Korn Ferry, a California-based management consulting firm, employs 7,643 people worldwide.
Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry, listed the 5 key characteristics that make up the most effective CV after 20 years of recruiting experience:
Throughout my career, I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes and seen all kinds. Believe me, I can tell you that most of them have similar problems: I’ve seen resumes that are too long, too boring, difficult to read, and with lots of typos.
A few years ago I came across a resume that shocked me.
To be honest, the resume I saw was the best I’ve seen in 20 years. It didn’t contain any cheats. As expected, I hired the candidate.
Some highlights of his resume were:
1) It was easy to read.
The resume page had plenty of white space and was only two pages long, even though the candidate had over 10 years of experience.
Everything was beautifully organized: line spacing was in the right place, company names were in bold, titles were in italics, and job details were separated by clauses. By the way, there wasn’t a single typo.
The font used in the resume was not very fancy. Many candidates spend their time obsessively trying to find a cool font, there is no need. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri are always easy to read.
2) He was telling a story.
This resume told a story about the candidate’s career journey. It owes this integrity to the fact that there is no lack of information. When I looked at the resume, I saw a whole timeline. In just a few seconds, I was able to see the candidate’s career growth and ladder.
In other words, he had drawn up a chronology of his own business history.
3) Not only his responsibilities but also his achievements were in the resume.
As a recruiter, I’m incredibly tired of reading a copy-paste job description list. What employers really want to know is whether the other candidate can deliver measurable results and is above average. This person gave exactly what was asked.
Detailing your responsibilities with your impressive achievements always puts you ahead.
• Instead of “Expanded operations to international markets” use “Expanded operations to eight new countries in Latin America”.
• Instead of “managing the sales and marketing team,” use the phrase “Leading the sales and marketing team and resulting 15 percent annual growth.”
4) He stuck to the truth.
There were no inconsistencies in the resume. Everything was believable and reassuring that no figures were exaggerated.
Better still, the person had links to the LinkedIn page on their resume and their professional website, which included a portfolio of their work. This is a big step towards reaching the truth for me.
Tell the truth, period.
While great achievements and well-known company names give you an edge, be careful with this: Employers run a reference check and if you’re found out to be lying, it’s game over.
5) No stereotypical claims were made.
He was far from general and high-level assertions such as “creative”, “hard worker”, “result oriented”, “excellent communicator” or my favorite “team player”.
Many of these cliché terms will make the recruiter roll their eyes for a second. Skip the cheesy adjectives and overused terms and go for action verbs instead:
• Instead of “excellent communicator,” use the phrase “Presenting at client-facing meetings and speaking on college campuses.”
• Instead of “Very creative”, “Designed and implemented a new global application monitoring platform”
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