How to

Prepare a Resume for Interview Success! Contents

Introduction How successful people behave Know yourself STAR stories Let’s get organised Interpret job description / job adverts CV / Resume format The words are the power Don’t forget you cover letter The MAGIC ingredient Conclusion

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This is a guide to help secure the interview YOU want. It’s not about revving up your CV / Resume with wonderful power words and phrases that are not a true reflection of the core you. As a recruitment consultant I meet quite a few people who’s CV / Resume is not an accurate reflection of their capabilities, many are considerably “overstated”. And I can assure you this is not the route to take. In fact I made this mistake myself, not through dishonesty, but through a simple lack of understanding of my own motivators and de-motivators. Early in my career I successfully “spun” my CV / Resume, and then myself through interviews and into various jobs. Sales jobs. But the truth of the matter is that though I like many elements of selling (eating pasties parked in my company car whilst waiting to meet clients, being one), I also detest other elements. Not just dislike or tolerate, but actually hate. I would start off like a whirlwind, learn the product, develop my own system of selling it, beat my targets, and alls well. Then I would find myself simply “shutting down”, unable to motivate myself to action the processes I knew worked. These memories still makes my toes curl with embarrassment and pain. I thought I was clinically lazy (though deep down I knew this wasn’t the case, as some tasks would fill me with energy which would drive me all night long if necessary).

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I just tried to force myself through it. But eventually this made me both unhappy and unsuccessful. It took me far to long to realise, that I have a very limited threshold for repetitive tasks, I like to learn how to do something, do it, and move on. Would have been nice to learn this sooner! I would like this guide to help you avoid the mistakes I made. In fact much of this book concentrates on identifying the behaviors, competencies and characteristics of the successful people that all companies are looking to hire. And then provide the tools to ensure you can honestly demonstrate the behaviour, competencies and characteristics that are core to you. Yes, we will use proven marketing techniques to ensure we make the most of your expertise and experience. The objective is to ensure you get interviews for roles you are ideally suited too. Let’s get started…

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How Successful People Behave
As stated earlier this guide is about helping you get interviews for the roles you most want. However getting the interview is only part of your objective. Ultimately you need to progress successfully through the interview process, to be made a great offer. Therefore I want to sow the seeds of some of the behavioural and competency characteristics that you will need to demonstrate in order to succeed through interview. In the next chapter I suggest that you take a free personal motivation test. If you have never taken one of these tests, I think you will find it fascinating, as it will provide you a printable report that will highlight, your personal work related motivational preferences. And though you may think you will know what does and doesn’t motivate you, I can almost guarantee you will be surprised by some of the findings. If you have previously done one of these tests, I suggest digging out the report, or doing it again. These tests give an accurate and insightful overview of what motivates and fatigues you at work. And is a great help in both searching for the right roles, and in articulating your behavioural skills and motivations on your CV / Resume. In my experience these reports can also be highly uplifting, as many people have a slightly negative perception of their skills and value. These reports often highlight that your performance is not hampered by any lack of skill, but simply by doing work that contains a high component of tasks that don’t motivate your core drivers. This can be life changing information. Behaviours and Competencies of Successful People Employers are looking for behaviour and personality characteristics that have been proven to work successfully in the past, and these tend to break down into the following: Page 4

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Note: They are thankfully not expecting you to have all of them. But you must demonstrate the ones you do possess. I like Robert Lawrence’s ebook “Killer Interview Secrets”, and his acronym “STAPLES” for putting these into a memorable form. S – Skills and competencies Personal Competencies: Adaptability Risk Taking Flexibility Decisiveness Independence Integrity Tenacity Compliance Stress Tolerance Decision Making Competencies: Numerical Analysis Problem Analysis Judgment Creativity Vision Entrepreneurial T – Team Player Interpersonal Competencies: Sociability Oral Communications Teamwork Written Communication Listening Persuasiveness Interpersonal Sensitivity A – Attitude Motivation Competencies: Commitment Energy Work Standards Page 5
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Self-Motivation Initiative Service Orientation Resilience Tolerance of Ambiguity P – Professionalism A subjective description for a coming together, of a number of characteristics and competencies that the interviewer will be looking for. You are a reflection of the entire company. Employers want the best to represent the company, and are looking for individuals who are mature, articulate, and have good people skills. Being “professional” means that you know how to “handle yourself” as an employee of the company. You show up on time, do the work to the best of your ability, and respect your co-workers. L – Leadership People & Organisational Competencies: Delegation Task Leadership Management Control Planning & Organising Staff Development Organisational Sensitivity Organisational Process Design E- Ethic Having a good attitude, being proactive, and possessing a willingness to do whatever is needed to get the job done. S - Security Employers are looking for people who truly want to be part of the company. They want individuals who desire to be active participants for the long-term.

