Watch your language, sir!
Many articles on CV writing talk about what info is most important to be displayed in a resume, in what order do you need to list this information – should you start with education and continue with work experience, should it be chronological or not, should you explain everything you did in every position you have been in etc.
While this is essential, an important aspect is how you say it. And let us admit it, not everyone is Tolkien or Martin, maybe you are a very skilled individual in your field of interest, but being a great narrator is not your cup of tea. However, you do have to write down a CV and make it stand out in the crowd.
So here are a few writing tips for your CV:
- Write a lot, cut a lot. Even if it seems like a lot of work, it is worth it. Make sure you write down all your previous jobs and then you also write everything you did there – daily activities, occasional activities, side projects, achievements (yes, brag about your success), education, courses, trainings, everything. Then take the job specifications for the position you apply for and put them in parallel so you can scan for common words and expressions. If the specs say you will have to build reports and analyze data underline in your narration where you find these words or where you find that activity but written in similar terms.
- Once you have that done, underline with a different color, the complementary activities that are relevant to the job you apply for. It is important to point them out because they might come in handy and might show the recruiter you understand a bigger picture than just your job.
- After you have done this, cut out the irrelevant information and start rephrasing. Try to use the same words as your future employer, but don’t forget about your own communication style. It is very important to seem human, and not a tiny robot who wrote a CV. Especially if you apply for a job where you will have to deal with many other people.
- The summary is the most important part of your CV, this is why you should write it only after you have finished your resume. Draw out what makes you qualified for the job, tell them why you applied for the job, why this is the best time in the world for them to have you in their team and also make sure you throw in a relevant company or person name that might make you more credible.
- Make sure your CV is a pleasant paper to read, but do not be extremely descriptive or narrative, try to visually structure the whole thing in lists, paragraphs and so on in order to make it easy to go through. Use simple sentences but make sure you are explicit enough all the time without wasting other’s time.
- Check it with another person before you send it. Asking for a second opinion is always a good idea.