Placing all of your life’s work on a single sheet of A4 paper can be scary indeed, but don’t look at it that way. With the onset of the 21st century, most employers have stopped looking at CVs as a sort of resume and now view them more as short summaries of your overall skills and experience. They’re more interested in discovering whether you’re compatible with the position in question and they want to take the shortest route possible to get there. You’d be surprised just how many of them scroll through CVs on small devices while they’re on the go, and doing something else at the same time, as in this fast-paced lifestyle nobody has the time to sit around and read CVs all day. So, stop worrying, and let’s get straight down to business and bring that CV of yours into the 21st century.
1. Machines are out to get you
Yes, they’re very much out there, but before you think I’ve totally gone bananas on you, hear me out. A lot of employers are using sophisticated bots nowadays to scan through CVs in search of relevant keywords to filter their selection of possible candidates. For this reason, you want to avoid making generic CVs, not just because of originality’s sake, but because you won’t get past this check otherwise. You want to catch the bots attention by implementing keywords that are relevant for that particular job description. Also, adding a small personal touch to it will customize it even further, allowing you to stay clear of those pesky bots. In addition, you want to optimize your CV for mobile phones and tablets as, in the 21st century, they’re the go-to devices for business-people, laptops and PCs are so last century. Hence, always check how your CV looks on your hand-held devices before you send them on their journey.
2. Eye-catching design
Once the bots have given you their blessing, it’s time to please the human eye as well. Although employers are mostly interested in the content of your CV, they won’t even pay attention to it if it’s dull or badly formatted. Times New Roman, more like Times Old Roman, is extremely outdated, so use a non-default font that’s not completely over-the-top to your advantage. Add some life to your CV by using impactful colors to draw more attention to your key points and structure them with bullets to make them neat and organized. Remember, on average, you have around six seconds to grab your employer’s attention. This is why in Australia a lot of young job seekers have gone the extra mile and are now making cool visual displays of their CVs in either the graphic or the video formats. Video CVs are great because you get to show off your amazing personality straight away, something you’d otherwise only be able to do so in the interview phase. For this reason, many of them are attending interactive presentation skills training in Melbourne, and other major cities, to hone their skills for both the video CV and the interview that is to follow.
3. Don’t overuse the bullet points
Bullet points in resumes are only there to highlight some key information or accomplishments of yours. So, make sure to use them of that purpose only. Otherwise, it will look like you are trying to highlight everything and draw attention to yourself too much, which can have a contradictory effect. Moreover, if you use bullets too much, you will leave an impression of being lazy and lacking effort to properly prepare your resume. Long story short, you should divide your CV into small paragraphs where you will describe and discuss your duties, and only use two to three bullets to point out your accomplishments that matter.
4. Keeping it relevant
Tailor every CV you make for that particular job description and keep it relevant. It’s not about the quantity but the quality of your resume that counts, so make it non-descriptive and to the point. Senior executives often dump the reviewing process down to the managers below due to a lack of time. As a result, these managers are overloaded with additional tasks and are not interested in reading whether you’re more of a dog person or a cat person and that you have a black belt in karate. Leave such details for the job interview and omit them from your CV completely. Another reason you shouldn’t add unnecessary personal info, such as your street name or number, is because of security reasons. There are a lot of scammers and identity thieves on the internet so be mindful of that as well. In addition, you don’t want to give outdated info such as a job you held ten or twenty years prior that might not be relevant for today’s market. Likewise, your employers won’t find your experience with obsolete tech useful at all, so don’t write about that either. In such cases though, focus on the metrics and specifics to back your skills up. For example, how much have sales increased during your time at that position and so on.
5. Don’t talk about your interests
There is a constant debate whether you should include your interests and hobbies in your resume. However, when you think about it, employees are rarely interested in your interests; they mainly focus on your strengths and qualities. So, instead of wasting hours on building a major resume, you can fit it on 2 pages and only include the key points and accomplishments of yours; don’t waste that space on your yoga practice, pets and similar.
6. Social media profiles
Let’s be honest, we’re all well aware that our employers do this sooner or later, so you may as well send them links to your profiles now and save them the trouble. What’s more you want to purge your profiles of unwanted data and keep them nice and updated. Improve your profile’s security and privacy options to hide the things you don’t want seen, but at the same time tease them with just enough to get them interested. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are useful for employers but platforms such as LinkedIn are even better due to reviews and other features that tell them more about your working ethics and experiences, so focus your attention on that one in particular if you get the chance.
In conclusion, modern CVs are quite different from the ones of old. Be up to date with the current trends and impress your employer in no time.