SMART CV RULES

What Recruiters Should Look for in a Resume Infographic

Recruiters have an eagle eye for resumes. If you are planning to go job hunting soon, there are several things to include in your resume before hitting the send button. By knowing these information, It can increase your chances in landing an interview or if you are lucky the job itself. Did you know that almost 90% of resumes are submitted online? It only proves that nowadays hiring talents are being done online. The process of job application have become easier and faster.

Although this is the case there is a downside and that is recruiters are more meticulous on this matter. The main goal is to be a stand out from the rest. 

Prepare necessary details

First things first, you have to prepare a handy list of the specific objectives you’re looking for in a candidate. This depends per job position and industry.

  • Job description – Take note of the specific job description and requirements needed for the position.
  • Must-have skills –Prepare a list of important skills required for the position. These should be aligned with the job description.
  • Must-have experience – Make a list of specific and relevant work experience and estimated number of years since some job positions require specific years and work background to pass.
  • Skills, achievements and work values – Create your list of important skills, achievements, and work values needed for the job position to help you screen quickly and cautiously.

Study the entire resume

Once you have your screening essentials, it’s now time to get to business and thoroughly assess a resume. After a quick screen, by now, you should be down to half of the total number of applications after separating the qualified profiles from the unqualified.

  • Correct spelling and grammar – A resume with no spelling and grammatical errors show that a candidate proofread his application and assures that he is well-versed for the job position he’s applying for.
  • Qualifications – Should contain the applicant’s educational background, work experience, achievements, skills, and competencies. You can get to know the candidate through this section and assess whether he’s suitable for the job.
  • Presentation and formatting – Covers the resume’s overall readability, look, and content, and should be easily understood and detailed. The presentation depends per work industry. If a candidate is applying for a design-related job, it should show in his resume.
  • Industry keywords – When screening resumes, look for applicable keywords to help ease up the process. If you’re screening for marketing jobs, look for the keywords “sales,” “advertising,” and “PR”; for developer jobs, look for “programming,” “coding,” and “website.”
  • Personality and work values – Aside from a candidate’s qualifications, you must also get to know his personality and work ethics. Most job positions require “can work with a team,” “detail-oriented,” and “fast and continuous learner.”
  • Consistency – Resumes can now be viewed and posted on social media and online job sites as an alternative to email. When screening resumes online, you have to take note of the consistency and uniformity of each uploaded resume.
  • Character/professional references – After evaluating the entire resume, the references are your first-hand witnesses to a candidate’s work performance. You can interview and call these people to know the candidate more.

Watch out for the red flags

Since resumes are a candidate’s main entry to the job table, some vital details and information are often modified and overstated to fit the job position more.

  • Lacks professionalism – Typos, sentence errors, unrelated buzzwords, and poor formatting are among a resume’s red flags. You should also observe the resume and attached job-related materials such as cover letters and the portfolio’s tone and language such that it should be honest, direct, and confident.
  • Employment gaps and shifts – Some employees have done job hopping and a noticeable gap between employments. These are common occurrences in the job market and can be considered as normal, but too many job shifts and time lapses can be a red flag that a candidate might not stay for a long time with your company too.
  • Unspecified job objectives – Most of the time, if a resume has no specific objectives it’s already classified as a red flag. The objective shows a candidate’s interest and contribution to the job position and without it, a candidate may be seen as someone who’s not really up for the job.

Take note of the bonus features

Some resumes tackle more experiences beyond their qualifications and these candidates usually stand out from the rest.

  • Solved work problems – How a candidate solved problems and his responsibilities in his previous company.
  • Saved time and costs – How a candidate managed to save both time and money in his previous company.
  •  Contributed revenue – How a candidate acquired sales and profit for the previous company.
  •  Helped people – How a candidate assisted, mentored, and led people on the previous job.
  • Created work – The amount of work a candidate has produced for his previous job.
  • Acquired awards and recognition – How a candidate gained awards and recognition in his previous job.

Writing a CV can be tough, so it pays to know exactly what recruiters and employers expect from candidates. Here are five essential CV writing rules to ensure your CV makes a winning impression and carries you through to interview stage.

  1. Give your CV a narrow focus

The number one rule of CV writing is to target your CV specifically towards one industry or role type. Trying to impress everyone with a broad CV will weaken the appeal of your CV to your target employers.

  • Target a specific role type with your CV
  • Research the role requirements thoroughly
  • Only include highly relevant skills and knowledge
  1. Make an instant impact

With recruiters often receiving hundreds of applications for every job vacancy, you have to ensure that your CV grabs their attention quickly.

  • Head your CV up with a punchy profile
  • Use bullet pointed Core Skills list to give recruiters a snapshot of your offerings
  • Tailor your CV to the jobs you are applying for
  1. Be flawless

In today’s job market, it’s not enough to have an OK CV, you need to have an exceptional CV if you want secure the job interviews you want. Just one mistake can cause recruiters to doubt your credibility.

