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The basics of a good resume

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Tonyste, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Tonyste

    Tonyste UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    What are the qualities of a wonderful resume, one that will make an employer greatly considered you for hiring ?
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Tonyste Member since: Apr 9, 2017
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,376 768
    Short (one or two pages)
    Honest
    Relevant experience
    Good spelling (not so bothered about punctuation but some people are)
    No waffling
    Presented with the particular job in mind. I used to use a template resume with a few adjustments for each job and delete non relevant bits as needed. They want a left handed tea maker I can make it look like I'm the best tea maker using the left hand they've come across. :)
    Without being dishonest.
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. Tonyste

    Tonyste UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    Love that please tell me more
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Tonyste Member since: Apr 9, 2017
    #3
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,376 768
    OK going out on a limb here.
    As a manager / interviewer selecting for interview I'll take the details of the job and apply it to the resumes.
    No interest in what school you went to, an interest in your highest level qualification. You have a degree for example, be proud of it.
    If all you have is a single GCE be proud of it.

    Unless the role calls for it, don't mention mundane stuff in relation to a job. Making tea in an office is nice of you and all but not relevant if you are applying for a manager job.

    Again, no interest in a job you had in 1988 as a brickie if you are applying for a job 30 years later as a bar manager.
    I use 'employed 1984 to 2004 in various office jobs doing xxx,xxx and xxx.' One line covering 20 years and probably a dozen employers. More relevant usually being the last few.
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #4
  5. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    28,526 8,431
    And customise the resume for each application. Include the words from the job advert in the resume. Recruiters use scanners and if you don’t have the keywords in the copy you get rejected.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #5
  6. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    8,978 2,277
    Do UK employers like the US word resume or do they still prefer CV?
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #6
  7. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    28,526 8,431
    They normally ask for a CV.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #7
  8. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,201 1,873
    Good knowledge of what the company does and what the job requires and your proof that you are capable of doing the job

    So many people i interviewed, when asked what do you know about us, answer erm um your a shop, a five min look at the site would tell them the whole story

    Qualifications from academia are not worth as much as working knowledge of the job and enthusiasm,
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #8
  9. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    839 112
    Call it a resume and you will go to the bottom of the pile.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #9
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,376 768
    Some places don't care about what to call it.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #10
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    6,893 2,684
    OK, I've got the skinny on this - from my side of the desk, that is!

    Two questions have to be answered -

    1. Does this person REALLY want this job (or would just like to have it, until something better comes along)?

    2. Can this person actually do the job?

    The last person we took on a month ago was badgering us for a position for six months at least. She was of course brilliant (as is every single person here!) but we did not yet have a position for her. She has proven herself to be totally brilliant at her job and I know that this person is 'money-on-the-hoof' for us!

    Nobody here has ever written a CV, though a few that have left us did do that sort of thing in the past - that that it would have made any difference! I have never asked for qualifications (other than those required by law for that position) and I have never checked on anybody's references. I use my own judgement!

    It took decades to learn to judge people. I wish I had been able to suss people out the way I can today, when I started out!
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #11
  12. Mark Halsall

    Mark Halsall UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 2
    As fisicx said, it is often the covering letter that is more important.

    A CV without a covering letter, or one that is generic leads me to believe that the applicant is just randomly sending out CV's to every company with a job available.

    A polite, enthusiastic, letter that is obviously tailored to the position advertised is refreshingly impressive these days.


    ps. Isn't 'resume' that really thin soup?
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: Mark Halsall Member since: Mar 6, 2018
    #12
  13. Thecvinspector

    Thecvinspector UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    A good CV / resume is one that is distilled, preferably to 2 pages where possible. You should also include your personal statement at the beginning along with your key skills. Also, try to avoid adding subjective statements as this is all too common. Agree with the above a covering letter is a must and not just a template as any employer or recruiter will see straight through it.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: Thecvinspector Member since: Mar 6, 2018
    #13
  14. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,376 768
    A personalised CV / resume that is done for that employer doesn't need a covering letter. Does need to be obvious about the fit for the company and role though.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #14
  15. Pembroke99

    Pembroke99 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    10 3
    A CV is in effect a sales pitch, and as all sales people on this list will tell you the object of selling something is to solve a problem that the customer has.

    For job adverts it's easy as the customer has already identified the problem that they have and all you need to do is tailor your pitch to them so you solve the problem.

    If you're contacting them on spec. though, maybe it's a company you want to work for but they don't have any advertised vacancies, then it's up to you to identify any problem they might have and then pitch yourself as the solution to that problem.
     
    Posted: Mar 9, 2018 By: Pembroke99 Member since: Oct 2, 2017
    #15
  16. strikingedge

    strikingedge UKBF Regular Free Member

    460 109
    From an in-house recruiter's perspective, when we get 100-300 CV's, we're NOT looking for a "wonderful" CV.

    We are looking for a reason to disqualify candidates.

