How to Write A Stand Out Resume (CV)

Excellent Resume

You care about your Career so you should certainly care about your Resume!

If there is 1 document that will affect your Career more than any other…. it is your Resume. So our advice, take the time to make it PERFECT.

Your Resume, also called a Curriculum Vitae (CV), makes the very 1st impression that a potential employer has of you. An Employer will decide, 100% based on the contents of your resume, whether to invite you to interview or not.

The Resume is such a critical document, that I personally believe all universities should provide compulsory CV training / writing courses to help young professionals prepare themselves for the task as best as possible, as it is a skill that they will need for life.

Unfortunately, on so many occasions we meet fantastic Executives, with brilliant career experience, but poorly presented Resumes.

Based on research by TheLadders, Potential Employers on average only spend about Six Seconds scanning a Resume on 1st review.

So… that means that if you fail to grab the hiring managers interest in those 6 critical seconds, your Resume will most certainly be rejected and the job opportunity lost.

However, if you “Pass” this 1st initial “6 second scan”, if you grab the readers attention, they will then take a more detailed look into your Resume and credentials, read properly your CV contents and see everything that you want to tell the person about your professional achievements.

As Executive Search consultants, unfortunately we can not “rewrite” an Executives CV to make it perfect, we simply don’t have the time or intimate knowledge about an individuals career history (we aren’t them after all).

Therefore, it falls on you, the Executive Candidate, to ensure that your CV presents you in the very best way possible, so that you grab the hiring managers instant attention.

What we can do, based on our personal review over time of hundreds of thousands of Resumes and our extensive experience as Headhunter’s , which leads us to know well what client’s do like and do not like, is give our:

Top Tips for How To Write An Effective, Eye Grabbing Resume:

  • Always remember that Hiring managers are looking at a HUGE volume of resumes / CV’s. So, most importantly, whatever you want to say should be kept concise and to the point, otherwise the reader will get lost in the words.
  • Your resume should be No More than 2 pages, a Maximum 3 pages long. This applies to everyone, including the most senior top level Executives with 20+ years of work experience.
  • We often see resumes that are 10+ / 15+ pages long – hiring managers simply do not have the time to review such a lengthy document and quite the opposite they will see such a resume as disorganized and confusing and as such most likely place it on the rejection pile.
  • At the top of your Resume you should include a short Executive Summary that details your top skills and career achievements. This should ideally be 5-10 key bullet points.
  • Your work experience section must be listed in a Reverse Chronological Order, with your most recent work position / experience at the top of the work experience section and your very first position (as a fresh graduate) at the bottom of the work experience section.
  • Hiring Managers are A Lot More Interested in your Work Experience from the Last 5 Years, than your work experience from many years ago… or when a fresh graduate. So naturally you should provide more details for the work positions that you have held during the last 5 years – for jobs earlier in your career, keep it very short.
  • For each role that you have had, you should give a quick overview of your key responsibilities / job details but you should also focus on stating Your Personal Achievements in that position. Detailing facts about your personal achievements makes a strong impression, for example “I led a 10 person Sales Team and increased annual revenue by 30% between 2018-2019”.
  • Each time you apply for a job, update / edit your resume for that specific job application, so that you prioritize the key points from your career which most accurately match with the requirements of the specific job that you are applying for and demonstrate your suitability for that specific role.

A Good Resume Structure:

Section 1 – Biographical / Profile Data – Start of CV

  • At the start of your resume state, in bullet points:
  1. Your full name, year of birth, gender, nationality & language skills.
  2. Your full contact details – include both your mobile phone number(s) and Personal email address(es).
  3. If you choose to include a photo (entirely up to you) make sure it is professional, smart and shows the hiring manager the image of you that you want them to see. A good position for a photo, if included, is the top right corner of the 1st page of the CV.
  4. Provide your Executive Summary, in bullet points, so that it is easy to read, list your key skills and career accomplishments.

Section 2 – Education / Qualifications – Middle of CV

  • Only list your Key Higher Level Education, in a Reverse Chronological Order, with your most recent higher level education at the top of the list and the oldest at the bottom of the list.
  • Include the month and year that you graduated from university, for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Also include the degree grade/ result.
  • In bullet points state any extra Professional Qualifications that you may have, such as certifications, memberships of professional organisations, key training courses completed (just the important ones).

Section 3 – Work Experience – End of CV

  • List your Work Experience in a Reverse Chronological Order, with your most recent work position at the top of the list and your oldest (first) work position at the bottom of the list.
  • For each company that you have worked for, state the full company name and add 1 sentence describing what that company does (in case the business maybe unknown to the reader).
  • For each job that you have had, state your full job title and the month and year that you started to work in that position and finished to work in that position.
  • For each job state in a few sentences your overall Job Description / Responsibilities and then add details of what you actually personally achieved when in that role.

Once you have finished writing your resume, please read it a number of times to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors.

Make sure the document looks good visually and reads well, that what you say is clear, all the details are accurate and everything makes sense. Ensure that the formatting is consistent throughout the resume.

As Executive Level Headhunters we know very well how important the CV is in the recruitment process. We have seen hundreds of thousands of CVs and it is clear that a great, well written, well structured, professional looking Resume, following the advice above, will quickly grab a hiring managers eyes and the applicant has a far higher chance of being invited for an interview. Whereas, on the other hand, a badly written CV will present an individual in a disorganised and negative way and the reader will be very likely to quickly discount the profile…. even if the person actually has everything that the reader is looking for… they just won’t realise it.

Thats why here at ProCapita we say — if there is 1 document that will affect your Career more than any other…. it is your Resume. So our advice, make it PERFECT.

For Potential Clients and Candidates you can view my professional bio here or connect with me on Linkedin. Also you can follow our Company Linkedin Page.

ProCapita Indonesia