We don’t have time these days to do more than glance through stuff and when we do glance through them, we prefer concise and essential information only. After all, information overload is a real problem in the modern age of digital everything. In the first of a series of articles we’re constructing on finding and enjoying the right job, we’re starting from the basics: your resume.
One thing we’ve noticed over the years is a tendency to want to pad our books to make it look like we know more than we really do, or have done more than we’ve actually experienced. It’s incredibly frustrating. Here are a few rules when it comes to actually writing your CV, whether you’re a veteran or a first-timer.
Keep it SHORT
The temptation to offer a 12-page thesis on anything and everything you’ve ever done in your life, with addendums, bibliographies and references is always there. RESIST it, like how Rey resisted Kylo Ren when he captured her. Keep it short and sweet. If Elon Musk can keep his CV to pretty much a one-liner, we’re sure your accomplishments can be limited to a page of expressiveness.
Structure it Properly
The temptation is always to define yourself by your work. Try to avoid it, and instead apply the standard format of newspaper writing to your introduction in your CV. Convey who you are, what is your interest in this role, how are you able to handle the role, and why you would be a good fit. When and where can come later. Introduce yourself properly, instead of outlining your study and work experiences only in numbered or bulleted lists. You’re not a supermarket checklist. Define yourself.
Fit the Resume to the Job
Sure, it’s a busy world and you have to send about 12,000 resumes out before lunch. And you’re basically just chucking out emails with cover letters, changing the names of the companies and hitting ‘Send’. That makes for compelling reads. Instead of trying to spam the world with your resume, try personalising your references in your resume to the role you’re applying for. Applying for a design job in an agency may entail different experiences compared with a job as a writer.
Suggest why you would be a good fit
It’s not just experience employers are looking for; in fact, that is usually the last thing on our minds, unless it’s a job for a specialised role. More often, it’s the attitude that matters. Knowledge can be imparted, but only to people who are eager and interested to pick it up. Showing us you’re proactive in thinking how this job will not only benefit you, but us as well, demonstrates that.
It’s OK to have no job experience
OK, this is debatable, but in our opinions, telling me you’ve done (insert random job here) is worse than just telling me you have no experience working at all. Instead, tell me about your extra-curricular activities, whether it’s caring for a younger sibling, teaching soccer to underprivileged kids, or even caring for your grandparents. Whatever works. Make it useful and insightful. It helps if you have a good music list, movie list or reading list. And by good, I don’t mean the same as me, but just consistent and in good taste. Inconsistency reeks of indecisiveness.
P.S. Main image is from kindakind.com.