Read this article and take 20 minutes to apply these tips to your own resume and cover letter when you have finished.
A couple of months ago I started helping friends revamp their CVs and LinkedIn profiles. 80% of them got a job they wanted right after the revamp. I didn’t do anything except advise them with a bit of targeted messaging, and highlights in their achievements. After revamping their CV, I told them how to go about applying it on LinkedIn.
Here are the 3 quick tips that you should keep in mind when you’re revamping your CV:
With each of your Jobs in the Experiences section, write what you were hired to do with first sentence. Not more than that — use Twitter’s 140 character template if you have to. The rest of that space should be used to describe what you have brought into the organisation or how you’ve changed things.
I’ve seen so many resumes when I have to recruit people, and all they have is job descriptions. As someone who makes hiring decisions, I’m not interested in job descriptions. I’m interested in what the person has done. That includes how the person has helped the business do better. When you’re revamping your CV, go back to each of the jobs you’re writing down and list out what you have changed that made the business better, what did you achieve? What was your value add to the organisation?
For those of you who have been in one company for a long time or have played multiple roles, list them out so it comes out clear that you’ve progressed on the corporate ladder. What have you achieved at each of the rungs or designations? How have you leveraged your previous experience(s) to help the organisation in the next position you were posted? Highlight how your leadership or technical skills, or creativity solved business problems. Then back it up with numbers i.e. how much more revenue you brought in, or how much less time an operation took after you’ve streamlined it.
“Power Vocabulary” are the words that is going to make your achievements stand out. They’re not just regular verbs but verbs that are powerful and effective that’ll help your resume or CV to be noticed by the recruiter. (Sadly, in India, it’s still the first year HR executive that’s going to first take a look at your resume. But you need to make the word count for all those who are reading.) Power keywords help you ‘pop’ out from the rest of the crowd.
Use role specific or industry specific keywords throughout your CV or resume because when you copy paste the information, it’s going to help you get in search results of those who are looking for expertise in your industry. If you’re into operations, make sure you put in the word “operations” and the industry specific word like ‘finance’ or ‘collections’ or ‘mutual funds’.
You can check out this site called Resume Toolbox to help you get the right power vocab.
Once you’re done with the paper revamp of your resume, put it all on LinkedIn. There are people like me who’ve stopped carrying CVs or resumes around but it’s still necessary. Having the right CV will help you put the right words into your LinkedIn profile. If you update your Facebook profile, make sure you’re using the same copy so someone researching you can see the consistency. Use the same copy on Naukri or Monster if you have profiles there. These sites algorithms will churn out the best results for you because your CV already has the right keywords.
It goes the same on Facebook. Besides a couple well known apps on Facebook that recruiters are using, there are rumours that Facebook itself is going to launch their own recruiting/job portal app. If you’re not getting the right postings from these sites, you need to review the profile, and make sure you’re putting in the right designation (what the industry used not the fancy one your start up gig gave you), location, and industry information.
After you’re done you’re your CV, make sure you get the revamped resume checked by a trusted friend or an ex-colleague who will give you the right honest feedback. Even if you’re copy pasted your CV on LinkedIn, you still should get a friend to check the profile so you don’t miss out on typos.