Hey there, Wonderers!
I hope you are all ready and pumped up for a new exciting week!

Today – again a rain day from where I write – I’d like to share something on a topic many people fear and many others find super boring: CVs. Hated or dreaded, they are part of the game here and we simply cannot ignore them. I’m taking advantage of this gloomy day to tell you something about it.

So, last weekend, I got a message from a girl on LinkedIn. She was all eager to apply for a job at the company where I currently work, and she wanted to know if I had any tips for her to up her chances of getting noticed.

Have you ever reached out directly to someone working at the company you’re eyeing for a job? It’s like sliding into someone’s DMs, but for professional purposes. It’s actually pretty smart. You get to scope out the place and get the inside scoop on what you might be (fingers crossed!) getting into. Plus, you can snag some tips and tricks for the hiring process. This gal told me she’d applied for the same role multiple times and never got a nibble from the hiring team.

Now, it’s true that recruiters often find themselves buried under mountains of CVs and can’t read ’em all. But sometimes, it’s not their fault; it’s your resume. Over the years, I’ve chatted with a bunch of folks in the recruiting biz, and when I asked them, “How can I make sure my CV doesn’t vanish into the digital abyss?” They kept saying two things:

  • Apply for that position as fast as you can
  • Fix up your CV

Today, we won’t dwell on being Speedy Gonzales when applying; that’s a given. Being among the first to submit your application, especially for highly coveted roles where companies receive hundreds and hundreds of applications, can make a difference.

Instead, let’s talk about what having a “polished CV” means. If you’re one of those folks who sends the same CV to every job under the sun, stop right there. This is your wake-up call. The golden rule is to make sure your CV is a direct response to the job posting. Your resume, just like a cover letter, should explain why you’re the perfect fit for the job, not list everything you’ve ever done in your life. Since I started doing this, I get callbacks almost every time I send out my CV.

In particular, take a look at the “experience” section of your CV. If it’s a laundry list of every odd job you’ve had since you were in diapers, and they all sound the same, well, that might be why you’re getting radio silence after sending out a gazillion applications. The best way to give your CV a facelift is to ask yourself three questions for each of your past experiences and build your professional story from there:

  1. Is this experience relevant to the job I’m applying for? If yes, keep it. If not, it’s outta there. When you write about it, highlight the parts that matter for the new gig.
  2. What did you achieve in this role? There are a gazillion project managers, developers, and sales reps out there, but, in terms of results, what makes you the best choice for the role? Tell ’em!
  3. Did this experience help you score some big wins, get recognized, or did it help you in gaining more responibilities? Clarifying this will help you tell your personal growth story.

Telling a story is actually all writing a CV should be aboutYou are telling the recruiter your story, and how and why the next chapter should be happening in their company. Following these three steps when you’re crafting your CV will not only make it the perfect introduction card but also an intriguing document for recruiters who are wading through pages and pages of experience lists with no rhyme or reason. Give it a try and let me know how many more responses you get!

See you in a couple of weeks with Working Wonders, Issue #7! 🚀

Emma

It may also interest you

Recommended topics

A place to talk about work

About the author

Emma Vargas

Young professional by day, aspiring wordsmith by night. I’m Emma Vargas, your go-to gal for all things work, personal growth, professional development, and career adventures. I may not have decades of experience, but I’ve got a lifetime of curiosity.
Let’s explore the world of careers together, one candid conversation at a time! 🌟 💼 ✨ #WorkingWonders

Take control of your career, sign-up to Anthropos for free

  • Your career profile
  • Autofill job applications
  • Cover letters that get you hired