About the series
Once again welcome to the series. If you’re here for the first time and you want to start from top, below is the link to the series intro.
Write a powerful CV/Resume: a series
This is the first part of a series dedicated to enable you to create your own CV in a powerful way by giving you the…
In this post we’ll be covering the mindset to have while creating your own CV/resume. These are some tricks that would you to better articulate and keep only the stuff that’s really important.
Mindset 1: Think of your CV as a piece of land
When it comes to keeping and removing content from your CV/resume, this mindset comes in really handy.
Think of your CV as a land and all the words as people who want to live on that land. There’s limited space and not every word can make it. We all know what happens when there’s low supply and high demand, the price shoots up.
On a single page, one can fit about 500–600 words at an average keeping a clean formatting. Now think of all the work you’ve done. I am quite sure, you’ll need more than 600 words to explain your entire work experience.
The cost per word on your CV goes very high. On your resume, the cost is even higher because there’s even less space as compared to a CV.
Think about that above line for a bit. Now, think about adding “cooking” or “Swimming” as a hobby on your developer job CV/resume. Do you see what I am getting at? Cooking has got nothing to do a programming job. It contributes nothing.
A good CV/resume would convey enough information in least number of words to convince the company that you’re worth calling for an interview.
Notice in the above quote, I used the term “enough information” not “entire information” and that is because you can’t fit everything from years of experience on a page or two.
Remember: Every word on your CV should contribute something
Mindset 2: Remember to Diversify
While writing your CV/resume, it important to showcase a vast horizon of things you have worked on. In a CV we get two places where we can showcase this diversity.
- In the experiences section, where we talk about things we did while working for the company.
- In the projects section, where we talk about specific projects we worked on.
Now, I generally don’t include same or even similar things in the two sections. I use the two sections to showcase two different skillsets.
- In the experiences section, I talk more about the impact I had on the company. Things like leading an initiative, mentoring junior developers, talking about scalability etc.
- In the projects section, I don’t explain the project because most of it would covered by non-disclosures but what I do is showcase the impact I had on the project.
Now that we’re talking about impact, lets go on to the most important mindset.
Mindset 3: Think about impact you’ve created
Let me start this mindset with a fact:
Companies don’t hire employees for what they’ve done for other companies, in the past. They hire employees based on what they can do for them in the future.
No matter what projects you’ve worked on, how complex they were or how trivial they were, it’s all about impact.
Revolve your entire CV/resume around impact and you’ll never go wrong.
We talk a lot about problem solving, so answer me this, what was the problem? How did you solve it? How did you measure your success?
What if you don’t know the impact of your work?
This is where a lot of people go wrong and honestly it’s a sticky situation to be in, because you worked on something just because you were told to.
It’s never too late. If you’re still working in the same company, you can always go back and ask your project managers, team leads about the why. They would always know the answer, because nothing gets done without a reason. If they give you some numbers, that’s perfect! If they don’t, then understand the problem and how does the solution you built help solve the problem.
It’s very important to know why you’re doing something. What were the customer’s needs? What challenge was being faced by the business?
A helpful framework from experts for highlighting Impact
Accomplished X, as measured by Y, by doing Z.
This has been one of the best frameworks I’ve come across that helps in highlighting impact of work keeping in mind the mindset 1.
When experts talk about using action words to start your sentences, that’s what they are trying to do. They are trying to highlight what is it that you did which made it a success.
We’ll learn more about this framework in the next part, where we’ll dive deep into drafting your CV/resume.
The next chapter in the series
To recap, think about impact, don’t repeat yourself and provide enough information in least number of words.
Now that you’re equipped with the right mental tools. In the next part we’ll dive deep into CV/resume formats and I’ll also show some examples on how to apply the topics we’ve covered in this post.
The next part is a work in progress, stay tuned. :)
Like this article? Please consider following @iam_Carrot on Twitter. Maybe click the clap👏 button a few times to show your support ⬇⬇