Picture this scenario: you have started to look for a new job, you dug out your old CV/resume and you are looking to do a quick update before applying.
Before you start applying for jobs, take a few minutes to think, is that old CV really what is required in today’s market as it lands on that desk with all the others?
Have you thought about your personal brand and how this fits with the company and the role?
If you have not considered targeting and branding, please read on.
Top Ten Tips for Resume Rebranding
Before you can define your brand and create a targeted resume, you need to know who will be reading your resume. If you shoot blind you are more likely to miss the target. Start making a list of companies that you would want to work for, look at their strengths and challenges and then determine how your knowledge and experience can help them to meet those challenges.
In my recruitment job, I see so many people who keep sending the same resume to various jobs requiring completely different expertise and they are then surprised why they are not getting interviews.
2. Focus on your values and your personal brand.
In a competitive workplace, getting your brand and your values right is a must. Your competitors could well be using this method to differentiate themselves. You need to be clear on what unique value you offer. Please contact me on Margaret@interview-coach.co.uk to arrange an intensive Find my Unique Value phone coaching session if this is something you struggle with.
I will help you uncover and communicate the combination of attributes, passions, strengths and qualifications that make you the best candidate for the job.
3. Review your career and write down your personal achievements
This is great preparation for any potential interview and strengthens your CV/resume markedly.
One common mistake I see all the time is that the resumes are very duty oriented. You need to be able to provide specific achievements and show how they’ve impacted the company – how you’ve saved them money, made them money, improved customer satisfaction, improved processes etc.
Now you are ready to write your CV
4. Skip Personal Objective Statements
An employer is primary interested in what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. If you perform well, you will be rewarded once you have got the role, so avoid wasting valuable space in your CV with superfluous statements.
Employers don’t care that you want a ‘challenging position to advance my career’ – who doesn’t? They want to know what you’ll do for them and why you’ll be a good hiring choice.
5. Make your CV eye catching
HR managers and recruiters are busy and often will glance at your CV and will not take time to read it properly.
The top third of your CV is therefore what they see first and therefore you need to focus on making this eye catching with concise and hard hitting statements that encapsulate you and the added value you can give to the position.
Short bulleted statements and quantifiable achievements work well in this section.
6. Format your CV and send it in an incorruptible format
Thank about how you CV looks, is the layout clean and attractive? Are the important statements highlighted?
Ensure that you keep it to a maximum of 3 pages. Avoid densely packed, hard to read information. Shorter chunks of information are easier to read.
Keep the formatting consistent and clean. Don’t use more than 2 different fonts (one for headings, another for content) and use graphic lines sparingly.
Once this has been done, you also need to ensure that it is delivered to the recipient in the same pristine condition.
If you are emailing the CV make sure that you send it as a PDF or Word as this will keep the layout in the way you intended.
If you send it in the post, make sure the paper is of good quality and the CV is folded in a way that will lay flat on the recipient’s table.
Remember that a resume is supposed to get you an interview – you don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done on this document. It needs to incorporate just enough compelling information to generate interest in you. Everything in your resume must be there for a reason. Nothing should be arbitrary. Pare down your content ruthlessly!
7. Typos and Grammar
It should go without saying that typos and errors in grammar are the kiss of death. They may also convey misinformation. Proofread several times and have someone else do it, too. Don’t rely on spellcheck. Make sure your contact information is correct.
8. Keep language clear and jargon free
If your CV uses clear, compelling and result driven language you will stand out from the people using the standard lazy stock phrases.
Keep the content interesting and don’t fall back on dull phases that 99% of other candidates use which don’t differentiate them in the slightest, such as results oriented, visionary leader, excellent communication skills etc.
9. Use Active Verbs
Active and successful people write with robust action verbs.
Use strong words like advanced, drove, spearheaded, accelerated, optimized, streamlined, leveraged, etc.
10. Avoid Repetitive Job Descriptions
CV space is valuable; avoid wasting it with obvious lists of responsibilities in your “Professional Experience” section. Basic duties add nothing to your CV and will not make you stand out. Relevant examples of success however will enhance this section and make you look special. Reinforce your brand by highlighting your relevant keyword phrases linked to specific examples of the value you offered your past employers.
Yes, all of this takes a lot of time. But the work you do, and the content you create, defining your personal brand and developing your resume (and biography and other career documents) around it forms the foundation for all your personal marketing materials, online and offline, and offers many benefits:
- Energizes you with what differentiates your value proposition to your target employers.
- Helps you know how to tell your network how they can help you achieve your career goals.
- Prepares you to speak confidently and knowledgeably about the value you offer.
- Provides a wealth of on-brand information to re-purpose for each of your online profiles and any web pages you create.
- Prepares you to network and interview well.
If you would like to get some help discovering what unique value you bring to the employer so that you get more interviews and job offers, please answer a few questions at http://www.talkwithmargaret.com and I’ll contact you to discuss your situation and whether I might be able to help.
Margaret Buj is an Interview Coach who’s helped hundreds of professionals across Europe and the US to get the jobs and promotions they really wanted. Margaret also has 9 years of experience recruiting for a variety of positions at all levels across Europe and in the US, primarily in technology and e-commerce sectors. If you want to find out how recruiters read resumes, why you are not getting hired, how to sell yourself successfully in a job interview, and how to negotiate your best salary yet, you can download her FREE “You’re HIRED!” video course.