Recruiting the right talent is no easy task. If you’re in the recruiting business, you know that sifting through hundreds of resumes can be time consuming and overwhelming. As a candidate, it’s not a picnic either. With digital we all have the attention span of a goldfish or less, applicants must do everything possible to stand out from the sea of paper. However, there comes a point where applicants push artistic license too far. Last week I saw a resume for a buying position that was pink and lavender with at least four different infographics and fonts. I joked that it looked like a Valentine’s Day card, but more seriously, it inspired this post. It’s time to set the record straight on appropriate and preferred resume styles, so I decided to ask the experts, recruiters, who do this for a living.
Ginger Puglia is the CEO of Ginger Finds, a “talent lab” in New York City. Ginger respects the 11-second rule.
Early in my talent acquisition career, a wise person told me that the average hiring authority has 11 seconds to determine if a resume stays or goes. I have no idea if this is factual, but what is a fact is that I work with this standard. If a candidate cannot synthesize what is important and say it on the front page, he loses me, ”says Puglia.
11 seconds dear friends: it is not a long time to prove your worth. So how do you make your resume stand out without overdoing it? For starters, Puglia recommends not listing attributes like hard worker, strong leader, risk taker, insightful, creative, multitasking, human person.
They are foreign and meaningless. Your career path should match all attributes, ”says Puglia.
Zachary Peikon, Director of Korn Ferry recommends including achievements with hard-hitting data.
Tailor your CV to each position you apply for. Make sure you focus on the critical areas of the job and show how you would add value to the organization, ”says Peikon. The use of color depends on the company and the culture. If it’s a creative endeavor, doing something that catches the reader’s attention might demonstrate your creative spirit and help you stand out, but if it’s a more traditional organization, stick to the basic colors. “
Ginger Puglia shares a similar sentiment.
I am driven by visuals, like most of our society. In my creative recruiting practice, I expect designers or artists to have a slight unique touch to their resume. But everything has its place. Gray or navy blue are aesthetically acceptable and can speak at a pronounced taste level. Resumes are best when a candidate leaves some white space; it reads that the person is comfortable and does not need to be in control. “
Tania Idjadi, Senior Manager, Executive Search at Janou Pakter, believes your resume should explain how your efforts have improved the business and brought about positive change.
Your CV is your brand and it should include enough content to cover important information and highlights about your career, but ideally it shouldn’t be longer than two pages, ”says Idjadi.
Tricia Logan, Managing Director of DHR International, hates having to look for information on a CV.
Be succinct in describing your role and accomplishments – a resume is not a job description! Include ALL positions and dates – you don’t need details under previous roles, but a hiring manager wants to see your entire journey – not just what you’ve been up to since becoming VP or director. We have a standard format for presenting CVs to clients. Each candidate’s CV will be redone in our format, which is typical of large executive search companies, ”says Logan.
Maxine Martens, CEO of Martens and heads! believes you can tell how smart someone is by “if they paint verbal pictures in your mind” with their conversation. The same goes for written CVs.
The idea is to demonstrate career and skill growth with each role. What I don’t like is getting a long essay on someone’s career and the beauty they describe themselves. Offering referrals to verify your leadership is much more compelling, ”says Martens.
Martens believes candidates should be brief, to the point, and to the point of why they want to speak or meet. For example, “Even though I had high hopes when I joined this fashion brand among the top ten in the world, it does not suit me. I was very productive and happy when I was part of a small team and we came together to build a business. “
By interviewing thousands of people, only a few dozen were able to say: “I have been fired or fired”. When you can say it out loud, you save the interviewer the effort of figuring out what’s wrong with you or why you didn’t fit, and they can then focus on if you’re interesting, they like you and if you are a “fit for purpose,” says Martens.
Either way, all of our experts agree that paying attention to spelling and grammar is of the utmost importance. In addition, consistent formatting is not negotiable.
Other expert tips for writing your CV:
- “Your CV should start with a summary that describes your strengths, strengths and goals.” – Tania Idjahi
- Clarity is vital. Specifically state what you are looking for. Simplicity says it all. Don’t say ‘BAH BAH’ if you can say ‘BAH’.
- Use bullet points rather than a long narrative, and include appropriate and intelligent business language. Skill charts and infographics don’t inspire or mean anything. “-Maxine Martens
- “Share your CV with a few trusted advisors to get their thoughts and suggestions. They will have an objective and new perspective. -Zachary Peikon
- “The body of the email is basically the cover letter. Do not send a separate cover letter as an attachment unless specifically required. The email should be brief and rather a” elevator pitch “- a one paragraph outline of who you are, your general area of expertise and why you are contacting the company / person.” – Tricia Logan
- “Most hiring managers are looking for growth in a position and the time you spend with employers. Your commitment and brand loyalty is very attractive to a potential employer. Put months and years on your resume, not just years. We also prefer chronological vs functional CVs. Including a photo is not common in the United States and can be inconvenient. “- Tania Idjahi