A couple thoughts on resumes, CVs and job applications

I realize there have been a thousand articles posted on this, and I suspect my thoughts aren’t terribly unique. However below is my response to a young guy who I’ve known for several years and who is well on his way to success in the business world.

His question:

What have you found to be most effective in job applications?

My response:

I guess a few things (in priority order):

  1. A flawless resume/application. NO spelling mistakes, typos or major grammatical issues. Nothing is more off-putting than a submission from someone who couldn’t be bothered to run a spellcheck, much less have someone proof-read it for you before submission.
  2. A targeted resume/application. Something that at least seems to have been targeted at the role I’m offering or my company (vs. something that is clearly a generic resume/application). At least make me feel like you’re working to earn this position.
  3. A results-oriented resume/application. Don’t tell me just about the roles you’ve had, tell me what you achieved through them.
  4. A creative and professional resume/application. It never hurts to stand out a little, within the confines of a resume/application that is still easy to navigate for primary information.

… and my advice for people submitting a resume/application: don’t forget the ONLY goal of a resume/application submission is to get you the interview (NOTthe job). In other words, it should whet their appetite and compel them to meet you in person. Then it is up to you to sell yourself (and don’t leave that up to the resume).