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Why the need for a perfect Resume?

The benefits of a well-presented resume can be enormous. Besides illustrating your skills and experience, a perfect resume can demonstrate the communication skills recruiters seek because they are so vital to successful business

But, what else influences the recruiters ?

To answer this question it's important to understand the recruiter's role. Quite simply - they need to get a strong flow of talent into their client's and employer's business. To achieve this they have to separate the good candidates from the bad - and do it quickly.

So, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition?

Firstly, identify the skill and area of expertise needed for the job in question. Then, engage and sustain the recruiter's interest by presenting evidence of your ability to exceed those needs and 'add value' to the organisation.

Make a compelling case - present your information explicitly, positively and factually. Obvious, you might say! Well, many people do overlook the fact that ambiguous, longwinded and unsupported content does not impress in today's competitive marketplace.

Easier said than done? Need some help?

Learning to say less rather than more can be tricky. In essence, to capture and hold the reader's interest a perfect resume should be:

  • Achievement-orientated

    The mistake often made is to simply describe job responsibilities, yet a job title is usually sufficient for most recruiters to work out the functions of your role.

    Why not go straight to the results. Ask yourself . .
  • By how much did I increase profitability?
  • When did I take the initiative and what was the result?
  • What challenges did I overcome to win the contract?
  • How did my company achieved a sustainable advantage?
  • When was I instrumental in improving operational efficiency?
  • What strategies improved staff morale, performance and retention?

Highlight where you have used initiative, made a contribution, turned around performance. Give examples:

  • Redirected sales strategy to a consultative, customer-orientated approach and achieved record sales growth of 85% within two years
  • Initiated and led team to launch innovative, award-winning website
  • Renegotiated third party carrier agreements to improve on-time deliveries, service and cost efficiency

Implicit within the language is a 'can do' approach and highly prized key competencies - initiative, customer service orientation, analytical thinking, desire to influence, interpersonal skill and relationship building capability

A cautionary note:

... avoid the temptation to over-elaborate achievements. At interview it is important that you can expand on and quantify your achievements with confidence. Later, at the 'reference' stage your former employer might well be asked to confirm your claims 

  • Strong, original Language
    Try to avoid bland, generic words that mask your personality and lack originality of thought. Weak words include 'worked', 'liaised', 'assisted in'.

    Rather, select words that show strength - 'managed', 'directed', 'project-led' 'forecasted', 'marketed', 'restructured', 'created'

  • Professional Presentation
    The Resume is not the place to demonstrate computer genius, accessibility to resume templates or fancy coloured paper.

    Create a welcoming, professional design by keeping the style simple with an uncluttered, streamlined structure. Allow plenty of white space and keep to the same font, with minimal emboldening.

  • Length. Is the 'two-page' Resume compulsory ?
    Many people advise not to go beyond a two-page Resume? But can two-pages be sufficient in every case? Sometimes the answer is, no. Much depends on the role and the audience.

    Consider the following careers :
    • Consultant Dermatologist : the Medical Panel need to know about qualifications, career history, surgical skill, clinical commitments, research, awards, publications, presentations, memberships ...
    • IT Consultant / Project Manager : recruiters need to know the type of applications and systems expertise, and the environments involved - which can be extensive, diverse and complex

    The golden rule is be selective. Include relevant material, exclude the immaterial and the best length for your Resume will find itself. You'll avoid the recruiter's nightmare.

  • unsightly cramped Resumes where important information is often omitted and leaves the recruiter confused, or
  • the unwieldy over-lengthy Resume that provide a life history and bore the reader with unnecessary out of date detail

Succinct and Factual

An 'objective statement' is often recommended. However, this could end up stating the obvious and take up prime 'first glance' space on the CV.

Think about it - the role you apply for already indicates your objective.

This logic could also be applied to a 'profile' which often comes across as a self-congratulatory, subjective summary of the CV - which in itself is meant to be a summary.

If you include a Profile, use it to position yourself in the market and your particular area of expertise

Make sure you give your resume the best opportunity

to get you to where you want to be.

If you would like help in producing a winning resume,

or would like a free review of your existing resume,

please email your Resume and a consultant will respond shortly


An article by Helga A Edge MBA

Principal Consultant                                 [back to top]

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