A strong command of your written expression is a critical skill to impress prospective employers. When crafting your resume, you must aim to have a vice grip of the recruiter’s attention because they typically only skim over a CV for no longer than 6 seconds. This article will elaborate on how to develop your written communication skills to enhance your academic or career pursuits, and disprove the common misconception of using superlative phrases amongst students which can put off recruiters because you come off pseudo-academic.
You must consider the amount of time each recruiter spends on each CV they encounter. Excessive word count and circumlocutive sentences are ineffective because not only does it show you have little experience writing a standout CV, but it also buries the important key points in your resume that show your experience/achievements.
Practising how to write in an active voice will set the tone of immediacy and power in your resume. Starting your sentences or bullet points with “power words” such as “organised”, “promoted” or “developed” can help eliminate ‘fluff’ language as it cuts straight to the point and reads as declarative, staccato phrases. Keep in mind that using weak and vague verbs can diminish the excellent work in your past experience!
Another extraneous habit to be mindful of is including filler words such as “this”, “that” or “of”, which extend your sentences unnecessarily. With practice, you can train yourself to become more conscious of your written language, and ultimately help you express yourself more succinctly.
Using professional jargon will enhance the level of sophistication of your resume. Not only can you establish the industry you are looking to work in, but show your aptitude for the field. That being said, you should not use over the top jargon to presumably impress prospective employers, as you risk over complicating your resume. It is a common trap for overzealous students to saturate their resumes with ‘jargon tactics’, and resultantly turn away recruiters who see you as ‘trying too hard’.
There are many reasons why you should limit your use of jargon and technical language in CV writing. For businesses who outsource their recruitment process, the recruitment consultant who reads your resume may not be familiar with your language. In the case that the person who is hired to recruit you, isn’t the person who conducts your job interview, you must consider simplifying your resume to be more universally readable.
The key to effective writing is to look for the perfect balance between simplified english and technical language.
It’s understandably hard having to omit the 200-hour volunteer work you proudly completed seven years ago, but employers are looking for your recent achievements and work experience. To keep your resume short and sweet, cut off your list of experience at approximately two years prior to the current date.Irrelevant information such as minor achievements or jobs which aren’t in the same industry you’re striving for should be removed. Reducing old information can allow you more space on your resume to list more key information on your job responsibilities and accomplishments, or to elaborate on your technical skills. If you are having trouble distinguishing what the relevant information is within your resume, research the key attributes and responsibilities that are requested in job listings. Prioritised information like relevant industry work should be ranked higher on your resume and chronologically list downward.
To increase the visual appeal of your CV, use metrics and statistics of your contributions to vary the content of your resume. The most successful candidates will include numerical data in their achievements subsections to prove your qualifications or capability to deliver results for the business. Recruiters are attracted to measurable output as the metrics speak for the value you can offer to their company. For example, if you are seeking employment in marketing, you might include this metric in your resume, “Reached 60,000 impressions per week on social media channels without expanding budget”, or “Increased social media following by 740%”.
Using the correct grammar is an easy way to ensure you convey yourself in a sophisticated grammar, but it is also easy for small grammatical mistakes to slip through in a resume submission, which may be detrimental to your job application. Simple touchups like ending each sentence or point in a period, using the correct tense or proper nouns, capitalisation or possessive words will improve the consistency and coherence of your CV exponentially. Recruiters will greatly appreciate when you have shown grammatical fluency and subconsciously presume you have fantastic written communication skills.
You must show you have taken time and lots of effort to craft the resume you have sent the recruiting officer. Your work should undergo several rounds of proofreading, perhaps even undergo peer assessment to increase the effectiveness of your resume. This will give you many opportunities to spot grammatical errors or rephrase ineffective sentences because there is always room for improvement or updating. When editing, consider the font and layout of your resume as their greatest influences the readability and ease of assessment for a recruiter. Attention to detail will not go unnoticed to the reader.
Overall, you must remind yourself that a resume is the first impression a prospective employer has of you. With this in mind, you must sell yourself through it. Show an outstanding amount of effort and consideration to your work, and your resume will effectively become an extension of you and your metaphorical passport throughout your career pursuits.