  • Use professional language throughout your CV
  • Triple check your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Don’t use a nickname email address
  1. Prove your value

Employers love to see the return on in investment they can expect to see from a candidate, so show them directly with your CV.

  • Add key achievements to demonstrate your impact on employers
  • Use plenty of facts and figures to quantify your value
  1. Make reading easy

Making your CV easy to read will keep readers happy and allow them to quickly pick out the information they need.

  • Use a clean and simple font
  • Avoid using big chunks of text
  • Use bullet points in your roles

When writing your CV, the content is obviously very important, but fewer things are more important than the verbs you choose to include. Verbs are words that are used to describe actions, so it’s crucial that you include powerful verbs that accurately describe your actions in the workplace and demonstrate the impact they have on employers. There are ten most effective CV writing verbs, so try to use as many as you can when writing your own CV if you want to clearly explain your value to employers.

Some important verbs include:

Managed

Management skills are crucial in the workplace but are not just limited to people management. They also include time management, process management and stakeholder management. So to include the term managed in your CV, shows recruiters that you have control over your responsibilities and are able to drive the results that your employer needs.

Improved

Businesses are always looking to make improvements, so if you can drive positive change within an organisation then include it on your CV. If you’re an employee who can be brought on board to drive positive change within an organisation, you will be invaluable to an employer.

Reduced

Reduction is often perceived as a negative term, but there are plenty of positive ways to implement reductions in a business. Reducing company spending or resource use in particular is hugely beneficial to an employer. So if you have been involved in any cost or time saving activities, then get them in to your CV.

Negotiated

Negotiation is often considered a sales tool but it can also be used to gain better deals from suppliers and greater budgets for projects etc.

Planned

Planning is the backbone of success, so it’s vital to show employers that you are capable of methodical and effective planning. Your CV should contain solid examples of how you have created work plans and directed them through to completion in order to achieve your employers’ goals.

Supported

Most business exist to solve problems and help others, so being capable of support is hugely valuable. Whether you support your clients, line manager or team members – ensure that your CV shows how your actions benefit those who you interact with.

Influenced

From influencing potential customers to believe in a new product, to influencing senior staff to provide resources for a key project – the power of influence is always in high demand. If you have been able to use your influence to the benefit of previous employers, then detail it in your CV.

Trained

The ability to train others is appreciated by employers for two reasons. Firstly it shows that you have plenty of expertise in your field along with the gravitas and communication skills to deliver training sessions. Secondly, staff are a business’s most valuable asset, so anybody who can be relied upon to further strengthen a team will always be of benefit.

Resolved

Businesses face problems every day that need to be resolved. So it stands to reason that if you can prove your ability to resolve issues, you will impress recruiters with your CV. So whether you are resolving client complaints or internal work process problems, use your CV to explain how you can identify and resolve issues to ensure the smooth running of your employers’ business.

Presented

Public speaking of any kind can be a daunting task but it’s a hugely valuable skill for any employee to have. From presenting findings of research to an internal stakeholder, to presenting a new product to a crowd of potential customers; presentation is necessary across most businesses. If you’ve got any presentation experience at all, ensure that you include it in your CV if you want to make an impression.

When writing your CV as a project manager it’s important to show employers how you can deliver a project from inception to completion and describe the impact of your work. Although every project manager’s CV will be unique, there are certain skills that are essential to all project managers.

1. Scheduling

Effective scheduling is crucial to the success of a project, so it’s important to include it in your CV. Demonstrate your ability to plan and arrange activities to be completed in time with project expectations.

2. Cost control

In order for a project to be delivered within budget, cost control is vital. When writing your CV ensure that you include the budgets you manage, optimal allocation of spending and cost effective vendor relationships

3. Risk management

Every project faces risks that have the potential to derail it’s success. A strong project manager’s CV should give solid examples of controlling risk to show project sponsors that you are able limit their effects.

4. Leadership

If you’re going to lead a project through to successful delivery, it stands to reason that you should posses sound leadership skills. Use your CV to detail the teams you manage and how you drive them towards deliverables.

5. Methodologies

Methodologies are rigorous systems of methods which are used to keep projects on track and drive them forward. Whether you utilise Prince2, Agile or any other methodology, employers need to know your experience, knowledge and qualifications in those areas.

6. Business case writing

Justifying project initiation, spending and resource allocation often requires a strong and coherent business case. The ability to write or at lease contribute to a business case is therefore a valuable skill for your CV.

7. Delivery

The ultimate measure of success for a project manager is the results they deliver. Clearly explain the benefits your projects have provided and use figures where possible to quantify your value.

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