How to Create the Perfect Resume
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Making a good first impression is everything when it comes to applying for a job, and your CV should be the best representation of yourself on paper.
Here’s a simple guide on how to create a smashing CV that will put the spotlight on your application!
The most important thing: make sure your CV is ATS compliant
Here is a secret not everyone tells you in 2020: 98% of companies don't look at your application, instead they use ATS (Applicant Tracking System) - it’s a software that automatically scans all the CVs from the received applications and looks for certain KEYWORDS in them. The problem is that not all formats are ATS complaints - for instance, a good format would be creating a CV from Microsoft Word and ideally uploading keeping the .doc format. If you wish to upload a PDF version, just export the Words version onto a PDF format.
Try not to use design websites (as pretty as they might look) or insert complicated charts on your resume, cause they will not be recognized by the ATS.
If you’re not an expert in using Word, check out this website that provides free ATS friendly templates to use for your resume: https://www.jobscan.co/resume-templates
Keywords, Keywords and more Keywords
Since the first recruitment step is in the hand of a robot, you need to put all the keywords that you can think of in your resume.
How do I know which keywords to put? Simple.
Just check out the job description of the position you want to apply for: you will see a lot of important keywords most likely listed under “requirements” - just read through the list and select the keywords that apply to you and your previous work experiences: the more keywords you write on your CV - the better.
It is super important that you insert all the relative keywords in order for your CV to “pass” the scan of the ATS system. If you are successful, your CV will be then examined by a human being, which is why it also has to be eye catching and extra pretty!
Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter: why would you hire a complete stranger?
There has to be something on your application that catches their attention or makes them remember you - a WOW factor! At the end of the day, it is all about the marketing…
Here are a few ways to make sure your CV stands out to the human eye:
Write a catchy headline under your name
Make your CV colorful or use an edgy design (while being ATS compliant)
Now this also depends on the type of position you’re applying to: if you’re a web designer or a photographer, having a creative CV is definitively a plus - while if you're applying for a position as a Lawyer for example, you might wanna emphasize more on your experience.
Personalize your CV for the position you’re applying to
This takes a little more work if you’re applying for many jobs, however it will be seen as a huge plus from the employer if you direct your CV at them. There are many ways you could do it for example writing under your name: Aspiring (name of position) for (name of company) EX: Matthew Brown - Aspiring Journalist for The New York Times. If you do use this strategy, just make sure you change this headline every time you send out a CV.
Change your CV for each job application
Changing your Curriculum for each job application can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely worth the effort. What exactly do you need to change? Keywords.
“I cannot stress this enough - your CV needs to contain the keywords that the employer used while writing the job description”.
Which is why it is good to have a different CV for each job that you apply for: you don’t need to redo the whole thing every time, just change a few words.
Another thing that needs to be changed in your Curriculum are the bullet points under a particular experience: which need to be tailored to match the requirements of the job you are applying to. The employer needs to see that you are already familiar with some of the tasks of the new job. This can be very easy if you are applying for a job which you are already confident in, however you can do this even if you are shifting your career to a completely different path, like in the example below.
For example: let’s imagine that you are applying for a job as a Sales Executive for company X. One of the responsibilities you will have in this job is to communicate with potential clients for company X. Let’s say that your last job was as a Teacher at a local school, and you used to participate in school fairs in order to attract more students. On your CV under the experience for the teaching position you can write something like “Developed great communication skills and experience building relationships with prospect clients at school fairs”. In this way the future employer will know that even if you come from a completely different path, you have some knowledge and motivation which will be an asset in your new job.
Creating the perfect resume can be a daunting task - I know - fortunately you are not alone.
If you need any assistance you can send me your CV at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to point out your mistakes and provide you with solutions FOR FREE!
Also, check out my article about Mistakes to not make while creating your CV here: TOP 10 Most Common CV Mistakes