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It’s vitally important that you interpret and highlight the specific behaviors and competencies that the role you want demands. (details on how to interpreting job ads and description later). And then align this knowledge with your personal behaviors and competencies. The free personality and motivation reports will highlight these beautifully for you. The next stages are about building all your self-marketing collateral :
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CV / Resume Cover Letter Brag Book (a powerful interview prop that contains documented testimonials and evidence of key achievements) Business and possibly social networking presence. Though for the purpose of this guide we are only going to concentrate on your CV / Resume and cover letter.

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Know Yourself
Having briefly listed most of the behaviour and competencies that employers are looking for in the previous chapter. This chapter is about using the great free personal testing services that are available on the Internet to help align your key motivations and competencies with the desired role. I would suggest taking MAPP personal motivation test, and the Peoplemaps personality test.

There is another major benefit as well. When interviewing you are very likely to be asked to sit one or more of these type of tests as part of the interview process. It therefore must be a huge advantage to know what they will find, so you can be prepared for the questions that will follow.

The MAPP test (Motivational Aptitude and Personal Performance) is 75 questions where you pick the most relevant answers for you. This is done on line, and will take you between 20 to 40 minutes. You can start and save your test, for completion later, if you don't have a clear time period. No study is required, the questions don't have a right or wrong answer, simply pick the answer that resonates strongest with you.

Once you have completed the free test you get a 12 page report which you can print out or leave on the site, and return to via your own password whenever you want. Page 8
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The report highlights your motivation in 9 key areas
        

Job Content - tasks you want to perform Temperament - how you prefer to perform tasks Aptitude - how you like to express your performance of tasks People - how you relate to people Things - how you relate to things, materials, processes etc Data - how you relate to data and information in your work Reasoning - how you relate to reasoning and decision making Math - how you relate and apply the use of math Language Capacity - How you use language

And gives you a summary and breakdown against each of the above 9 areas The screen shot below shows a clip of my report as a brief example.

The report further suggests your top career areas, and graphical feedback of you most motivational career content.

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The reports also highlight areas that are extremely low in motivational value as my extract below highlights

This helped me restructure my working day, to complete this type of important but dull work (unfortunately I cannot avoid some of this work), when I am fresh. This small insight has given me huge benefits in productivity.

The free MAPP reports give you a great deal of insightful, powerful information, well worth the 20 or so minutes required to complete the questions. However if you want to uncover all the information (you can see the above extract obscures some of the information) you can pay $20 to reveal all. For the extra cost this is money well spent.

The reports suggest tips for including this information into your Resume. Everybody who I know has taken the test, has created a far stronger CV /Resume:  Focused on motivational tasks  Focused on motivational skills  Motivational Behaviour This knowledge can then be taken to improve your interviewing performance. You now have a better knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, and can prepare your answers for those tough interview questions you know are coming! I would also suggest taking the free Peoplemaps personality test, though I doubt it will provide the same level of unexpected feedback, it will highlight your personality traits, in a Page 10
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positive way, that can be used in building your CV / Resume.

My recommendation would be to do both the Peoplemaps personality and MAPP tests both are free, and available online. It will take you about 45 minutes in total to complete them, you get password access to them so you can do them a few questions at a time if you wish, save your work and come back to them later.

Both companies offer a free report which is great, you only need pay the extra if you want the additional insight.

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STAR Stories
Your CV / Resume should be used to demonstrate to the reader why you are the best person for the job. It should sow the seeds of future questions in their mind. Questions they will want to ask you at interview. This is now the time to prepare your technique for answering these questions.

You will use some of these principals for how you organise your content in your CV / Resume, cover letter or any other marketing collateral you may choose to use. STAR is another acronym. Yes, I like acronyms! S – Situation, background set the scene T – Task or Target, specifics of what's required, when, where, who etc. Use specific quantifiable business language where possible. Values, percentages, budgets etc. A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviours, characteristics R – Result – Outcome, what happened, again using specific quantifiable business language. I cannot stress how valuable learning this question answering technique will be for you. It works in all situations where you want to compellingly make your point, in a likeable style. It’s not telling, it’s demonstrating. This is so much stronger than saying “I can do that”. Because it says “I’ve done it before, and I did it like this, and with great results” Wow!

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People like hearing stories, facts are easier to remember if wrapped in a story, stories tend not to get interrupted; basically stories are an ancient proven method of getting a message across! Listeners will remember more of your answers, and the messages within them, yet your message will be delivered in a friendly likeable style. As far as job interviewing is concerned, your success ratio will go off the scale.

How to build a STAR Story A Star story should be about 2 minutes long, and delivered with energy and enthusiasm about a real experience you have had (it does not have to be a work experience, as long as it describes a relevant skill, behaviour, experience). Time for an example: Question: “Have you ever lead a team before”? This is another reason why the STAR method is so powerful. The above question is a terrible closed question. You could answer “yes” or “yes, on three separate occasions” and move quickly onto the next question. But Leadership is an important skill, and you must not miss this chance to shine. A lot of folks would give the easy answer here, you have a great chance to impress, and basically do all the interviewers work for them. Let’s build a STAR story answer (Situation) “Yes; for example at my last company, where I was initially a software developer, in a team of 6 developing a new finance module for our core accounting product.”

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(Task) “The project was critical as launch dates had been set with a lot of sales and marketing investment riding on the product being ready. However the project was behind schedule, when our team leader unfortunately became ill, and had to leave." (Action) "I had been sports team captain at school, where I loved the challenge and responsibility of leadership. So I volunteered to stand in, and by using my technical analysis skills, spotted a few small mistakes made in the initial coding, that were causing sporadic errors, and slowing us down. I then negotiated with our product director a small bonus incentive for the team, and budget for two pizza evenings, so we could pull a couple of late night shifts to correct the coding and catch up with the critical project landmarks." (Result) "Though this took us 1.5% over budget the software was delivered on time with 20% a better than target fault tolerance. The project was seen as a great success as the additional project cost was minimal compared to the costs of delaying the launch, and the negative affect on our product branding. The team where delighted with the extra bonus and I have now been officially promoted to team leader as a result." You need to practice your answers out loud, to ensure it's continuity and that you don't go far over 2 minutes. The example above not only answers the leadership question asked, but also conveys that you have other skills and behaviours any interviewer would be interested in. Answering tough interview questions like this will work wonders, but answering poorly worded questions will really set you apart. You will get a lot more of your message across to less experienced interviewers, your competitors won’t.

It’s a great technique that should be practiced and perfected, It’ll be well worth your while.

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Let’s get Organised
A few good habits will hold you in great stead for the rest of your career... Preparation is critical; the best builder in the world would not build a house without a blueprint and land survey, not if they wanted to stay in business. Your CV / Resume is a vital career building document that done well will reward your upfront effort to the tune of many, many, hundreds of thousand of pounds or dollars over the coarse of your career. A few very easy organisational plans will make it simple for you to tailor your resume, quickly, and effectively. You will need to tailor your CV / Resume to specific roles, and this can be an easy cut and paste operation. You may want to skip CV / Resume writing completely and simply hire a pro resume writer to do it for you. But you will still need to provide them the basic information, from which they can weave their creative writing magic. So let's get organised, Once it's done you can continue to add information into your CV / Resume throughout your career, but the basic organisation is done. What you want to do is build a simple folder and file structure on your PC, if you don't have a PC borrow a friend's and keep your resume folder on a disk or flash drive, which you can then use on any PC anywhere. Create a folder and name it My CV or whatever reminds you.

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Then add a page for each of the headings listed below
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Address and preferred contact details (phone and email). Personal Information, gender, nationality, driver license, marriage status Education / Qualification Training and certification details. Career history covering the companies, roles / title, dates and roles and responsibilities, achievements. Any other areas of responsibility, for example voluntary work, or team captain, head boy or girl at university or college. Any thought leadership examples, articles published, public speaking. Any honors or achievements. Hobbies and interests Membership / Associations References Testimonials

    

Note: You may feel that you will never need a page for Other Responsibilities, or Awards, or Published Articles or Testimonials, but I urge you to keep them.

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And try to add content to one or more of these pages as these are the areas that WILL set you apart from your competitors. I would particularly draw your attention to testimonials. It's very easy to get a testimonial form somebody you have done a good job for. Record your experience and achievement in business terms (STAR Story) What I mean here is that whatever role you had was in some way vital to the business, no matter how junior. They would not have employed you otherwise. Therefore record your work experience in the form of STAR stories. Specific – the situation you were working in Task / Target – the objective of the role you where responsible for Action – the actions you took to achieve the target Result – The outcome, what was achieved. It’s good to get into the habit of recording all your experiences in the STAR format, as later when you come to interviewing, you will be easily able to articulate your experience in relation to the objectives of the business situation you were working. Without even trying this will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are a goal or target orientated person, who understands how your individual responsibilities fit within the bigger picture of the department or companies overall objectives. Which company doesn’t want to hire goal orientated people who can see the bigger picture? Use tangible precise values wherever possible. For example in sales it's about number of sales, targets, pipeline, key customers, for customer service it may be around customer satisfaction figures. If you can convey through your CV / Resume that whatever role you undertake you never loose sight of the overall business objective of the company, you will be in a very, very small percentage. Embed these good habits now, and I promise you, you will never look back.

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Interpret Job Description / Job Adverts
Learning to properly interpret job description or a job adverts may sound a basic skill. Well it is a basic skill, but an important one. Before spending anytime on tailoring your CV / Resume you must ensure you are going to emphasise the skills and experiences that most interest your reader. For various reasons job adverts and job descriptions are not always easy to interpret. Changes to legislation have meant that often the real message is hidden or softened to conform to legal requirements. The intention of this chapter is to convince you that for desirable jobs where there will be many applicants. Your CV / Resume is your ticket too interview, and this step will fine tune your targeting. Therefore tailoring your resume to meet both the obvious and less obvious requirements of the job ad or job description will be a very profitable skill to develop. Its not a difficult process, an organisation of your observations and thoughts, with a little research mixed in if the advert of job specification becomes vague. This disciplined approach will serve you well. Process to extract the key requirements from Job Description / Advert All that is required for this is the print out of the job description / Ad, a beverage of your choice, and a notepad and pen (highlighter pen if you have one). A quiet place where you can think and consider without interruption.

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Step 1 Simply read the job description or Ad 2 or 3 times SLOWLY – not the usual skim reading we all tend to do. The idea is you relax and absorb the information. Step 2 Highlight or underline what you consider to be the critical skills, experiences and behaviour required by the role. Some Ads and descriptions will leave you in little doubt by using words like critical, mandatory, or “must have” to describe key elements, others use vague wording such as “some knowledge of” or “experience of”. Anyway don’t get stuck with this; just highlight or underline everything you feel they are interested in, even the vague stuff. Step 3 Starts getting a little harder. Grab your pad and write a top heading. The job title for example "Project Manager". Then create 3 columns in your page, and head them. Skills / Function Market / Sector Behaviour / Soft Skills

List all your highlighted points under each heading (most will be under skills and function)

Step 4 Put a value against each point use 1 for critical points, 2 for quite important and 3 for “nice to haves”. You will probably find that most of the items are listed under skills and function, and market sector as these are the easiest to detail in a job advert. Behavioural or soft skills are harder to write about, though most will contain “dynamic” or “self motivated”. However behavioural skills are very important, and though the job ad / spec may not go into detail, when you are interviewed they will be looking for these skills. Interviewing is moving increasingly towards behavioural / competency based questioning, and though the ad or job spec may not specify the detailed behaviour the role demands. This invites you to set yourself apart from the majority of other applicants. Page 19
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For example a project manager advert may concentrate on the type of projects and the market experience, and offer little in the way of behavioural requirements. But any experienced project manager will tell you that there are a number of critical behaviour that a successful project manager must have.

If you knew this, and added them subtly to your CV / Resume, you give yourself a MASSIVE advantage. Its vital to add behavioural context to your CV / Resume. It will levitate it from being a dull page of facts and figures, by adding your desirable personality. For example if you weave into your resume that you are a commercially savvy, good motivator, communicator and are calm under pressure all of which are core competencies / behaviour for a project manager. You will have the advantage.

Step 5 Look to identify 5 – 10 desirable behaviour that you can weave into your resume; as long as they honestly apply to you. Add them under your behaviour / softskills heading, and rank them if you can. You know have a great foundation of knowledge from which to build or to modify your Resume to specifically appeal to your reader. Your next task is to take this information and ensure your CV / Resume addresses all the points rated as 1 (critical) and 2 (quite important), ideally you can also cover most of the nice to haves as well (3's). We are now moving on to the actual building of your resume.

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CV / Resume Format
Writing a CV / Resume can be a daunting prospect, especially if your confidence has been dented, or you haven’t written a CV / Resume before, or at least for a long time. However if you have followed the instructions in the previous chapters you are in great shape, and everything else will soon fall into place. The CV / Resume is a document (paper or electronic) that conveys your skills and experience in a way that compels the reader to interview you. Build a CV / Resume by presenting your information in the order that grabs the reader’s attention quickly. You have carefully interpreted the job specification or advert, and listed what you feel they are looking for in order of importance. In the case of a speculate approach to a company, you still need to research about the company to understand their objectives, interpret this into the skills they may be looking for. We are now going to construct your CV / Resume specifically for your reader. Typically a CV / Resume will contain…
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Your Name Personal Information – Address, Gender, Nationality, Drivers License, Marriage status, Dependants. Note: It is your choice what personal information you wish to declare. Some regional employment law asks you to leave age and educational dates out. Contact Detail – Telephone numbers and email address – state your preference. Objective Summary – Your statement of what you are looking for. Note: Be very CAREFUL about using an Objective Summary. It is very powerful if your objective and the readers are aligned. But if your statement is misinterpreted or not exactly what the reader is looking for they will use it to rule you out. Education / Qualifications

● ●

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Training / Certification / Licenses Employment / Career History Voluntary work – Optional - Can be embedded in Career History or added at the end with or in place of Interests / Hobbies. Skills Summary Profile / Professional Summary Achievement Summary / Honors and Awards Thought leadership / Articles / public speaking Hobbies / Interests – Another be careful - If it / they can show some positive relevance to the role great – If not leave it out. References – Include References on request statement only – no detail.

● ● ● ● ●

Not all of these Resume Headings / Categories need to be added, just the ones that promote you in the strongest terms for the specific role. Simply build one CV / Resume block on-top of another. Reflecting the order of importance to your reader. The only part of this process that is set in stone, is that the first information block on your CV / Resume contains Your Name and contact details. The order of information in Your CV / Resume, and what you say reflects what your reader needs and disguises any weaknesses you may have. This is NOT suggesting Lying – whatever you do, never lie in your CV / Resume. A CV / Resume is an unashamed, proclamation of how right you are for the role. A CV / Resume is not understated, nor subtle. It uses powerful professional language to compel your reader to interview you (use the STAR format discussed previously).

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Therefore build the information on your CV / Resume around your behaviors, competencies and characteristics as they fit the role (use your free MAPP and Peoplemaps reports to help). For example, if you have poor career continuity with gaps between jobs, use a functional / Skills (more on this here) based Resume Template. This will present your excellent skills, and appropriate experience first, demoting your career history to a minimised summary towards the end of the CV / Resume, after they have read what you want them to. It really does not matter what style of CV Resume template you choose only that you present the reader what they are looking for as quickly as you can. Hopefully now you are confident that you can order your information in a way that meets the reader’s needs, AND maximises your strengths, AND minimises your weaknesses. Many people have a slightly negative view of themselves, and it can be very helpful to ask friends and family about how they perceive your strengths. Combine this with the reports from the free personality tests, and you will have some great honest content to add. This fresh perspective can provide not only great material for your CV / Resume, but also a much needed boost of confidence. Best Format
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Easy to read– Simple black font on white background – proven to be the easiest for humans to read. No graphics – Proven to mark your CV down – it’s the words that sell! Photograph – Again stats say that attaching a photo has a negative effect in general. Therefore be very careful. The content (personal details, career history, education for example) needs to be grouped cleanly and logically. The reader will decide on discarding or continuing to read your CV / Resume within the first 20 seconds! - Therefore ensure your reader sees what THEY are looking for FIRST.
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Your CV / Resume will need to be easily modified – to add experience as well as tailoring for specific roles that you may want to apply for. A CV / Resume is not a one size fits all document. It should always be tailored to the readers needs. A simple professional format not only works for the reader, but will enable you easily convert your document should you need to upload it onto job boards (many want ASCII or plain text) or convert it to PDF or HTML for web posting.

Functional Resume or Chronological Resume or Combination Resume Next – decide on the type of layout that best promotes your strengths for your target role. The links below take you to templates that you can look at and download for free. If you just want to download them in Microsoft Word and start building they are zipped and ready for download here. Chronological Resume Template – Traditional format, the one to use if you have good career continuity with no major gaps, and you are looking to continue your career in a similar field. Functional Resume Template – Enables you to promote your skills above your experience. A good format if you have career breaks or if you are looking to move in a new career direction where you don’t have experience. Combination Resume Template – Enables a best of both type approach, where you tailor specific functional skills and experience for your target role as well as demonstrating your career continuity and progression. If you don’t have a good word processor download Open Office from Sun, it’s a complete suite of great office applications, no advertising or spyware, and completely up to date and free. Download Open Office here.

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Font style simple like Arial size 10 -12 for body content, headings two sizes bigger and bold. Very basic, very clean; but it works. You can add a bit to it if you like, but not much; it's the words that count!

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The Words are The Power
Resume Power Words / Resume Action Words / Resume Action Verbs – whatever you want to call these words… Your personality and personal motivation reports will give you words and phrases that you can cut and paste straight into your CV / Resume. But by all means look below to see it there are other words that you like. This is where the magic happens! These Resume Verbs sprinkled liberally throughout your CV / Resume will add… Action Emotion Gravitas Power One of these Power Words will replace 2/3/or 4 other words in a sentence, instantly making you concise and compelling. A basic example – A widget salesman discussing last year’s performance. 2005 – 2006 I sold 1000 widgets against my annual target of 750 widgets, beating my target by over 133%, and so qualified for convention club holiday trip. A reasonable sentence in that it provides clear quantified performance, But no real sparkle or pizazz, and should be written in the 3rd person, no I or my. 2005/6 Over-achieved against target of 750 widgets by 133%, selling 1000 widgets and winning convention club. Much better – faster to the point, with more punch. 05/06 smashed target by 133% sold 750 widgets, won top achievers club. Better again fits on one line, concise and tells the reader you are the top achiever. You do have be careful though replacing “smashed” in our example with “annihilated” maybe going to far.

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On this point, the idea behind doing the personality tests, is so that when you are interviewed and asked to describe yourself. You can select core, behaviour, and competency and character descriptions, from the tests. And build these into a positive and compelling personal description that will be “true” to your core values. It’s real easy to deliver an answer with energy and enthusiasm that you fully believe in! Keep on fine tuning – It’s worth it.

List of Resume Power Words / Resume Action Verbs
The following alphabetical list of Resume Verbs / Resume Action Words is a great resource. Use these words to transform your CV / Resume into a concise, authoritative and truly compelling marketing tool for you. A Abated, abbreviated, abolished, abridged, absolved, absorbed, accelerated, accentuated, accommodated, accomplished, accounted for, accrued, accumulated, achieved, acquired, acted, adapted, adopted, added, addressed, adjusted, administered, advanced, advertised, advised, advocated, affirmed, aided, alerted, aligned, allayed, alleviated, allocated, allotted, altered, amassed, amended, analyzed, answered, anticipated, appeased, applied, appointed, appraised, approached, appropriated, approved, arbitrated, arranged, articulated, ascertained, aspired, assembled, assessed, assigned, assimilated, assisted, assured, attained, attended, audited, augmented, authored, authorized, automated, averted, avoided, awarded B Balanced, began, benchmarked, benefited, bid, billed, blended, blocked, bolstered, boosted, bought, branded, bridged, broadened, brought, budgeted, built C Calculated, calibrated, capitalized, captured, cared for, carried, carved, categorized, catalogued, caught, cautioned, cemented, certified, chaired, challenged, championed, changed, charged, charted, checked, chose, chronicled, circulated, circumvented, cited, clarified, classified, cleaned, cleared, closed, coached, coded, collaborated, collated, collected, combined, commanded, commended, commenced, commissioned, communicated, compared, compiled, complemented, completed, complied, composed, Page 27
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compounded, computed, conceived, concentrated, conceptualized, condensed, conducted, conferred, configured, confirmed, confronted, connected, conserved, considered, consolidated, constructed, consulted, consummated, contacted, continued, contracted, contributed, controlled, converted, conveyed, convinced, cooperated, coordinated, copied, corrected, corresponded, counseled, created, critiqued, cultivated, customized, cut D Dealt, debated, debugged, decided, decoded, decreased, dedicated, defined, delegated, delineated, delivered, demonstrated, deployed, derived, described, designated, designed, detailed, detected, determined, developed, devised, diagnosed, differentiated, diffused, directed, disbursed, discovered, discussed, dispatched, dispensed, displayed, disposed, disproved, dissected, disseminated, dissolved, distinguished, distributed, diversified, diverted, divested, divided, documented, doubled, drafted, dramatized, drew up, drove E Earned, eased, economized, edited, educated, effected, elaborated, elected, elevated, elicited, eliminated, embraced, emphasized, empowered, enabled, encouraged, ended, enforced, engaged, engineered, enhanced, enlisted, enriched, enrolled, ensured, entered, entertained, enticed, equipped, established, estimated, evaluated, examined, exceeded, executed, exercised, exhibited, expanded, expedited, experienced, experimented, explained, explored, expressed, extended, extracted F Fabricated, facilitated, factored, familiarized, fashioned, fielded, filed, filled, finalized, financed, fine tuned, finished, fixed, focused, followed, forecasted, forged, formalized, formed, formulated, fortified, forwarded, fostered, fought, found, founded, framed, fulfilled, functioned as, funded, furnished, furthered G Gained, garnered, gathered, gauged, gave, generated, governed, graduated, grasped, greeted, grew, grouped, guaranteed, guided H Halted, halved, handled, headed, heightened, held, helped, hired, honed, hosted, hypnotized, hypothesized I Identified, ignited, illustrated, implemented, imported, improved, improvised, incited, included, incorporated, increased, indicated, individualized, indoctrinated, induced, influenced, informed, infused, initiated, innovated, inspected, inspired, installed, instilled, instituted, instructed, insured, integrated, intensified, interacted, interceded, interpreted, intervened, interviewed, invented, inventoried, invested, investigated, invigorated, invited, involved, isolated, issued, itemized J Page 28
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Joined, judged, justified L Launched, learned, lectured, led, lessened, leveraged, licensed, lifted, limited, linked, liquidated, listened, litigated, loaded, located, logged M Made, maintained, managed, mandated, maneuvered, manipulated, manufactured, mapped, marked, marketed, mastered, maximized, measured, mediated, memorized, mentored, merged, merited, met, minimized, mobilized, modeled, moderated, modified, molded, monitored, monopolized, motivated, mounted, moved, multiplied N Named, narrated, navigated, negotiated, netted, neutralized, nominated, normalized, notified, nurtured O Observed, obtained, offered, officiated, offset, opened, operated, optimized, orchestrated, ordered, organized, oriented, originated, outdistanced, outlined, outperformed, overcame, overhauled, oversaw, owned P Paced, packaged, packed, pared, participated, partnered, passed, perceived, perfected, performed, persuaded, photographed, piloted, pinpointed, pioneered, placed, planned, played, praised, predicted, prepared, prescribed, presented, preserved, presided, prevailed, prevented, printed, prioritized, processed, procured, produced, profiled, programmed, progressed, projected, promoted, proofread, proposed, protected, proved, provided, pruned, publicized, purchased, pursued Q Quadrupled, qualified, quantified, queried, questioned, quoted R Raised, ranked, rated, reached, read, realigned, realized, rearranged, reasoned, rebuilt, received, recognized, recommended, reconciled, reconstructed, recorded, recovered, recruited, rectified, redesigned, redirected, reduced, re-engineered, referred, refocused, registered, regulated, rehabilitated, reinforced, reiterated, related, released, relied, relieved, remained, remodeled, rendered, renegotiated, renewed, reorganized, repaired, replaced, replied, replicated, reported, represented, reproduced, requested, researched, reserved, resolved, responded, restored, restructured, retained, retooled, retrieved, returned, revamped, reversed, reviewed, revised, revitalized, revolutionized, rewarded, risked, rotated, routed S Safeguarded, salvaged, saved, scanned, scheduled, screened, sculptured, searched, Page 29
