For the past few months I have had the opportunity to share advice with many friends and Clients connected to preparing their CV (curriculum vitae)/resume.
One thing that always surprises me is how many people, regardless of their experience or position in an organization, do not have a clear understanding of what a CV/resume really is.
Time and time again I find myself reading what I call a “job description”. A piece of paper in which people describe all the different tasks and activities they are or were responsible for. As a result, most of the CV/resumes look like a boring essay. Full of long sentences, sophisticated terminology and not relevant information.
A CV/resume should be treated as a tool. A tool which main purpose is simply to get you a job interview.
In order to fulfill its purpose, the CV/resume must catch the attention of the reader. It must make the person want to read more and get curious and interested on getting to know more details about you. It has to be clear, easy to read and most important: memorable.
How to do that? Simple. Focus on value. When preparing your CV/resume, you should stop describing minor details and rather focus on showing why they cannot afford to lose the opportunity to get to know you. Show how much value-added you have offered to your previous and current employers. Focus on sharing your major achievements. Describe the impact you had in the organization, if possible in clear and measurable terms.
So for example, instead of something like:
Responsible for managing a team of sales representatives …
Responsible for preparing the sales plan and meeting with clients …
(By the way, these sentences mentioned above come from an actual CV)
Better write something like:
Increased revenue by X% ….
Increased sales per customer by …
Improved customer retention levels by …
Achieved a X% increase of sales conversion and a X% increase in average order size ….
That is value.
And remember. You have a very limited space to get the attention of the reader. Use it wisely. Keep it clear, simple, concise and focus on value.