Crafting tight narrative, and a story : The CV
From ensuring laser-focused content that keeps readers engaged, to integrating searchable words to ensure you can be found online, crafting a powerful CV is not easy.
Here are 5 tips to help capture attention:
Your CV is your first impression, and first impressions matter. Be clear, ensure your CV is lean and clean, and maintain focus. Do not interchange first person and third person, or present and past tense – pick a view, pick a tense, and run with it!
One-page is not a prerequisite, but it helps.
2. Be “skimmable”
Let’s face it, most of us skim more than we read. Write in short-form, have clear separation and headings, and provide white space between sections. Key skills and achievements should be clear, perhaps in bold, to ensure the reader takes note.
3. Be “searchable”
From CV parsing tools, to keyword searches and electronic applicant tracking systems, employers focus on key terminology when identifying and qualifying CVs. Make sure your key skills and tools are searchable (for example, an analyst might include SAS, SQL and SPSS; a designer might include Sketch, AfterEffects and InDesign). Added to this, LinkedIn affords “searchers” the ability to filter on keywords and skills.
4. Be human
Your CV is a marketing tool, not a chronology of events. Hiring managers and recruiters spend a lot of time staring at CVs, so be interesting. Including an opening statement/profile is a great way to showcase your personality and stand-out, as is the interests section towards the close of your CV. Just stay away from cliché and throw-away comments like “can-do attitude”, “team player” etc. The same goes for interests – let’s be frank, everyone likes exploring different cultures, travelling, and the gym!
5. Digital footprint
Being digitally-savvy is a prerequisite, but make sure it’s clean! Have you ever googled yourself? Networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram afford people access into your life— “the real you”—so make sure you’re presenting yourself in the right way.