7 Tips To Perfect Your CV

Posted On 5 Sep 2016

7 Tips To Perfect Your CV

5 Sep 2016

Candidate Resource, Interview Tips, News & Events, On The Job, Resume Advice

7 Tips To Perfect Your CV

Your resume is your first opportunity to standout as an amazing candidate and the perfect fit for your dream job. So to help you perfect your CV, potentially the most important document you could ever write, we’ve compiled 7 easy to follow tips. Read on!

Quantify your duties and achievements

Don’t just list your duties. Instead, use a condensed version of the STAR format – Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  • Situation: What was the challenge or situation in which you found yourself?
  • Task: What did you have to achieve?
  • Action: What did you do?
  • Results: What was the outcome of your actions?

This will help recruiters and hiring managers quickly assess your previous position duties and past achievements.

Email your recruiter your master resume, not your target resume

Never hear of a master resume? Check out our blog post What is a master resume and why do you need one? In short, a master resume lists every single role or duty you have ever held professionally while a target resume is a shorter, more focused version of your resume crafted from the mast resume. By emailing your recruiter your master resume, you can ensure that your recruiter gets the full picture of your experience and potential.

Avoid using buzzwords

In 2014, US jobsite CareerBuilder released a survey of recruiters and hiring managers’ thoughts about the worst resume terms people use. According to Rosemary Haefner, VP of Human Resources at CareerBuilder “Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments.”

“Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’; show the employer your actual results.”

Interested in the other terms that made the ‘worst resume terms’ list? Here are the top 10:

  1. Best of breed
  2. Go-getter
  3. Think outside of the box
  4. Synergy
  5. Go-to person
  6. Thought leadership
  7. Value add
  8. Results-driven
  9. Team player
  10. Bottom-line

Skip the career objective

Too often this becomes a fluffy statement that contributes nothing to the resume. In this instance, it is better to leave it out. If you really do want to include a career objective, focus on your progression and keep short and to the point. For example, “after x years in a junior PA role, I am looking to develop my skills in an EA role, with the view to support at C-Suite in the future.”

Don’t forget to list professional development and associations

Your professional accreditations and associations are key indicators of your passion for your career and industry. Always be on the lookout for opportunities for professional development (we recommend the AGSM’s Advanced Management for Executive Assistants and The Growth Faculty’s EA Leadership Forum) and don’t forget to include these in a separate section on your resume.

Include full dates not just years and explain any gaps

When including your experience, start with your current or most recent position and work backwards. Provide a job title, start and finish dates (including both the month and the year), company name and a brief description of what they does. You should also treat each promotion as a separate position.

If you’ve had a lot of jobs or a long career, you might want to summarise this heading such as ‘Previous employers’ or ‘Earlier career’. Most importantly, explain any significant career gaps… Even if you weren’t working, you may have picked up some incredibly valuable skills from other pursuits.

Aim for 2-3 pages max!

If preparing a target resume for an employer, keep your resume to 2-3 pages. Older candidates with extensive work experience you should limit their work history to the last 10 years, and give readers the option to view your earlier career experience by including a line such as “Full resume available upon request.”