December, the most wonderful time of the year. At last, we get to relax and celebrate with loved ones. But, it’s also the time when we evaluate the past year. In our private lives, but also career-wise, we look into all the things we achieved, the ones we are still working on, and all those that have taken a back seat for now.
If you are one of the people who want to take a step forward in their career and change a few things in that field of life you’re in luck. Let’s see what resume makeover tips can you apply to your CV in 2020.
In 2020, is a Traditional Resume “YAY” or “NAY”?
Let’s set the record clear – while the traditional resume might be on its way out, you still need this piece of paper if you want to apply for a job.
To tell the truth, writing a resume has not changed that much over the years. It still needs to include all the basic information about you and serve as a means to make a great first impression on future employers.
But what’s different now, than it was before, regards the evolution of technology and various tools that enable you to stand out from the crowd. So buckle up, pull out your resume and let’s make it one in a million.
Are you ready? Here are a few simple steps, that will enable you to write a jaw-dropping resume. 🙂
1. Set a Goal
Ask yourself where you want to be in a year from now? And what about the next 5 years? Is it getting a better position within the same organization? Changing the organization you work for? What companies are you aiming for? Or maybe you wish to change the career as a whole? These are just some of the questions you need to answer at the very beginning that will help you with the rest of the process.
Crafting a good resume is similar to approaching a business situation. What you do in a situation like that is putting down on paper your mission, vision, strategy and tactics.
A practical example: Let’s say you want to apply for a marketing position within an internationally recognized company. In such a case, the mission, vision, strategy and tactics could be the following:
Vision: To be the part of the highly successful XX company
Mission: To create a demand for hiring you as part of a marketing team of that company or any other company
Strategy: Generate a conversation by associating yourself with a high-value brand
– Showcasing your attributes as a creative, driven and talented professional
– Crafting an outstanding resume followed with a killer cover letter
– Making sure to include your personal website or online portfolio
– Going one step further and creating market research followed by a proposal on future steps
– Reach out to the targeted company via social media platforms
– Reach out to other smaller companies with a good reputation
The most important thing is to set your goals clearly and be truthful to yourself when deciding on your next step. Once you get a clear picture of what it is that you want to change career-wise, other more practical steps become much easier.
2. Pay Attention to Details
Corporate HR officers usually get as much as 250 applications per job opening. This means they cannot spend much time on individual resumes, and your window frame to wow the person who’s checking your CV is rather a short one. So how do you do it?
At its base level your CV should include the following:
- Personal information
- Contact information
- Education and qualifications
- Previous work experience
- Skills relevant to the job in question
- Personal interests (no one cares if you have a few cats or a dog but an indication of your hobbies will paint a nice picture of you as a person)
- Achievements and awards
Keep in mind: Your resume should not be longer than two pages no matter how experienced and outstanding you are.
As soon as you are done putting on paper all the important info, the very next thing you need to take care of is design.
Let’s be honest, people are usually very visual. This means handing out a bullet point filled paper with no particular visual details is a no-no.
You should update your resume’s design every couple of years. Don’t worry – if you don’t know how to design yourself, there are a lot of websites with design templates that you can use either free of charge or for a small amount of money.
These websites are already doing a good deal of work for you in terms of following the latest updates regarding the form of resumes. All you need to do is think about the content you want to feature…
Keep in mind: Your resume should be saved in PDF format if you are siding it online. If you for some reason decide to mail a physical copy (still legitimate thing to do), you should pay attention to the quality of the paper and the envelope you use.
Your CV should not look like it did a few years ago. You have started a new job? Update your CV. Got promoted? Update your CV. Added some new skills to your skillset? Update your CV. Make a habit of updating your CV and your professional social media every time you make some new advances and changes in your career – and delete the ones that are no longer relevant.
Keep in mind: You should have clear short sentences. Double-check your spelling and make sure you don’t have any typos.
Read More: Your CV in The Eyes of an HRO
3. Add Measurable Results
If a job position requires skills like communicating, analytics, cost-cutting and similar, don’t just leave these on the paper as your skillset.
You need to prove you know how to do it.
Take all of your previous work experiences into account and see what are your accomplishments are in that field. Then clearly note all the results you’ve achieved over time. Add what kind of specific programs have you used for specific jobs. This will give that added value to your resume and will say “this person knows what he/she is doing”.
4. Tell a Story
If you want to strike a conversation with recruiters, you need to have a resume that will solicit a strong reaction. Amusement, sadness, shock, or awe to give you a few examples.
How do you achieve this?
As someone who is on a lookout for a new job, you should market yourself to HROs in such a way, so they remember your CV in the pile of others.
Focus on the things you have learned in your previous positions, on your experiences and take-aways from all of them. Describe all the previous positions as mini-plays in the story of your life.
Remember that no job opening is the same. You need to tailor your resume each time to suit the specific role you are applying to. Indeed, it’s much easier to send over just one same version to all the jobs you find. But you might be missing a huge opportunity by doing so. Tailoring the resume to fit the role doesn’t mean you need to make a new one every time you decide to click the “apply” button.
The basic information in your CV should always remain the same. However, the trick is to decide which previous experiences are the most relevant for that specific role you are pitching for. You need to add additional experience or qualifications that would be pertinent to the role for which you’re applying.
5. Create a Video Resume
It’s no secret that we are turning to video content more and more in recent years. People are highly visual, remember? In fact, they remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do. So, if recruiters find video content attached to their email in addition to the traditional one, it’s more likely that you will make a lasting impression on them. Or better yet, upload a video to your personal website and link it in your CV or cover letter.
By deciding to do so, you can better present your personality, showcase your charisma and emphasize your talents and skills. Of course, it can, in fact, be a lengthy process but it can be well worth it.
Keep in mind: Plan everything beforehand – create a script you will follow. Try to look natural and pay attention to the sound and frame. Make sure it’s edited properly, seek out for help if you need it.
Bonus: Make a Portfolio Website
HROs often turn to the digital assets in their recruiting process in order to shortlist their favorite candidates. We have already spoken about the importance of your digital footprint and what happens if you don’t take care of the content you post on social media. This means you need to polish your social media accounts and pay attention to the content you post there if you want to be successful in a job hunt.
Rather than relying on just social media accounts to tell a story about yourself, why not try something a bit more different? Owning a personal website enables you to control your personal brand. It serves as your business card and a publically accessible portfolio. Needless to say, it can contribute to making the “wow” effect on recruiters.
Now, I know your reaction might be something like “yeah that’s awesome, but I don’t know how to code.” But before you start pulling out any more excuses about not being able to do it yourself, I have good news for you. There are a bunch of great website builders that you can use even if you’ve never written a line of code yourself. You just need a good will and a little bit of time to make it all happen. 🙂
It goes without saying that you want your resume to be read by as wide an audience as possible. Making a good impression in a short amount of time might be hard but know that it’s not a “mission impossible”. Dedicate time, love and care into crafting your resume and keep a positive attitude. By doing so you’ll create something that people would want to read. Good luck! 🙂