The Impact of a Good Resumé!

Adapted from "Impact" by

"What all employers want are sparky people who make things happen. Most are looking for
successful disobedience, people who will step out of the safe square..."

-- Kate Tyzack of Marks & Spencer, Quoted in the Guardian 11/12/93

Your existing CV probably makes an intelligent attempt to prioritise information but does not begin to do justice to the full range of your professional expertise in terms of roles and achievements.

Most people, when writing their resumes or CVs, err on the side of the conventional. In order for employers to single you out as the most intelligent applicant, your resume needs to a) tell a clear story, b) contain accurate messaging that expresses both your abilities and your potentials, c) show that you organize information well by the way your CV and cover page read. Remember, your resume and application letter really "speak" to a reader from the word go.

When none of these objectives is achieved, the CV feels ordinary. Anyone picking it up for the first time is more likely to feel tired than excited because they are going to have to work at finding out what this resume really represents.

Good CVs tell it quickly and clearly. Good CVs have such stunning organisation that they arouse curiosity and admiration.

It is the lively detail you put into each job description that corroborates your main claims and shows that you understand what people will be looking for.

Any CV without this level of impact ends up as a dramatic underselling of your career potential.

Some questions in appraising your own CV:

1. Is your CV hard work for the reader?
Can someone tell within 10 seconds of glancing at your CV or résumé what you are about, what you have to offer, what the highlights of you track record are and what professional levels you have achieved?

2. Is the design professional and effective?
Have you created a simple, unfussy document that is the right length, with a universal Internet ready font (remember, this is the CYBERAGE!!!), not to the same template from a book or software program that everyone else uses and not so old fashioned that it makes you look dim?

3. Is the information architecture truly intelligent?
Have you prioritised and built information in a manner that a recruiter needs to know and relegates the less important details or does your CV bore people stupid with trivial information?

4. Is the career narrative focused and exciting?
In a great CV, it is possible to integrate chronology with function and create a brief but compelling narrative that creates a fascinating context that makes people want to know more. Impress them with your ability to communicate and attach highlights to history so that they do not need to search around the unsubstantiated superlatives that characterise some resume styles.

5. Does your CV position you properly for change?
Is there a career case made for what you want to achieve, with corroborating evidence and indicators of likely future performance, achieved in a subtle way without reference to embarrassing claims, objectives, profiles and sets of alleged skills?

6. Do you know how to write a brilliant letter?
One with perfect grammar, minimal repetition of the CV, free from clichés, more sophisticated than following the job requirements slavishly, summarizing your best points while addressing the stated and unstated needs, with a lively rhythm, capable of making people want to spend time with your CV?