In today’s tight labor market producing a solid resume, is a skill we should all have. How do you get your CV noticed? As an oft hiring manager, I look for certain attributes, & these are some of the items you might want to consider. Here it is, for FREE; what does the hiring manager really look for?
- Make sure your Name is displayed along with an email and/or a phone number. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have seen resumes with no first name (just an initial) or had no way of contacting the applicant even if I had wanted to. If you have a hard to pronounce name, don’t worry, I am professional enough to ask you when we meet, if I am saying it correctly. If you are a Robert, but like to be called Bob, let me know that too. It’s your Name Bob; Use it!
- Objectives are for your co-applicants, who don’t know how to write a resume! You don’t need an objective, I know your objective; you want to work with us! The more up to date resumes include Key Performance Achievements, Highlights & Project Accomplishments, double points if you feature something great about yourself near the top! That will keep me reading.
- Avoid fluffy, colored, overly used, templated resumes. Clean, concise and to the point. I don’t need or want to see a big fancy font, with colors and textures down the side of the page. That is actually a big distraction. Keep it simple and professional. Use a nice simple font at a reasonable size, space out your sections, and get to the key points. I am busy; the quicker I can analyze your CV the faster I can call you to set up a meeting!
- Don’t include a picture. Some countries actually require this on a resume. In Canada, our human rights are always a factor (hiring managers should hire on merit), and honestly I don’t care what you look like! But some hiring managers could, and let’s be honest, it could be a negative influencer.
- Be Honest. Be Accurate. I am going to check your references, Google you, look you up on LinkedIn and Facebook. I am going to ask everyone I know in my industry about you, I am going to do my homework. Just be clear, highlight your achievements and be historically correct in your content. And speaking of social media; make sure when you are in the application process, clean yours up! I don’t care how you spend your off-time, but there are certain things that your perspective manager just doesn’t need to know about.
- Proofread! I cannot stress this enough. Every hiring manager I have ever talked to (me included) says their biggest pet peeve is spelling and grammatical errors on a CV. I would forgive a cover letter addressing me as “Sir” if the spelling and grammar were perfect! It really says to me that you have taken the time to get it right. I know you will give your job the same consideration. Everyone has access to one friend who can proof & edit, and spellchecker is included in your word processor. Put in the effort, you will see the benefit.
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© Copyright Nikki Biehn – Alberta Building Careers 2015