Castille’s Yuliya Calleja on keeping your resume clean, relevant, and readable.
At any stage of career progression, putting together a relevant and organised resume is a must to succeed in job applications. It is the first impression you make on employers and presents your accomplishments in a readable format, demonstrating your capability to fulfil a particular on-site or remote job.
For the context of this blog post, we will use the term ‘resume’ and ‘CV’ interchangeably to refer to a document that outlines your academic career and other accomplishments. Together with Yuliya Calleja (Castille’s Talent Acquisition Advisor), the following article, which has been edited for length and clarity, will include details on how to write and format your CV for other professionals to read.
What personal information should employees include in their resumes?
Personal information doesn’t have to be extensive. The most important details to include are contact details and home address, at the very least the country of residency. Including your nationality can be helpful, but it doesn’t have to be disclosed. If you don’t want to include your nationality, the employee can state whether a work-permit is/not required to work in a certain country.
How significant are professional summaries nowadays?
A professional summary is important if it adds value to the resume. Ideally, it is tailored for every role that the employee is applying to, mentioning the skills and experiences that would bring value. For example, if an employee is applying for compliance roles, mentioning their knowledge of AML and financial terrorism laws and regulations in the professional summary would let the recruiter know immediately that this particular applicant might be a good fit.
In whatever details professionals include in their resumes, they must be relevant and specific to each job role applied to. Got it. How should candidates format their resumes?
The best structured CVs that I have seen are 1-2 pages long and are double-sided. On the left-hand side of the CV, include your personal details, education, and skills. These are usually illustrated in a column. On the right side, include your professional summary, work and education experience, starting from the most recent job until the earliest one. CVs that are organised like this is very clear and easy to read through.
Do make sure that the chosen font and size of your CV are easy to read. A font that is too small and was selected to fit everything on one page wouldn’t make your CV stronger. Instead, a recruiter will probably skip reading it altogether, meaning you lose out at your on-site or remote job.
What kind of skills should employees include in their resumes?
Ideally, skills included in a resume need to be tailored for each applied job role. If it is an analytical job, for example, mentioning analytical skills and similar IT programmes that the professional can use to fulfil this role will be an asset to their CV.
Generic skills like hard-working, communication, attention to detail, etcetera, will rarely add value to the resume and usually takes up unnecessary space. One of the most important skills to consider in the modern, international workforce, are language skills.
We’ve so far outlined the most significant details to include in resumes for any business professional. What should individuals avoid including in their resumes?
Avoid adding a photo of yourself, sometimes this can affect the first impression left to recruiters on a CV. Generally, it is always better to leave it out altogether.
Also, do not include work experience that is not relevant to a current career path, unless the employee is young and has little to no work experience. For example, a lawyer who was working as a waiter during their studies doesn’t have to put that experience in their CV as it is not relevant to their career now. It makes your CV unnecessarily longer and harder for recruiters to go through.
The same advice goes with education. If a candidate has a bachelor’s degree, diploma, a master’s degree, and so forth, there is no need to add their earlier school education on their CV. On the other hand, if an accountant, for example, is about to start obtaining their ACCA qualification—it is worth mentioning this in the CV under the education section or as part of the professional summary.
I think it’s important to note that every finance, IT, or other job has their own unique considerations in what is necessary to include on a CV. Although commonalities for every job, especially when it’s to do with CV formatting, persist for any workplace professional. Is there anything else you would like to add?
A good CV includes only relevant information and is structured in a way that is easy for recruiters to scan through. CVs that are too long by mentioning irrelevant education and experiences, that have a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes, that don’t have described duties for each role they mentioned, that are structured and formatted poorly, will not stand out among job applicants and can even be overlooked.
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