Gerry had been with the same employer for over 5 years when he approached CV Saviour.

He was great at his job, well-liked, and had a team who looked up to him and loved working with him.

He’d been ‘promoted’ through several roles during this time, but he always felt he was being overlooked for the really well-paying jobs, and had a sneaking feeling that his résumé was letting him down. Each time one of the promotions came up, he had to submit his résumé, and it was being reviewed by people who hadn’t necessarily worked with him, but had been told about how great he was at his job.

When we reviewed his CV, a few key things were evident right at the start. The biggest one being a huge disconnect between Gerry the person, and what was said about him in his résumé. Things just didn’t match up.

1) Firstly, his CV was really ageing him. Everything, right down to his very first job was on his CV, so on top of the fact that it was easy to work out how old Gerry was, it gave the readers of his CV a rather confusing message about what he could do for them right now. Employers are generally only really interested in detail relating to the past five years’ work experience, 10 at the outside, although they do like to see the that pathway that a candidate took to get where they are now.  We also took out the dates of his qualifications. When applying for jobs, we always say that you don’t have to give away the farm! Sending a CV as part of a job application is a bit like dating – give the reader enough that they’re intrigued and want to find out more, but leave a little mystery, so they follow you up for more detail. Unless you have a strong strategic reason for including your graduation dates, there is no reason to include the dates of the years for when you gained your qualifications. While some will argue that omitting dates is a give-away to employers that you may be hiding your age, we advise you exercise judgement for each application. What we did was illustrate the breadth and depth of Gerry’s experience without ‘ageing’ him out of the pool of talent.

2) He had  plenty of ‘Achievements’ listed on his CV, but they weren’t actually achievements at all – they were job responsibilities, not evidence-based achievements. Gerry had listed all the detail about what he’d done and how he did it, but nothing about what the result was. Without this level of detail, a hiring manager or recruiter reading his CV was going to ask, ‘So what? That’s what you were paid to do!’

What we did was write his résumé to focus more on achievements and successes over responsibilities, and we made his successes quantifiable, and qualifiable with weighty facts and figures, so prospective employers could quickly ascertain his suitability for a position.

Achievements are just what recruiters need to see so they can get a quick understanding of a candidates experience, strengths and areas of expertise. When it comes to achievements though, what recruiters are really looking for is RESULTS, and EVIDENCE or proof of those results. Most people are great at stating their responsibilities and how they do (or did) their jobs, but don’t include the detail of what the outcome meant to the employer or the business as a whole. For example, like we did for Gerry, you need to detail how much money you saved, how much time you saved, how many dollars you made, what the actual result was of what you did in your job.

Employers recruit people who can get results. And evidence-based résumés get interviews. Added to this, the best indicator of what a candidate can do for their next employer is to provide evidence in a résumé of what results you have given your previous employers. It’s this detail that really interests employers.

3) Too much training. On top of including a lengthy list of training courses he had done, many of which bore no relevance to the jobs he was seeking, the 20 years of training just aged him (see point above). We trimmed Gerry’s long list of training to very specific, relevant and recently acquired training as the current amount was quite overwhelming to read through.

4) We created a contemporary, modern looking CV for Gerry, using a clear font and added plenty of white space to his document. We also included hyperlinks and metadata to the document.

Needless to say, Gerry got an interview for the only job he was keen to pursue, and after sailing through the interview process (because he could finally articulate his achievements and back them up with facts and figures), he was offered his dream job, with a hefty up tick in salary, a month after we finished working together.

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