Resume Reboot: How to Take Your CV From Decent to Dynamite

Make the most of your minute on a recruiter's desk


Now comes the "how" of getting noticed. Let's simplify and think of a resume in terms of structure and content. There are those of us who work with the standard format and others like the applicant at Airbnb who took her resume to a whole different galaxy. Not to worry, you don't have to go there. (Though kudos to her for her hard work and determination.) However, you do want to get noticed, and here are some key strategies to make that happen.

"Don't sell yourself short," says Heidi Duss, Founder of Prepster, a company dedicated to helping individuals make the best first impression. "A resume ... helps a potential employer understand your achievements and successes throughout your career." And on the subject of success, Duss emphasizes putting modesty on the back shelf and, instead, owning it. It's the fruit of all your hard work, right?

"Think back to the achievements that made you an asset to your previous employers," says Duss. "Consider not only what you did but also how it was achieved." Remember to use the power of "X" by "Y," when describing your accomplishments, as in, "I increased our bottom line by 40% ("X") by fine-tuning our SEO strategy ("Y")," instead of just "I increased our bottom line by 40%."

Show numbers as much as is appropriate. People like numbers because they help set up a context for what you are describing. As an example, if you did a special internship or got into a competitive program, don't forget to describe that you were selected out of "X" amount of other candidates. This helps to give a sense of the kind of selectivity you were up against.

Also remember the power of using keywords associated with the job description in your resume. Think of how you scan articles when you're looking for a particular subject matter. The same goes with recruitment. Use your words strategically.

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