Recruiters take an average of 10 seconds to read a CV. How can you keep their attention?
Think of the introduction of your CV as the beginning of a great James Bond movie. Doesn’t it usually start with an exciting (and often very incredible) scene? It’s a way to get attention from the beginning and make sure people stay in their seats until the end of the credits. I’m not asking you to start doing your own stunts (and hiring international spies), but it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re writing your CV. Recruiters have busy schedules and short attention spans. Do your best to get their attention from the start.
To engage your reader with what you have to offer, start your resume with a powerful and unique value proposition statement. This can have an immediate impact on the number of job interviews you land.
Write your professional profile as if it were a product
As disturbing as it may seem, consider yourself a product… that you have to sell! Your professional profile is your value proposition statement, the place where you clarify, from the outset, what you can bring to the business. Start your resume with what you have to offer, rather than what you want to accomplish. Promote yourself as a high-potential candidate and you’ll win more interviews. Don’t know how to write a great job profile? Here’s a good example.
Experienced manager with more than 10 years of experience in management, sales and customer service positions. Motivated by the pursuit of success and leading high performance organizations. Generated $1 million in revenue in the Ontario region by increasing sales within existing customer base and attracting new business by referral. Highly collaborative team leader inspiring the achievement of superior goals. Visionary change agent with successful experience turning challenges into opportunities.
In terms of length, a paragraph like this is ideal. Focus only on the relevant information. Avoid empty phrases that act as fillers! James Bond, after all, doesn’t stop for a little drink when he’s in the middle of a car chase at the beginning of the film. Whenever possible, it’s also a good idea to use numbers and data. This can make the success more memorable and impressive (e.g. “25% increase in web traffic versus 25% increase in web traffic”).
Spending time making this one change to your CV may well increase your chances of being called for an interview. You need to make sure that your reader hangs on to your CV until the last word so that they see everything you have to offer. The more your CV is read, the more likely it is that your phone will ring with a job offer waiting for you!