HEADSTARTERZ

TIPS ON CREATING AN EYE-CATCHING LINKEDIN PROFILE
& HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY USE YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK

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ENHANCV

TIPS ON WRITING INTERVIEW-WORTHY
CV AND COVER LETTER

First time creating a cover letter or a CV?


Worry not – we’ve all been there. It’s a step that will kickstart your career, so one should treat it seriously.


That’s why in this short but comprehensive guide from Enhancv, you’re going to learn:


• What’s the proper way to speak about your experience?

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• How to tailor your CV for each job?

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• How to express your personality on paper? (Yes, it’s possible!)

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• What else can you add to your resume or cover letter besides work experience?

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Even if it’s not your first rodeo, there’s always something you can learn.


Without further ado, let’s get started!

How to create an interview-worthy CV besides the obvious sections?

In case you haven’t heard of Enhancv, we build the world’s most intuitive resume builder. 


Our tool is a bit different than your average CV building software, as it helps people highlight their achievements, attitude, and personality, so they can tell their story with confidence.


Let’s see how you can elevate your CV or cover letter with Enhancv (or any other tool), keeping in mind the following tips.

1. Quantify your experience

The easy way out of writing your resume is to copy-paste your previous job or internship description. 


That tells what you’ve done, but doesn’t differentiate you from the rest of the candidates.


Instead, focus on your most important accomplishments and see if there is a way to quantify them.


There are several simple frameworks which help you formulate your bullet points in a meaningful way. We’re going to look at STAR, specifically. It stands for:


S – Situation,
TTask
AAction
RResult

In other words, you’re describing a situation in which you performed an action to complete a task, which led to a certain outcome.


The last part – the outcome – is the most important bit that candidates often forget.


It’s best to explain it with an example – which of the two sentences below sounds more powerful?

"Resolved billing backlog issues"

Or

"Resolved a 6-month billing backlog issue, bringing all accounts up to date"

It boils down to answering three questions:

• What did you do?

• Why did you do it?

• What was the result?

2. Proofread, proofread, proofread

One of the most loved Enhancv features is the Content Analyzer which scans the resume for inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and experience bullet points which are not performance-oriented.

It also gives you options on how to improve what you want to say, using numbers and results.

Hint: If you’re using MS Office to build your resume, you can turn on Spelling & Grammar from the File menu, or if you’re building your resume online, install Grammarly, which is a great add-on for quick grammar checks. 

3. Get Feedback

Do you remember the last time you asked someone for help with your resume? 


You may feel uncomfortable sharing unfinished documents with someone else. However, we bet that if you ask for help, you might get some critique, but you’ll also get priceless advice and a couple of “Well done!”. 


No matter what happens, you’ll be prepared to take on the next challenge!


Hint: You can do that easily with Enhancv. Just share a link to a friend, colleague or anyone who you feel can give you proper feedback. The process is as simple as placing sticky notes on a piece of paper. When you receive the feedback, the comments are easy to manage, go through and reflect on at any time.


In any case, we’ve seen tremendous results from resumes who’ve been peer-reviewed so make sure you keep your feedback loop going!

4. Look beyond the obvious experience

If you’re still a student, chances are your resume won’t boast a ton of job experience. 


Well, that might be a general perception, but it’s not always the actual, on-the-job experience that makes or breaks an application.


Thinking about your experience as something you get in a working environment is confining you as an individual to certain limits. 


Have you spent time volunteering, coaching, taking on extra-curricular activities, school activities, at school, playing a sport professionally?


All of the above and more can count as previous experience. Especially if you connect this experience with the skills the job wants you to have.


Let’s say they want to hire a consistent and responsible new team member.


You can say “Played squash for the university team at Orleans University”. 


Or, add just a few more words and modify this to “Played squashed professionally for 3 years during which I attended 300+ hours of training and qualified the team for 2 regional final competitions”.


What this sentence tells the recruiter is that you’ve got discipline, tenacity and consistency, which might be just enough for you to get yourself an interview.

5. Tailor your resume or cover letter for each job

Think of it this way – you’ve got a limited amount of space you can impress a recruiter


Tailoring your resume ensures you draw attention immediately to these particular skills and qualities that make you the best candidate.


The best way to tailor your resume for each job you’re applying for is with a personal summary.


You can place it just about anywhere, but it makes the most sense if it’s following directly your contact information.

You don’t need a lengthy paragraph – a 2-3 sentence summary would suffice.


Here’s a simple formula you can use:


[Your current status] with an interest in [Industry / Role] hoping to improve my skill in [hard & soft skills]. A [personal attribute] worker motivated by [aspect of company culture]. 


You can see an example of this below from Enhancv’s blog:


A high-school student with an interest in real estate law hoping to improve my skill in Legal research, Law office support, and State procedures. A dedicated worker motivated by independent work and personal freedom (with guidance) in tasks.

6. Express your personality

If you’re entry-level or just starting out, your resume is expected to have less experience. This is why it’s viable to capitalise on your personal attributes that convey who you are and what impact you’ll make on the business.


Recruiters are looking for doers, so you can easily prove that you can do your job with a little bit of personalisation. What’s more, you’ll be able to demonstrate “culture-fit” – showing how well you mix with the company’s team and values.

Hint: You can use Enhancv Most Proud Of section to highlight achievements from your personal and professional history.

7. Be consistent with your resume and cover letter

Your cover letter acts as the icing on the cake of your resume. They shouldn’t contradict but complement each other.


It doesn’t mean they have to look completely the same, but they should at least have a similar usage of font, colours and style.

Takeaways

By far, you should be familiar with some of the basic principles of writing your resume or CV. To recap:


1. Use feedback from people who know you well so you can make the best version of your resume

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2. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

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3. Tailor your resume for each job you’re applying for.

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4. Quantify your achievements using numbers and results.

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5. Add a splash of personality to your resume and demonstrate your “culture-fit”.


Now go out there and create the best version of your resume using the tips provided above! And, in case you feel like dropping us a message, you can do so at howdy@enhancv.com

 

 

THE NEXT APPLICATION PERIOD IS OPEN BETWEEN 8 MAY AND 29 MAY 2020. APPLY HERE!