You have just finished your university or college studies. You have the skills, the passion and the drive and can’t wait to start a career in your field.
You send your CV to a position that suits you perfectly. If there is no response, you resend your CV. And even. And even. Soon you sent your resume to dozens of different companies and you haven’t heard a word from anyone. Seems familiar? You are not alone.
Like many new graduates, your resume doesn’t sell you well enough to a hiring manager. Your resume should tell your story in a clear, focused way that shows the skills and experience you have, rather than highlighting what you don’t.
1] Start strong!
Our client’s original CV began with a brief goal statement, which is a huge mistake. Hiring managers only spend an average of 10 to 15 seconds looking at each CV. need to start strong.
We use an opening value statement to immediately summarize your unique value to the hiring manager. We can work with you to describe the experience, strengths and skills you have that are relevant to the job – and don’t be afraid to name some reputable companies! Remember, hiring managers aren’t looking for what YOU want in a job, they’re looking for VALUE that you can add to their business.
2] Sell your skills
After your declaration of value, we include a bulleted list of your specific skills and competencies. We also include all technical skills such as software skills, as well as industry specific tasks that you are capable of performing and soft skills that are important for the job in question.
The purpose of this list is to build on the idea that you already have the valuable skills the business is looking for. This is a crucial step in convincing the hiring manager that you are not just a blank slate who needs time and money to be trained, but that you already have what they need.
3] the devil is in the details
In the education section, our client got the right idea when listing school projects as they are a great way to showcase academic achievement and practical ability. However, he could have used more details and information.
Using the first mentioned project as an example, try answering some of the questions the hiring manager will consider:
- Did you work in a group?
- What was the project schedule and what hardware or software did you use?
- What problems did the project pose and how did you overcome them?
- How profitable was the design?
- Have you presented your project to a panel of peers or professors?
You want to give the hiring manager a good idea of your thinking process, problem solving, practical use of skills, and the results you are capable of achieving.
4] Experience is key
Normally, new graduates place their education above their work experience on their resumes. Indeed, most new graduates do not have enough relevant work experience to mention and the best way for them to demonstrate their skills and experience is through school projects.
However, in this example our client had more than a full year of very valuable and relevant cooperative experience with a large oil company. As a result, we have swapped the sections to show their work experience in the foreground. We also asked them to include a general overview of the main tasks and responsibilities of each role.
5] Achievements seal the deal
It’s one thing to pretend you have all of these skills and experience, but if you really want to sell your value you have to back them up with achievements. For each job or internship posting, list a few of your most notable contributions that have allowed you to excel in a practical way using your skills.
Take it to the highest level and make sure what you are showcasing are the same skills the employer is looking for. You can tell by looking at the job description and selecting any skill that is mentioned multiple times throughout the process.
6] Stick to the story!
To conclude, keep in mind the story you want to sell and never stray from it when writing your CV. Everything from the value statement to the list of core competencies, to the sections on notable projects and accomplishments, and the content you include in your sections on training and experience. job should all reinforce the notion that you are the person the company needs for the job.
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