I have read a lot of CV’s. Mostly from Software developers, but also Business Analysts, UX Designers, Project Managers, Development Managers, Testers and Architects.
There are patterns in all the ones that truly stand out.
Today, I want to focus on an aspect that is most often overlooked, or at least not consciously planned.
This ranges from the good to the bad to the ugly.
Never Do This in Your CV. Ever. It is weird and distracting for the reader.
Machine like voicing.
Robotic and repetitive resumes are pain to the eye and can insult your audience’s intelligence. Even if you have performed very similar tasks in multiple jobs, your CV needs not read like a chores to do list. This will hide any enthusiasm you have for your craft, and project you as someone who does the minimums and heads home.
Human voiced prose that makes an impact.
Have an informal but concise conversation with your reader. Explain in your words what you did, why you did it, and what you achieved for your team by doing it.
Todd wrote a blog post for Linkedin about improving voicing in CV’s. He had 10 years experience reading CV’s so he was qualified to discuss the topic. He wrote a 500 word post which many people found useful.
I wrote a blog post about voicing in CV’s. My tasks and responsibilities were:
- Research many CV’s
- Determine what has positive impact and what does not
- Wireframe the article
- Write an impactful headline
- Produce valuable content for the audience
[State the Problem]
Many suitable developers were being rejected far too often at the CV submission stage. I knew that many of these developers were capable of doing the job advertised and needed guidance on securing an interview.
[State What You Did to Solve Said Problem]
I drank a few strong coffees and wrote an article about voicing. It gave my readers a simple to understand springboard from which to dive into building an impactful CV that wins them interview invitations.
[State the Achievement & Outcome]
Since posting I have had over 20 developers comment that their submission to interview ratio has doubled since altering the voicing in their CV’s. Awesome news.
Notice how I have rounded off the description with a tangible achievement. This is critical to get your reader to understand that you are able to take a business problem, think up a solution and deliver something that makes life easier for them. This means either saving time and hassle, saving money, or making money for them. Or all 3.