Last week I offered to help anyone who needed with resume reviews or career advice. That post got over 13.000 views, 300+ reactions and resulted in 60+ private messages. I’m almost down to inbox zero and have checked over 45 resumes. This is what I learned:

1. Limit content to 2 pages (max 3 if you have 20+ years of experience)

2. Display contact details clearly, ideally on each page. Also display needed personal information if relevant (picture, drivers license, nationality, married), depends on local regulations too.

3. Choose a format that makes the key information stand out (avg recruiter scans a resume in 7.4 seconds).

4. Show work experience on the top half of the first page, education, skills and training are secondary.

5. If you use a picture, make sure it’s professional and well lit.

6. Use bullet points for work achievements instead of long paragraphs.

7. Send your CV in PDF with a proper file name.

8. Stand out with a professional format or small graphic highlights like a skill progress bar. Don’t use multiple different fonts or multiple different alignment locations of text

9. Don’t list all training you’ve ever done in your entire career. Pick 5 to 10 most relevant ones.

10. Evaluate relevancy of items that are more than 10 years old (winning #3 place in Science competition in 1997 is likely not relevant anymore.).

11. Highlight key work achievement with numbers (SMART). Example “Wrote 15 SOP’s for new rides in the park and trained 125 staff”, instead of ” I wrote all the SOP’s and did all the training”

12. Make email addresses and LinkedIn clickable links. QR codes can be a nice alternative.

13. References don’t need to be displayed and can be on request.

14. Don’t display salary information on your resume.

15. And last, but not least (around 70% of resumes) avoid spelling mistakes (have your CV checked by someone, especially if English is not your native language)


Good luck in 2021, Merry Christmas & happy New Year!

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