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CV’s, Acronyms Don’t Travel Spell it Out

If you read this and learn nothing then you may well be on the way to finding the job of your dreams as you will have provided you chosen international recruitment agency with all the ammunition they require.

It is often said “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Your resume gives a potential employer a powerful message about what kind of employee you would be. With only a few seconds to capture the attention of the reader and showcase your extensive skills, you need to make the most of your resume but your resume is only part of the story these days but let’s see if we can help you get that right first of all.

  • Spell Check and “Reality Check”

Before you submit your resume, make sure you give it a spell check using your word processing software. After you spell check it, have someone else give it a quick “reality check” to make sure that the spell checker didn’t miss anything and to make sure that you didn’t make a mistake that your computer can’t identify. It is important that you get a second set of eyes to look over the document that could be responsible for your next job. If you are like me I read what I think I’ve typed and we all get word blindness.

  • OK – get rid of the gobbledegook

Never heard the word? Check it out. It means going back to your CV and removing/amending/extending anything you have used that wouldn’t be understood by Mr Average. Acronyms don’t travel internationally and mean different things in different locations so spell them out each time to make it easy for the reader. Also when describing a skill use an internationally understood definition (see keywords below)

  • Not Too Long, But Not Too Short

How long should your resume be? This is always a tough call. Some experts believe a one page resume is the perfect length. I would disagree, unless you really have few skills and experiences to share. Go into enough detail to give an accurate view of your skills, but not so long that the reader falls asleep. You do not need to list every project you have ever worked on. Summarize, but be inclusive. Aim for two pages but go to 3 but 4 max, even if you want to be Chairman of the Board

  • Formatting Counts

Have 2 or more versions of your resume available. One to be viewed online and one to be handed out in person. Fancy formatting with pretty fonts, lines, boxes and bullet points just does not make it through on most computers. Anything you send or submit online should have very basic formatting (spacing and paragraph breaks, for example).

  • Keywords are Key

When an international recruitment agency searches a database, they use keywords. In general, they expect the results to be representative of what they are searching for. This should mean a couple of things to you:

  1. Include relevant keywords in your resume, because this is how you will be found.
  2. Don’t fill your resume with keywords that are not relevant of your experience. A list of keywords that do not represent your expertise should be avoided.
  3. Use terms with definitions that help the reader and are commonly understood internationally – e.g. computer specialist, what does this mean? – hardware, software, programmer, web designer. You inform the reader don’t let them guess. An electrical engineer from the sub-continent becomes an electrical fitter in Europe. A Polish electrician will be an Electrician’s mate in the UK

Get the idea; spend a bit of time getting it right. Check your skills out on the internet

  • Include the Basics

A technical resume should include the following information sections.

  1. An objective: 1-2 sentences describing what you want, customize this for the job you are applying for, be as precise as you can be.
  2. Education: Any degrees you have completed or relevant trade certificates.
  3. Experience: List your past employers and/or major projects you have worked on. Start with the most recent.
  4. Technology Summary: List only the technologies you know well.
  • Have Multiple Versions

If you are in more than one role (or have skills that may fit more than one role) you should have multiple versions of your resume available that highlight those skills. For example, if you have years of experience as an electrical engineer, and also have project management expertise, have two resumes: one highlighting your engineering experience and another highlighting your project management experience.

  • Make Your Resume Visible

International recruiters like to search and “source” for candidates. If your resume (or bio) is not some place where an international recruitment agency can find it, then they don’t know you exist. In addition to the regular job boards, consider posting your resume on personal web pages, as well as networking tools and job boards.

  • What else?

You thought you’d finished?
If you have not added a recent photograph do so. We have mentioned about being visible. We and our clients like to see you and if you look at the growth of the likes of LinkedIn and Facebook they all have photographs and it now looks odd not to have them. Why disadvantage yourself?

  • New trends

Involve others in reviewing your 500 words and make it bespoke to the application send
Now the last job

  • Now the last job

Check that all your contact details actually work, you’d be surprised how many bounced emails we get. Also regularly monitor your email addresses for responses.

Getting your CV/employment package right is your investment in your future.

  • Lies, damned lies and CV’s

We’ll try not to waste your time, but please don’t waste ours. Like Icarus you’ll crash and burn if your CV includes “Porkies”

We can spot them from a continent away.


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.