Minority job applicants are whitening their resumes by deleting references to their race with the hope of boosting their shot at jobs, and the strategy is paying off. In fact, companies are more than twice as likely to call minority applicants for interviews if they submit whitened resumes than candidates who reveal their race—and this discriminatory practice is just as strong for businesses that claim to value diversity as those that don’t.
A bias against minorities runs rampant through the resume screening process at companies throughout the United States. Discrimination still exists in the workplace. Organizations now have an opportunity to recognize this issue as a pinch point, so they can do something about it.
When an employer says it values diversity in its job posting by including words like equal opportunity employer or minorities are strongly encouraged to apply, many minority applicants get the false impression that it’s safe to reveal their race on their resumes—only to be rejected later.
You are at an even greater risk for discrimination when applying with a pro-diversity employer because you’re being more transparent. Those companies have the same rate of discrimination, which makes you more vulnerable when you expose yourself to those companies.
These organizations are not necessarily all talk when they say they’re pro-diversity. Maybe the diversity values are there, but they just haven’t been translated from the person who writes the job ad to the person who is screening resumes.
It’s time for employers to acknowledge that bias is hardwired into the hiring system and that prejudice is clouding the screening of qualified applicants. Business leaders should start by taking a closer look at their resume screening processes. Blind recruitment is one possible solution, where information about race, age, gender, or social class are removed from resumes before hiring managers see them.
Companies can also perform regular checks for discrimination in the screening process, for example by measuring how many minorities applied for a position and comparing that with the percentage of those applicants who made the first cut. Organizations can now see very clearly that this is why they are not meeting their diversity goals. They can’t just put a message on recruitment ads and be done. They need to follow through with a clear structure and staff training. They need to make goals and then continually evaluate the outcome in order to meet those goals.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.