Trying to get a job can feel like a real battle. Between filling out online applications, responding to ads, writing tests, taking interviews and waiting endlessly for that email, that life changing phone call, it can feel like the arsenal of a well skilled enemy army are trained in your direction. You’re probably right to think so…part of our training as recruiters is to make your life miserable, come at you with all guns blazing, flashing winning smiles as we decapitate the ego you carefully built over years of study and work. The thing is, it takes a well-trained and informed job seeker with the right weaponry to fight back. You simply need the right ammunition. In my experience, perhaps the single most important thing a job seeker needs is to be armed with a well-crafted résumé.
You’ve probably wondered why you applied for a job and your CV wasn’t even acknowledged even though you met all the job requirements. Or maybe you’re getting ready to apply for a job, one for which you are well suited and you’re not quite sure what to do with your résumé. Allow me to share a few thoughts on how you can correctly arm your résumé and get it to work for you.
Before I go on, let me clarify two things. First, notice my comment above about meeting the job requirements. The harsh reality is that majority of CVs are rejected because they simply do not meet the job requirements. There’s probably nothing diabolic going on if your CV was rejected after you sent it in for a job requiring ten years experience plus a degree in Accounting and you have two years experience with a degree in Animal Science. No, the recruiter isn’t related to your ex…he/she just doesn’t think your CV is worth the trouble. Take it in your stride and look for another job you fit better for. No hard feelings.
Secondly, you will find that I will use the abbreviation CV and résumé interchangeably in my write-ups on this subject. This is because different aspects of both words appeal to me. I personally prefer the French word Résumé (and you might find that I use it more) because it accurately typifies what it means…a high level summary, devoid of unwanted details, focused on the main points. I find the abbreviation CV and its latin derivative “curriculum vitae” (meaning course of life) does not convey enough meaning as to the real purpose of the document itself. On the flipside, I am aware that using the word résumé to my largely African audience could read like “resume” as in to continue something from where one left off…and to this end, loses its meaning also. Permit me therefore to use the words as I desire, just know that they refer to the same thing.
In this issue, I will focus on why your CV is your singular most important ammunition for your job search war chest. Here are a few things to think about.
1.Your Résumé is your Personal Ad: Your résumé advertises you to the recruiter. It describes who you are and the course of your life (hence curriculum vitae) without you being there to defend it. It is your opportunity to advertise your skill sets, abilities and person to the recruiter in absentia and hope he/she singles you out of the pile to be given further consideration.
2.Your Résumé tells a Story About You: Everything in your résumé gives the recruiter an insight into who you are and what you’ve done and paints a picture of who you are likely to be in person. The recruiter therefore creates a mental image of you from your resume. So if it is written without using the abundantly available Microsoft Word or online templates, it tells the recruiter something about your tech deficiency. If it is heavy laden with salvos of grammatical WMDs, it tells the recruiter something about the quality of your spoken English. If there are “small” semantic errors here, there and everywhere, it tells the recruiter something about the level of your attention to detail.
3.Your Résumé can get you an Assessment Opportunity: While it may not necessarily get you a job, your resume can fetch you an opportunity to be further assessed. And then you can do the rest of the job. The key point is that if it is well crafted, it can get you a foot in the door, crack it up just enough for you to launch a more targeted and creative attack. It will almost always be the first weapon you are allowed to use, like a pawn in a chess game. So if you get it right, you might well be on your way.
4.Your Résumé will Feature Throughout your Recruitment Process: Usually, the résumé you provide at the beginning of the process will remain a recurring feature throughout the recruitment process. If you do make it to the interviews, each interviewer will have a copy of that same résumé (except where they have asked that you provide an updated copy) and launch their barrage of questions from off that same document. It is a weapon that will keep firing for or against you until one side wins. Getting it right at the beginning of the process is therefore a key necessity.
So today, whatever your need for a CV is, make sure it speaks well for you and it presents a good image of who you are. Recruiters have trained eyes for excellent CVs and certain times, just the way it looks is enough to attract us to take another look.
Get working on that resume and go…win the battle!
By Adedeji Agunnubi
Culled From TouchPH