job descriptions, education and remove anything that may be excess.
For example, will that PADI diving qualification you did 8 years ago really help you secure an interview for a finance role? If you are overly concerned with completely cutting out information you most likely will be able to shorten it down to save on prime real estate.
- This is not creative writing: Write Succinctly
Rambling, stuffy sentences can easily add pages and pages onto your resume. Avoid the use of filler words (so, very, really etc.) and personal pro nouns (I did, I was etc.) to reduce your bullet points to one line or less.
For example, instead of:
“I was positioned at the forefront of the very largest team within the company to provide them with strategic oversight and created a total sales of 700 units for every month of the trading year”.
You could reduce this sentence and strengthen the message by writing:
“Lead largest team in company to deliver 700-unit sales per month.”
Keeping your statements succinct in nature will not only save valuable space on your CV but will also make your messages stand out and more impactful.
If you find yourself not receiving any call backs for job interviews, this may be due to a lengthy outdated CV. Ideally you should make your CV a maximum of two pages in length to attract and hold the attention of whoever is reading your it.
If you want a FREE CV Health-check, follow us on Facebook tag a friend and send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries before 28th September are in the running to win a career coaching package with Accelus Founder,Phebe Cho.
Written by Jonathan Baek