As my fellowship is nearing its end with its extension period lasting until early November 2018, time has come to work on refurbishing my resume and cover letter. And at the time where I was thinking of how I can make my CV more appealing to employers, Atlas Corps announced an opportunity with Deloitte for all fellows to have one on one conversation with one of Deloitte specialists who work on projects for NGOs related to Human Capital. The reason for Deloitte’s initiative was because they first collaborate with Atlas Corps in the trainings offered every immersion, and second because it was impact day.
Due to the high number of fellows (current and alumni) who have signed up for this initiative, few of us had the chance to talk to a specialist face to face. Instead, the others were reached out by email to send them our CVs so that they review them and send their notes.
After few weeks, I received my CV. I didn’t have a lot of notes on it, but the few notes that I received were highly valuable. First, the practitioner who worked on my CV deleted the marital status, address and the date of birth, keeping only the contact details (email and phone number) as well as my LinkedIn profile in the personal information section. As a fellow working in Human Resources, I resonated a lot with these corrections because as human beings, even recruiters, might be biased to some of other people’s characteristics where we tend to associate specific constructs in our minds regarding a specific individual or even a candidate.
The second important note was to downsize the number of pages and words in my CV to make it one page. Yes! ONLY ONE PAGE! I’ve heard in the past that a CV should not be very long, but also it depends on the career level of the person; however, since it was a recommendation from a renowned company, I decided to make an effort to limit my CV to one page! How did I do that? Well, my CV included a lot of information that might be repetitive or unimportant to someone screening it. What I did previously was copying and pasting my job description tasks and put them in the job sections. I have also included my thesis titles, my hobbies, summary of all the international programs curricula that I participated in, etc.… I realized that these are too much for someone who will spend few seconds on my CV to go through. Therefore, I started scanning through my own CV: deleting unnecessary sentences, decreasing the size of each point, correcting the grammar mistakes, and trying to work more on the format.
When it came to the format, I wanted something that was unique but at the same time straight to the point. As someone who has been working in different operational departments in NGOs, I felt that I don’t need to be very artistic, yet organized and appealing at the same time for anyone reading my CV. after some research, I rested on Zety a resume builder website to consolidate all my new information there. Although you need to pay for using this website, it was worth it. I had multiple resume formats to choose from and I can edit the information in any way I want. Also, it is very interactive and easy to use, especially if you want your CV to look different from others. You can add and create sections based on your wants. And it has interesting features, like icons and margins where you can enter secondary information about yourself there. Also, while I was putting my information, they had really interesting examples on how you can write down your tasks and duties under your job titles by putting two categories: responsibilities and achievements in that role.
Of course all this wasn’t done overnight. I spent days working on it between my spare time and my work schedule, but it was definitely the right thing to do, especially when you want your CV to stand out against competitors and to make sure that you are on edge when it comes to marketing yourself in the right means.