Best CV advice I ever received | IT Contractor

best cv advice
best cv advice

The Best CV Advice article comes from Aussie contractor site

Best CV Advice

Most resume advice is pretty bog-standard stuff: focus on what you did, check your spelling etc. It’s important to know, but it’s almost all the same. This is not helpful if you want to stand out from the crowd.

The best CV advice I ever received came from a job-hunting book written by a top US head-hunter.

I can’t remember the name of the book or the author’s name (I read it in 1995), but I can remember what it said. It helps create a powerful CV.

Best CV Advice – Direct Marketing

It advised using direct-marketing wisdom when writing your resume, and most importantly to use the golden rule of direct-marketing: “Long copy sells”.

Best CV Layout
Best CV Layout

Direct-marketing typically involves selecting names and addresses from a database and sending a sales letter to those addresses. Usually, the letter is accompanied by a mail-back card, which the recipient sends if they want to order something.

The mail-back aspect of this technique allows marketers to gain pretty accurate information about what works and what doesn’t.

They can experiment with different letters, pitches and so on. They put codes on the mail-back cards relating to the mailing that they were sent with.

Best CV Advice – Used for Decades

Direct-marketing has been used for decades, and more data has been collected on it than probably any other marketing technique.

All this data has provided marketers with a collection of golden-rules for success.

The most golden of these rules is that “long copy sells” or simply: a five-page letter gives better results than a one-page letter.

Two Types of Direct Marketing Material

This is because there are two types of recipient of direct marketing material: those who chuck it straight in the bin, and those who read it.

The more information you give to those that read about your product, the more likely they are to buy that product.

So what’s this got to do with job-hunting? Well, you can look at your resume as the central document in your own direct-marketing campaign. The aim of it is to sell You Ltd and get you an interview.

Best CV Advice – Golden Rule

The golden rule of direct marketing should tell you that a one or two page resume probably isn’t going to work. Instead, you should aim for four pages or more and go into detail about your skills and experience.

One of the problems with using this technique is that recruitment agents often don’t read long resumes. This is easily overcome by summarising the contents on the first page.

Soon after reading this advice and making my resume longer and more detailed than the standard two pages, I noticed I was getting more interviews.

Not only that, I was being interviewed for more senior positions even though my skills and experience hadn’t changed.

Effect of Short CVs

I’ve actually seen the effect of short resumes at the recruitment end.

People who are good candidates are declined, because they didn’t provide enough information. Managers dismiss them as inexperienced or having something to hide.

So ignore the general advice and go for a long and detailed resume with a first-page summary. It worked for me.

If everybody was to give just a two-page resume, then what competitive advantage have you got for having all those years of experience?

No, provide them with all the information or you‘ll just be one of the crowd.

This was the best CV advice I ever received.

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