This is a cool episode, because this is your first chance to get super creative and really show your personality & tech skills as well as your professional skills, experience and qualifications.
And this week in the study pack I share a REAL version of my CV with you, so you can see how I position myself when applying for a remote role. Because of course I do this too! So before we talk about format and layout, what do you need to include in your resume or CV?
- The 8 chunks of information you must include
- 3 interesting things about you to help you stand out from the crowd
- A summary of the golden resume rules!
Get the Podcast Study Pack 3 and receive a worksheet, guide or checklist workbook for every episode, so you can make your remote career & transition a reality ASAP.
1. Your Profile Photo
First up, a picture speaks a thousand words! Yes, as scary as it sounds, I do recommend putting a photo of yourself on your resume. It instantly shows confidence & personality and helps you stand out from the crowd. There’s something that clicks — and lights up! — in someone’s brain when they can put a face to a name. As Rob Asghar says in his Forbes article:
“We now live in a visual, multimedia age.”
But don’t over think it. Give yourself 5 seconds to decide, then do it or don’t do it. Keep this a drama-free decision, ok? If it gives you chills or your worried about discrimination, don’t do it. Done. I think there’s something so bold and unapologetic about showing up visually, loud and proud. That’s my personal opinion.
2. Your Name
Include your first name and last name. Keep this really simple.
3. Your Summary
Include a 3-5 sentence overview of yourself and your career. You can use this as a chance to share your values, your career path, your vision of your career future, the kinds of companies & industries you’ve worked in, and the kinds of clients and customers you’ve served. It gives a snapshot of who you are, what you do and why.
4. Your contact information
Include your email address, your phone number with country code, your time zone, and your website or portfolio if you have one.
Up until this point all of these details can stay the same, so you can set up a template where these areas remain fixed and you just edit and adapt the rest of your information as I’m about to walk your through.
5. Your Job Title
This will depend on what you’re applying for. Sometimes I use a generic job title/ role like: Media Strategist & Communications Planner, other times I might write Product Marketing Strategist, Community Strategist or Comms Strategist, depending on the role I’m applying for. All are true, I have a lot of experience and different companies have different labels for the same thing. Just make sure it’s aligned with the role you’re apply for.
6. Your Core Skills
This is a useful 5-7 bullet-point list of your core capabilities that create an at-a glance impression in seconds, and useful since the digital age has turned us all into skim readers. I include my core competencies like marketing strategy, media strategy, communications planning as well as skills relevant to the role I’m apply for e.g. digital transformation strategy or remote culture strategy. This about which 5-7 skills are the most relevant for the role and BULLET them!
7. 3-5 Most Relevant Work Experience
I have almost 2 decades of work experience in media & marketing alone, not including University internships & 2 roles in investment banking before that — including everything would be a train wreck. So, I pick the 3- most relevant experience that align with the skills & experience they are looking for, then write a line underneath that says: full work experience in LinkedIn’ and hyperlink that line to my LinkedIn profile (which we’ll talk about in more detail in an episode coming up). General I include: role/ title, dates, summary of accomplishments, and whether it was remote. If you have no remote experience, not to worry. You can position yourself as an ideal remote candidate in the cover letter, which I’ll talk about in the next episode… I think!
Focusing on the most relevant 3-5 work experiences – to be honest I only ever include 3 — keeps my CV looking sharp and neat but most importantly, the hiring team don’t have to sift through a lot of detail looking for relevance. You’ve already put it on a platter for them. But do what feels good to you. If you feel like this is too much of a radical departure from your usual approach, take baby steps!
8. 3 Interesting Things About You
This just adds a little spice so you can show your extracurricular interested or accomplishments and distinguish yourself from the crowd without taking up too much space.
I add my degree, and then usually mention my podcast and my books. So the three titles might be: University of Edinburgh, Podcaster, And Author with a short description underneath. And that’s it!
The Golden Rules:
- Use a clean, one-page template. Head over to Canva and choose one of the resume templates. This makes it SOOOO easy and you can then see how much space you have to work with.
- Edit and adapt for each role – make your resume 100% relevant to each role you’re applying for. Better to do one quality application a day than a scattergun approach.
- Download and send it as a PDF – then you don’t have to worry about Apple & Microsoft users, everyone can open and read a PDF.
- Optional: upload it to your website, and create a pretty link: mine is stephanieholland.co/cv to people can find it easily, and again to show your tech prowess!
All of this shows a bit of thought & creativity. Imagine the hiring managers surprise to get a colour, well laid out, one page CV overview with a photo! That definitely slices through the boredom of ploughing through 3000+ CVs!
Over in the study pack I’ve included my CV as this episode’s bonus — it’s called worksheet 12, just so you can find it easily, and so I don’t muck up my worksheet numbers! — so you can see exactly how I present myself, the template I use (you can find it in Canva) and despite having 18 years experience, confidently condense my information into an enticing hors d’oeuvre that arouses enough curiosity to invite an interview. At the end of the day, that’s what the role of CV is , to get you to the first interview!
If you don’t have the worksheet yet don’t worry, head over here to get your copy there.
That’s it from me this week. See you next week on Thriving Empire Live!
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