As someone who has submitted and reviewed CV’s on several occasions over the years, one of the major challenges I’ve encountered is in differentiating the great ones (including mine) from the not so great. Buried in any pile of resumés there is always to be found a few rock stars, many Joe Averages, and a depressing number of muppets. It’s normally pretty easy to filter out the muppets, but it’s often hard to discern the rock stars from the Joe Averages – they tend to have the same or similar academic backgrounds and experience, helped in no small part by the fact that Joe Average tends to do a very convincing job of blagging his accomplishments, while rock stars often (foolishly) rely on the facts speaking for themselves.
Some people try and use design to stand out, but sadly that just makes it look like they’re trying too hard. I mean, sure – you don’t want so hand in a CV written in crayon on toilet paper, but once you get past neat and professional it gets a little embarrassing. If you must send in a hard-copy, use only white, A4 paper with a single staple in the top left-hand corner. Do NOT use binders or plastic folders – if your CV is so long that it needs binding, you’re showing your prospective employer that you can’t hold down a job and/or don’t understand brevity. Either way, they won’t want to know about you.
So how do you make sure you stand out?
One trick that’s worked for me is to include a set of professional insights – half a dozen thoughts about the industry you work in, and what you think the next year or so has in store. You don’t have to make out like you’re some kind of oracle, and it really doesn’t matter if your predictions are a little off. Provided you don’t say anything too stupid, it always makes for good conversation in the interview, which you must have if you’re to have any shot at all of being hired. It also shows the employer that you’re not just some clock-punching automaton making a career out of getting by – show ’em you really get what you do, and the job is yours for the asking.
Anyhoo, while doing some reading yesterday I was reminded of one of the predictions in my current CV, and – sadly for millions of people – it looks like I was bang on the money.
A substantial ‘adjustment’ will take place in tech stocks this year. That’s right people – we’re headed for another crash. Google will take a big hit, down to $400 US or below.
Exhibit A: Call it a ‘global financial crisis’ if you like, but a crash is still a crash
Exhibit B: Google shares are currently trading at $334, down from a 52-week high of $747.24 and $649.25 at the start of the year (when I made the prediction).
I wish I’d managed to predict myself into a new 911, but it’s been a pretty good year for me so I can’t complain. That said, (obligatory dig at the dyke) there are some rough times ahead and we need a firm hand on the tiller. Party vote NATIONAL on 8 November please!