Saturday, September 05, 2009

Writing Attention Grabbing C.Vs

Writing your C.V, Concrete examples and tangible results will get you further than vague summaries and abstract language. Not everyone got an A in composition, however, so how about some more explicit instructions for those who struggle to make their primary job search document attention-grabbing? Blog Cube Rules obliges, offering a three step process to turn a flat statement into one that makes the hiring manager want to interview you. Write an action verb – Action verbs are those that show movement, e.g. completed, delivered, provided and managed.
Write a result – Results are statements that use numbers (preferable) or conclusions (like an award). For example, “increased ROI by 3 percent” or “reduced cycle time by one day.”
Write the benefit to the business – The benefit to the business is what importance your work was to the overall goals of the business. These include additional revenue, reduced cost, or increased efficiency.
Sounds simple enough, but as we all know writing always sounds easier than it actually is, so Cube Rules author Scot Herrick elaborates with some a real world example from his days as a hiring manager:
If your resume said “works well on a team,” it was “prove it.” If your resume said “technical manager,” my thought was “prove it.”… If I got too many of those kinds of statements in a resume, I casually tossed it aside and went on to the next possible candidate.
The effect of writing it to show it transforms traditional resumes into a portfolio of important results you’ve delivered to the business. “Worked on the Snow Leopard project” does nothing for you getting an interview. “Managed the $3-million Snow Leopard project and delivered it on time and on budget. Provided the integration of 64-bit computing into the base operating system for Apple, positioning it for all foreseeable future applications.” That gets attention.
Point being, no matter how new your career, the way you present your few jobs can, at least in part, compensate for your limited experience. Herrick’s advice also highlights the need for concrete accomplishments: even if you’re just doing an internship, focus on creating a situation where you can have a tangible, measurable accomplishment to add to your resume at the end of the experience.

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