Writing your resume is like using your telephone voice for business calls. It’s natural to want to present yourself in the most professional way, but it’s hard to sustain in real life, and if it all goes as planned, your job application will get real.
If your CV sparks interest, then those reviewing it will begin looking for clues about your personality online. They’ll check you out on LinkedIn and hop on over to Facebook and other social networks to look under the bonnet. It’s most likely they’ll pick up the phone, and fingers crossed, go on to invite you to an interview. Whether it’s in the first or last stage, they’ll discover the real you and the words you use in conversation to describe your career.
Ideally, when this happens, there shouldn’t be a discrepancy between your phrasing you used on your resume and your spoken word during the conversations. It’s very common for some people to articulate more in their written word than in their spoken word and vice-versa, but try to avoid using two different versions of yourself. Both should represent you as you are!
So, how can you achieve the fine balance between a professionally-written presentation and a poker-straight, personality-free resume, and more importantly: what should you include?
Your personal details:
Hereby the opinions vary, but I would say to include as many details as possible. Include your name, address (or at least the city and country you are living in), mobile phone number and email address so you can be contacted easily. Information such as your nationality, age, spoken languages and the adding of a professional picture are also valued, as it gives the recruiter an idea of the person behind the paper.
Speaking from a recruiters point of view: always keep your CV to one or two pages of A4 maximum. Anyone reading your CV should be able to find the information they’re looking for, with enough ‘white space’ to ensure they’re not overawed at first glance. It should be short, to-the-point, clear and well structured.
Tip: If your experiences or education lead to the exceeding of the 2 A4 pages, analyze if the details on your CV are beneficial towards the profile you want to present. So rethink if the details are really valuable. If not, easy decision, remove them.
Looking at your current position, you don’t need to go through your daily to-do list, and make a detailed analysis. Rather thinking about what you are doing on a daily basis, look at it through a filter: Are there things people would not know just from reading the job title? Are there specific tasks which you want to continue doing in future positions? Is there an impressive company initiative you were a part of? Remember that there are always things you can discuss during an interview, so try to keep it brief!
And last but definitely not least, ask someone to read over it, preferably someone who does not know you in depth. This will help as they will point out things which require more clarification. Ask them to describe you based on what they read, and you will most likely realise if this is aligned with what you want to represent!
Goodluck, and I gladly see your CV coming in!
Puck de Hoog:
Junior Recruitment Consultant