How to improve your résumé


What is a résumé and what is it for?

You have heard the word résumé or CV over and over again. A résumé or CV is nothing less than a document that summarizes your knowledge, your academic and professional experiences, and other possible skills you have.

It is usually used for professional purposes, such as looking for a new job, or for academic purposes, such as applying for a master's degree.

How to build a good résumé?

The concept of a "good" résumé is very subjective. The features and aspects that some believe to be the most suitable for a particular position/function in a company or a group of companies may not have the same recognition and impact in, for example, companies of different economic activities.

Despite the above, certain parameters are essential and mandatory for the construction of a good CV. And it is precisely these that we will address in this publication.

Categories needed for a CV

First, the personal data, which includes name, contacts, nationality, place of residence, link to social networks (where Linkedin turns out to be the most useful and used). For the sake of non-discrimination, it should not have a photograph. Furthermore, and even though all recruiters want to know, you should not reveal your age or date of birth, because we live more and more in a period where what you do is much more important than your age.

Next is a short personal and/or professional introduction, which contains a brief description of who you are and why you are applying for a certain position. This will show that you care about the CVs you send out, i.e. it's not just a generic document that you send to dozens of companies.

CV size: for the vast majority of jobs, a one-page résumé is more than enough! If you're not an architect or an artist with a vast portfolio of projects, one page may be more than enough to get the message across (without losing the recruiter's attention).

Use the right words. Nowadays, algorithms like CV Riser's help recruiters to choose the best candidates. One of the features of the algorithm is exactly to analyze the content of your CV, since the way you write and the words you use help define your way of being/feeling.

Therefore, it is essential that you choose well keywords to describe your technical and non-technical skills and that you write sentences that have as many words as possible that can be associated with positivity.

For the less experienced, one of the most important aspects is the academic background, which has to be presented chronologically. It is not enough to put your degree and final/current GPA. A brief description of the course objective and the subjects/chairs you value most will help the recruiter to better understand your interests and technical or non-technical skills.

It is important to highlight in the best way your professional experience or, in the case of students, participation in extracurricular activities. This category has immense relevance since it is the "proof" of your skills in a work context. A tip is to start with your current position/function as this is usually the most importantly relevant to the position you are applying for. Don't forget to give a brief description of what the job consisted of, how long it lasted, and whenever possible mention some quantitative data that shows some merit of the role you performed (example: our sales have increased by 15% since I suggested an improvement in our pricing policy).

Finally, dedicate a section of your résumé to personal interests and other activities that you think are relevant to mention, such as volunteering, whether you are or have been a competitive athlete, hobbies, and personal interests. This section can help the company understand how well you fit in with the culture and values of the organization.

How can you stand out with your CV?

Think of this previous paragraph as a form of "competitive advantage". Like any recruitment process, the goal is to "sell" yourself to the recruiter and explain how hiring you will bring more value to the company in question.

It's all about Personal Marketing because when you're facing 200 candidates with profiles very similar to your level of academic and professional skills, this last point will be your highlight.

Final considerations

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the CV is a very subjective document because it can be an appealing model for a certain company but not for another.

The key aspect is to contain the necessary information to demonstrate your skills for the job in question and to captivate the interest of the recruiter(s) so that at a later stage of the recruitment process, such as group dynamics or individual interviews, you will have the opportunity to further elaborate on your experiences.