After 2 years of Sposoby Na Zasoby (Beclose To Resource – B2R), I have realized that a large amount of my network are non-Polish speakers. I have been fortunate to meet many people, all seeking their own professional career paths, people who are often confused, with many doubts and questions; people who, like most of us, can’t think outside the box, even in their professional career. So, I have decided to take this opportunity to also produce my blog content in English.
Today I would like to talk about the first steps every candidate needs to take. Resume (also known as a CV) preparation is a primary topic which candidates have a problem with. I am sure that the battle-hardened candidates amongst you, have read many ‘How to guides’ on Internet, maybe you have used one of the many websites that promises to create you the best resume/CV on the market or you are someone who just puts something together without any guidance. Of course, I am not saying every candidate is incapable of putting together a good resume/CV, however after many years in recruitment, I can still spot the usual mistakes, proving that there is still room for improvement and support on this subject.
Let start from the beginning. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the first opportunity you have to introduce yourself to a potential employer. To ensure you make the biggest impact, you should answer some key questions. What kind of job do you want? How do you want to apply? What do you want to include in your CV? What makes you unique? What did you do before?
Now it’s time to create your ticket to the new job! What should you avoid?
- Photo – photos on a CV is quite a European thing but in this day and age, it is not a must have. However, if you are going to include one, make sure it looks professional! Photos from the party, holidays, selfie, wedding pictures, or cropped from a group or made in paint is a NO GO! 😊
- E-mail address – It’s worth remembering that an email address is just as important as the overall look and feel of your CV so make it a professional one. Avoid using nicknames or rude words, keep it as simple as you can – e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Layout and grammar mistakes – style, wrong formatting, shorthand’s, colloquial phrasing or unreadable text – keep it clear and concise. Use one font ideally the same size where possible.
- Length of your CV – whether you are just coming on to the job market or you have been working for a number of years, it’s probably best to keep your CV as short as you can. There are lots different views as to how long a CV should be but the general rule is ideally on 2 pages.
- The universal CV – THIS DOES NOT EXIST! I do not recommend using one CV format for every job you go for, in fact, you should always modify and adapt your CV based on the type and particular requirements of each individual role you apply for.
- Non-compliance with the requirements – My advice would always be to read the full job description/ advert so you fully understand what is required. If you’re not 100% sure, read it again. No recruiter or potential employer wants to read a CV that has no relevance to the role being advertised. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
- Non-specific responsibilities – be specific, just putting your job title is not enough. A recruiter or potential employer wants to know what responsibilities and duties you were involved. Be honest on your CV, if you are a receptionist for example, don’t say you’re the Office Manager unless you actually are. If you don’t have the skills or the experience, don’t say you have.
- Clause – in some European countries including Poland, you should end your CV with a statement clearly indicating that you agree to the processing of your personal data.
„I agree to the processing of personal data provided in this document for realizing the recruitment process pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Act of 10 May 2018 (Journal of Laws 2018, item 1000) and in agreement with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)”.
“I hereby consent to my personal data being processed by (company name) for the purpose of considering my application for the advertised vacancy and future ones”.
The clause is required only by Polish law, there is no need to use it when applying abroad.
- A lie has no legs – lying is a slippery slope. Dishonesty will be verified during the interview with the recruiter.
- Sending CV without any context in the email – no information about the position you are applying for. No reference number from the job listing. Not adhering to the requirements from the listing (CV without a cover letter, or CV in Polish when English was required etc.).
In conclusion, something optimistic. Not every resumes are in 100% good, however in each of them we can find something good! 😊
Big thank you to my amazing peer Scott for his support and proofreading! 🙂