By Søren Rosenmeier, International CEO, Right People Group
The other day I received a CV from a freelance consultant. I was excited to read it, so I printed it out in colour, settled down in my most comfortable chair with a cup of coffee, a piece of chocolate and started reading.
Just kidding … it is rare a CV is even read. The truth is, no one actually reads your resume – they skim it! The reader gauges a lightning fast overview of the resume and assesses the content up against the essentials needed for the job.
A CV’s first impression is crucial – not least when you are working as a consultant
First impressions of your resume are just as important as the first impression you give when meeting a potential employer. Actually, it’s much more important. The reason being that even the most cynical and no-nonsense employers are too polite to say “thank you for coming, it was nice meeting you, but I feel you’re not quite right for the position” until after the handshake and the formal introductions. But that’s exactly what happens to your resume if the first impression is not good enough. The vast majority of resumes are mentally put straight into the bin as the first impression is too far from the employer’s needs (this is done in seconds – not minutes). Only where there is a decent correlation between the employers needs and the first impression the CV gives will the receiver skim through more thoroughly, and finally maybe even read parts of your resume in depth.
What do you actually do to enhance your resume’s first impression? There are as many answers to that question as there are cantankerous recruitment and consultant agents. But I believe that your CV should:
1: Within the first 10 seconds, give the reader the feeling that you are a strong match to their specific needs 2: Let a thorough reading of your CV confirm this sensation
There are many good CV templates online. Find a template that matches your profile and style and make sure that your final CV includes:
Checklist for a readable IT consultant resume
Customized Profile Text at Top of CV Have a coherent profile text of 10-20 lines that succinctly summarizes your education, experience and skills. Be sure to customize this text to the reader, so it reads clearly how you match the needs demanded.
CV Image Have a professional and reliable photo (save the fishing trip and the funny hat for the family album). Simple and elegant appearance Drop WordArt, strange font colours, coloured backgrounds, dotted frames etc. You standout more than you’d think by having a simple aesthetic and completed layout.
Keywords in your CV Make sure that the keywords used in the job / project description which you are applying to, appears in both your profile text and your general content.
No spelling errors Word has an ingenious feature called “Spelling and Grammar” – use it.
Contact Info Make sure to use your current mobile number and e-mail.
Relevant content Content is essential. Make sure there are adequate descriptions of all relevant responsibilities and activities. Give the most space to the most relevant and recent experience, particularly that which applies to the reader’s needs.
References in the CV Mention people who can be contacted from each period of work/experience or use specific opinions from Linkedin or another similar platform.
Precise formulations Don’t see yourself as the best-written communicator? Get someone to help you. Write concisely and use the likes of bullet points.
Is your CV good enough to make it as an IT consultant?
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