One Sheet of Paper

The resume can be hard. Adopting a familiar style can help you get past the screen.

Mention of a job search conjures up many thoughts, but picturing the lonely out of date work doc on your computer labeled [Name_CV_2018] is likely one of them. The resume still rules most candidate screening programs. Even if it will only be scanned by software it is too important to take a pass on if you are applying to jobs where you do not have a strong connection already.

Like any communication, putting down you work history and aptitude for a job is all about simplicity. Being direct in communicating your strength and removing information that is not relevant will help your profile rise to the top. While there are endless debates about buzz words, ways to talk up your work or other tricks, one attainable improvement to the document in style.

The message is in the medium. With a resume or CV, if someone is reading yours as a job prospect they are almost always reviewing dozens more in the same twenty minutes of the afternoon that they carved out for it. Brevity, certainly within the confines of a single page, is a good starting point. Beyond brevity, adopting a standard style that might be familiar to readers is also a strong tactic. Thankfully for the masses, the tried and true resume formats from the countries top business schools are open source. Even if only a few hundred enter the workforce from top business schools every year their resume styles are seen best practice in many fields. We offer a format based of Harvard Business School’s template to Kiter users as a guide that will always be familiar and readable to both computers and hiring managers. Like putting on a less flamboyant outfit for an interview, choosing a trusted style format is a safe bet, especially for jobs where the hiring manager might be an ‘MBA type’ but rarely will be out of place.

Excitement in the content. Even if adopting a standard, or even boring, style could get you past the first few seconds of reading, adding some flare in the content can be helpful. It is unlikely that a hiring manger will be excited by yet another instance of someone who has mastered the Microsoft suite, but they may have a common interest in backpacking or be a fellow sneakerhead. Try not to hold back on your passions if you have an area where you can speak to them.

Think about the process beyond the paper. In updating your document you can take the time to think about what you have done so far, and what you really will be bringing to the company. For a great role and a great fit, it will probably be hard to capture this in a resume so be sure to bring this energy elsewhere. Whether in interviews or in networking before the interview speak beyond what is on the paper. Good luck!

Peter Mangan
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