Recently, I had the immense pleasure to go through several hundreds of CVs. I threw 95% of them to trash. Are you wondering how to get in the lucky 5%? Read on and follow the simple tips:
1. Keep it short
Your resume should fit on one page; two pages at maximum. If it's longer, it's not a sign of your overqualification but rather of the lack of communication skills.
2. Leave out irrelevant and obvious experience
Spare your future employer the details about your part-time jobs at school, unless, of course, it's the only experience you have. It really doesn't help if you tell me how delicious burgers you were preparing at McDonald's or how many graves you dug (true story btw).
If you really feel the urge to share such things somewhere, do it on LinkedIn.
If you are applying for a job in IT and include Word or Excel in your resume, congratulations, you've just ruled out yourself… Unless you are an Excel guru who can craft a multi-sheet tax calculation form.
Are you tempted to add "10 years experience in XML"? Perish the thought!
3. Don't try to fool the recipient
Do not try to name every technology you've ever come across…list things that you specialize in. I've seen elaborate tables and charts indicating how many years and months of experience a candidate has in each programming language.
Frankly, the numbers don't tell me much. I need to see you think and code.
Write honestly what kind of projects you've worked on, what was your contribution and please, be brief.
The fewer graphics, the better
Using pie charts, progress bars, or other sophisticated visuals to indicate the level of your skills is a big NO-NO. With the exception of people applying for a graphic designer or BI analyst jobs. Remember, it's a resume - not an infographic.
4. Make it personal
Do not broadcast your CV. By broadcasting a CV you are basically saying "I don't care where I will work. I don't want to excel in anything, I just want your money for whatever I'll be doing."
It shows a lack of motivation and disrespect to people reading your CV. You are wasting everybody's time.
Do proper research and craft a resume to fit the few carefully chosen potential employers.
5. Attach a cover letter when it makes sense
Are you moving to a different tech stack? Are you changing roles or field of expertise completely? Attach a cover letter and explain your motivation.
It's that simple. The less information you include and the fewer companies you address, the higher is the chance of you getting hired! Isn't that great? :D
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