    Around 50% of the applications we get are automatically disqualified by the computer based on a negative - so a complete waste of time crafting a unique CV for each application!

    The advice above is fine, but it is the same advice I was given in the 90's, and recruitment has changed in the last 30 years.

    The negatives we look for include:
    • Typos in the application, CV or letter.
    • Failing to complete the application form or saying "see CV".
    • If you live more than an hour's commute away.
    • No obvious experience or transferrable skills (the cover note can help to explain why you're a good fit)
    • Lack of progress in previous roles - did you fail to get promoted?
    • Unexplained gaps in employment.
    • Moving jobs every six months.
    • Not having a job when applying - there's full employment in the UK, so if you're good, you're employed. If you're not, there should be a good reason why not.
    • Boiler plate / copy and paste: "I work well in a team and equally well under my own initiative"

    Our judgement isn't as good! We take references from the last 3 managers and where relevant, from company owners, colleagues and the industry.

    We try to take a reference from the last employer, but if that isn't possible, we do it during the probation period.

    (So if you lied about your reasons for leaving or walked out without working your notice period, expect that to come back to bite you in the arse!)

    If someone fobs us off with a colleague or friend as a reference, we usually find that out and disqualify. Where we've come unstuck in the past, it has been because we didn't do enough referencing.

    We're trying to spot potential and avoid "duds" - people whose capabilities don't match their CV. e.g. someone could have 10 years experience in Digital Marketing, but that doesn't mean they are any good.
     
    Posted: Mar 30, 2018 By: strikingedge Member since: Jan 25, 2009
    #16
  17. Scott@KarmaContent

    [email protected] UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    744 318
    What sort of jobs do you recruit for? It sounds like you do it in a very old-fashioned and ineffective way.
     
    Posted: Mar 30, 2018 By: [email protected] Member since: Jun 24, 2014
    #17
  18. strikingedge

    strikingedge UKBF Regular Free Member

    460 109
    Ouch! Why do you think we're old fashioned or ineffective?

    I'm not a recruitment consultant! We recruit for our own team - senior Heads of Department through to logistics and production assistants. We recruited copywriters and creative leads recently.

    I think the OP should be aware that companies aren't necessarily looking for the perfect CV, they're looking for reasons to disqualify.
     
    Posted: Mar 30, 2018 By: strikingedge Member since: Jan 25, 2009
    #18
  19. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    6,893 2,684
    Because -
    Which is the opposite of what you should be doing. I am looking for raw IQ and a creative and positive outlook, above and beyond any minimum requirements, such as a legally required qualification, or any other obvious hurdles. I'm looking for that 'Star-Performer'. You are looking for the lowest common denominator above a set of minimum requirements.
    Which is precisely the kind of position that is best filled by a 'Star-Performer'

    Obviously, if we are looking for (for the sake of argument) a senior music teacher, an experienced music teacher is required with a post-graduate music degree, so all those goof-ball guitarists who can't read music properly and can only play one instrument go into file-13. Retired old guys also go into file-13.

    But once we have established the bench-mark, above which our hopefuls must come, I am looking for that intelligent spark of creativity and a desire to build and create.

    Good copywriters come from anywhere. Some magic degree does not make for a good copywriter. I used to employ journalists and they came from just about anywhere! Barkeeps, waitresses, MAs in languages, engineers, mechanics, you name 'em and we got 'em and in the main, they were more than good!

    Your idea that we should exclude people until there is just the one left with nothing bad against their names (but nothing good either!) means that you would have excluded anyone without a college degree, without the right CVs and references and without the right pieces of paper and references.

    So, by your own admission, you would have passed over one of the greatest copywriters and advertising creatives the World has ever seen - David Ogilvy, but gone for some un-creative and boring non-entity that ticks all your boxes. For the same reasons, you would have excluded other creative business people such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and a whole host of other people who failed to tick any formal boxes at all!

    If you exclude people for failing to tick some idiotic box, then you exclude that one magic 'Star-Performer'.

    Businesses are made of people and nothing else but people. All the capital, IP, buildings and structure is 100% worthless without people. Your business depends on finding those 'Star-Performers', the creatives with the raw IQ and drive to grow - and needs to avoid box-ticking nonentities like the plague!
     
    Posted: Mar 31, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #19
  20. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    7,376 768
    In the last recruitment board I was on we were looking at the applications to pull out those with formal experience of the type of work for team leader position as well as team members, we were looking for less formal experience if they had it (lot more common) for the team members. Or experience with the client group in other ways.

    Qualifications would only be found on those who had the formal experience and even then rare - I've never seen an application that had qualifications relevant to that role when on the panel.

    We struggled to find sufficient applicants to interview each time, jobcentre advert so of course a bunch of applications that had no useful skills for the job. In at least one case no language skills either, as in not knowing English.
    We ended up with a good mix of people each time. Not the greatest as we weren't advertising the going rates for the job but still a good range of skills.
     
    Posted: Mar 31, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #20