8 secret tricks to write your CV

Writing a CV can be tricky. Therefore, have I made a short list of 8 secret tips that I have learned working side by side some of Denmark’s greatest recruiting agents.

1.     You got 10 seconds!

You only have 10 seconds to make a good impression. Always keep that in mind!

Most job postings will have more than 300 applicants applying for the same position. This means you will have to stand out to get noticed. A professional recruiting agent will on average spend just about 10 seconds on each CV during the first sorting process. Do you make it to Second Round; you have made it very fare, because the recruiter will now take the time to get to know you, reading your CV. If you keep that in mind when writing your CV, you are good on your way to get a good job.

2.     Your picture says it all!

Should I use a picture or not? There is only one answer and that is: “YES!” You should always have a photo of yourself, but not just any kind of photo.

There is an old saying :“a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is really true when we speak about your resume. Therefore, put always a great deal of care into selecting your photo.

  • Make sure to look professional in respect to the job you are applying for. If applying for a sales position, please dress business like. What happens is that you are assisting the recruiting agent imagining you working as a sales person.
  • Make sure that your picture, still looks great printed in black and white. The majority of recruiting agents print your resume, which means that colourful details vanish and so does your face. So make sure your picture appears great printed in black and white.

It often makes sense to have a professional, doing some good profile shots of you. The skill that a professional photographer has is to makes you look as good as possible and that will make a big difference to the look of your CV.

3.     Make contact easy!

Don’t leave out your contact information. Make it easy for the recruiting agent to contact you, or to find more information about you. Don’t hide your birthday. For certain positions, age might be important. If your date of birth is not visible, you risk missing an interview.

4.     Highlight the competences that make you unique!

 

This is the secret trick that too few people use. We have already established that you only got 10 seconds to make an impression. Which means you only got 10 seconds to sell your very best competences that make you stand out from the crowed.  For example: if you speak 4 different languages, you should mention it in the very beginning and highlight the text as Bold and Italic. This naturally draws the attention of the reader and gives you a head start.

5.     You have all the pages you need!

A lot of people think that they must fit their CV into one page or two. That is simply not possible if you just got a bit of skills to show off. Therefore don’t limit yourself by pages. Just keep in mind that first page is the most important one.

6.     Make it chronological and structured!

There are a lot of different ways to structure your resume. However, there tend to be one preferable way and that is very simple and chronological. Help the recruiting agent easily read your CV in a chronological order. Don’t use too many unnatural sub-headings, as they tend to destroy the flow.  Keep it to three sub headings: Languages, Work, and Education, and maybe a fourth one to cover awards, courses and events, which are of significance for your profile.

7.     Don’t leave blank spots!

When the competition is rough, you can do so many little things that count as terrible mistakes. Therefore, try not to!

You might have been unemployed for half a year or more, and that usually isn’t very attractive for recruiting agents. Not that is has to matter, but it counts as deductive points. Therefore make sure just to use years when you structure your CV. For instance: from 2009 – 2011 Account Manager – from 2011 – 2012 Division Manager. In reality you were unemployed from February 2011 until November 2011. However, I as recruiting agent don’t know and then won’t care. Should you be asked doing an interview, you will of course answer truthfully. However, no reason to advertise it.
You should always be truthful about your CV, but too large blank spots are just naturally less attractive. So keep that in mind.

8.     Sell your references!

A natural part of a recruiting agent’s job is to check your references. By references I mean former employers, teaches, or other people that in one way or another have worked with you and can give you a recommendation.
Because your resume should be a public paper and hopefully be changing hands of CEO’s and different potential employers, you might want to protect the contact details of your references. However, that doesn’t mean not mentioning them. Keep it to name title and company, and then kindly mention that contact details will be given on request.  The more prominent references you have vouching for you, the more attractive you are to potential employers. Should you have a well known business man on your list of references. Then move references to the top and highlight the name, title, and company.

 

That was 8 simple tricks for you you to get ahead of your competitors. Applying for jobs is just like any other sales job. You got to stand out and you got to be Wise, however, don’t ignore the basic rules of simplicity, structure and readability. Good luck job hunting!

Why you don’t just Hire based on Paper

Lecture Theatre

This article evolves out of a university community, where students sit in large auditoriums and listen to professors or other forms of lecturers. The main goal for students to attend these lectures is to be enlightened and inspired on a particular subject of their own interest.

However, even though it is the intention to inspire and enlighten the student, it is sadly not always the case. This is usually due to the lack of rhetorical skills of the professor. This does not mean that the lecturer does not know what he or she is talking about, but often the exact opposite, that the lecturer is extremely well informed about the specific subject. However being well informed and holding several PHD’s in a current subject does not equal excellent rhetorical skills.

A theory of Why

Why are these lecturers hired? This is mainly a theory and not a fact. But if you observe how universities take pride in expressing the titles of the professors they employ, you get the feeling that titles and accomplishment such as PHD’s and advanced education counts for more than actual real life skills and experience. These titles and impressive CV’s are highly valued in the world of Universities and are easier to show off online for the support of academics around the world.

The Consequence

It has consequences only to hire based on paper and sadly many of the consequences are to be considered negative. As already stated an impressive CV is not equal great rhetorical skills. A professor’s lack of rhetorical skills will usually result in boredom among the students, which leads to lack of interest. Lack of interest often leads to demotivation, which result in laziness and drop outs. When the exams approach, the students will perform badly and this will give the school a bad reputation. So what ended up being a strategy from the university management to attract the greatest academics, experiences a negative circular effect.

How to solve the Problem

The problem is rooted in how universities perceive themselves. Universities need to change their perspective on their product, from being the salesman of a 50cent sheet of paper to an institution for inspiration and motivation. Instead of putting emphasis on a professor’s academic accomplishments, a university should focus on the professor’s ability to inspire and motivate the students to learn and acquire knowledge on their own. In the end, a University is a self-learning institution and students are expected to study and discover knowledge outside the lecture theaters. Educating professors’ rhetorical skills are not an offense, but a necessity and should strongly be considered by the university management.

As a concluding statement: This example considers the institution of a university, but the same applies in private businesses. Rarely do papers and academic scores tell very much about the person possessing them and should therefore never be relied on exclusively.

From one year to another

Fireworks New Year 2010

The end on the year is near and in fact today is the last day of 2010. As everybody does at this time a year I will also try to look back at what I have accomplished in year 2010, and what goals and expectation I have for 2011.

Year 2010 was the year where alexanderhold.com was born, which I so far feel really good about. A couple of thousands have read one of my articles and have studied my CV. I have been able to make a few new connections through this media and I have great expectations for alexanderhold.com in the New Year to come.

Looking at my CV there is only registered four events in 2010, which might seem like a little. However I have been quite busy during 2010 and I have spent a lot of time expanding my horizon and cultural understanding by traveling.

My first trip went to Spain in the beginning of the year, visiting different production companies, among which Gerresheimer was one of them. The trip was great experience and became possible in connection with a great friend of mine. I have had several of these experiences in 2010, where I through a friend or a connection have been challenged with things that I have never tried before. I have been shooting clay pigeons, windsurfing, sailing optimist, visited high class societies, and in general had unforgettable experiences; All possible because of good friends and great connections.

During the summer I experienced the capital of Norway, Olso, which was a great experience and opened my eyes for a very beautiful city and a neighbour country with several opportunities.

I spend a week in the capital of Britain, London, where I enjoyed several attractions and visited the parliament, West Minister, which I strongly recommend to all visitors of the impressive capital. I met up with an old American connection during my stay and spend a pleasant time in great company. Further I love the theatre and London was a great opportunity to fulfil that enjoyment.

Year 2010 was also the time where I spend a week as a volunteer in the Nordics largest entrepreneurial event Emax Nordic, where 200 youngsters form the Scandinavian countries compete in a business simulation game and extend their Scandinavian network. The experience was amazing and without no doubt something I would do again if I will have the opportunity.

For the first time I visited Eastern Europe which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. My stay in Vilnius, Lithuania brought a lot of great experiences and several strong connections in the European countries. The annual JA-YE Alumni Conference is one of the events that I have a strong connection to, and which will remain an important event for me to participate in.

My latest journey went to Barcelona, Spain, which is a city and society that have so many great values and should be admired for it. My impression of Barcelona was way greater than expected and it is for sure a city that I would like to explore further, because I believe that the rest of the world can learn a lot from the way of life, which is lived in Barcelona.

Year 2010 was not just a year with great traveling experiences; it was also the year where the Thought-Leader Series was founded by me at the AU-IBT. 6 interesting and successful CEO’s have visited me at the university and the experience of getting this project up and running has been a great challenge. That is also why I have decided to continue the success and I will present 6 guest lectures for the third season of the Thought-Leader Series at AU-IBT. I look very much forward to it, and expect a lot from the CEO’s visiting, the students attending, and from myself as the host and founder.

Looking back at 2010, I feel proud of my achievements and look forward to 2011, which will bring even more great experiences and adventures. Not just do I have the Thought-Leader Series in sight, I do also have the preparation and planning of a two semester study trip abroad. I can only be glad that I have so many great opportunities and I look forward to be challenged in the New Year.

Happy New Year! to you, your friends and family, as well as your connections and acquaintance. May the New Year bring you joy and happiness with whatever you do!