A well-written CV is a marketing piece, a sales tactic, an interview guide and even a salary negotiation tool for candidates. Strategic positioning and concise presentation are important for resume writing in the job-hunting process.
“Your CV must sell you in your absence,” comments Peter Hill, principal consultant, P.H.I. Consulting, a Shanghai-based career management firm.
The most common mistake is presenting your CV as a bland list of company names, position titles, and responsibilities, which fail to distinguish it from the competition, says Hill.
Candidates assume that employers will take time to figure out what makes them unique, but in reality, they don’t. “Most CVs get a 10 to 15-second visual scan at the first time around,” he adds.
To make your resume stand out, Hill suggests creating a compelling summary section at the top of the CV, or including “unique accomplishment” statements about your contribution to the success of past employers.
Alistair Ramsbottom, managing director of recruitment firm The Blacklock Group says a CV should highlight “your ability to perform well and excel in your previous and current roles, proving you are capable of managing and exceeding expectations thus qualifying you for promotion and moving your career forward.”
A concise format is important for displaying information in a manner which draws an employer’s attention to your achievements. Numerical values can be included if appropriate. Ramsbottom suggests candidates use bullet points and avoid unnecessarily long paragraphs which might make viewers lose attention.
Being specific also helps make a stronger impression on future employers. “Highlighting some major-projects experience is quite essential. If it’s a sales related role, please go with the figures, such as rough client details and sales volume. If the project involved a team, please identify the contribution the candidate personally made,” says one experienced headhunter, who asked not to be named.
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