Writing a resumé is an exercise in persuasion, even if it doesn’t sound like one. The purpose of a resumé is simple: to communicate, with clarity, why the writer is the ideal candidate for the job, and to persuade the employer to hire them.
“Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.”
– David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy, the “father of advertising,” or the original “Mad Man,” was a proponent of clear and concise writing. From him, we gain at least two takeaways that will help improve any CV.
- Know your audience. A good resumé will be tailored to the role you’re applying for. Step into the employer’s shoes and ask: Who are they seeking? What skills and experiences would their ideal candidate possess? Emphasize your corresponding experience, and you’re golden.
- Keep it short and simple. Don’t use jargon where you don’t have to; remember, your CV will probably be read by HR first, and they too need to understand your words. Include only facts and experience that help your case, and leave out things that are not relevant.