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secured, seized, selected, sent, separated, sequenced, served, serviced, set up, settled, shaped, shared, sharpened, shipped, shortened, showed, signed, simplified, simulated, sketched, slashed, smoothed, solicited, sold, solidified, solved, sorted, sourced, sparked, spearheaded, specialized, specified, speculated, spent, spoke, sponsored, spurred, staffed, standardized, started, steered, stimulated, streamlined, strengthened, stretched, structured, studied, submitted, succeeded, suggested, summarized, supervised, supplied, supported, surpassed, surveyed, swayed, swept, symbolized, synthesized, systemized T Tabulated, tackled, talked, tallied, targeted, tasted, taught, teamed, tempered, tended, terminated, tested, testified, tied, took, topped, totaled, traced, tracked, trained, transcribed, transformed, transitioned, translated, transmitted, traveled, treated, trimmed, tripled, troubleshot, turned, tutored, typed U Uncovered, underlined, underscored, undertook, underwrote, unearthed, unified, united, updated, upgraded, upheld, urged, used, utilized V Validated, valued, vaulted, verbalized, verified, viewed, visualized, voiced, volunteered W Weathered, weighed, widened, withstood, won, worked, wove, wrote Y Yielded Z What No Z's? CV / Resume Example Phrases Can be added to a Professional Summary or Profile • results-driven, logical and methodical approach to achieving tasks and objectives • determined and decisive; uses initiative to develop effective solutions to problems • reliable and dependable - high personal standards and attention to detail • methodical and rigorous approach to achieving tasks and objectives • entrepreneurial and pro-active - strong drive and keen business mind • identifies and develops opportunities; innovates and makes things happen • good strategic appreciation and vision; able to build and implement sophisticated plans • determined and decisive; uses initiative to meet and resolve challenges Page 30
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• strives for quality and applies process and discipline towards optimising performance • extremely reliable and dependable - analytical and questioning, strives for quality • methodical approach to planning and organising - good time-manager • excellent interpersonal skills - good communicator, leadership, high integrity • strong planning, organising and monitoring abilities - an efficient time-manager • self-driven and self-reliant - sets aims and targets and leads by example • good interpersonal skills - works well with others, motivates and encourages • high integrity, diligent and conscientious - reliable and dependable • self-aware - always seeking to learn and grow • seeks new responsibilities irrespective of reward and recognition • detailed and precise; fastidious and thorough • decisive and results-driven; creative problem-solver • good starter - enthusiastic in finding openings and opportunities • creative and entrepreneurial networker - effective project coordinator • reliable and dependable in meeting objectives - hard-working • emotionally mature; calming and positive temperament; tolerant and understanding • seeks and finds solutions to challenges - exceptionally positive attitude • great team-worker - adaptable and flexible • well-organised; good planner; good time-manager • seeks new responsibilities and uses initiative; self-sufficient • solid approach to achieving tasks and objectives; determined and decisive • excellent interpersonal skills - good communicator, high integrity • energetic and physically very fit; quick to respond to opportunities and problems • active and dynamic approach to work and getting things done • financially astute - conversant with accounting systems and principles • tactical, strategic and proactive - anticipates and takes initiative • systematic and logical - develops and uses effective processes • good listener - caring and compassionate • critical thinker - strong analytical skills; accurate and probing • good researcher - creative and methodical - probing and resourceful • facilitative project manager; develops and enables group buy-in • persistent and tenacious sales developer; comfortable with demanding targets • resilient and and thorough - detached and unemotional • completer-finisher; checks and follows up - immaculate record-keeper • team-player - loyal and determined • technically competent/qualified [state discipline or area, to whatever standard or level] • task-oriented - commercially experienced and aware • excellent inter-personal and communications skills • sound planning and organizational capabilities • results oriented - focused on productive and high-yield activities • tolerant and understanding - especially good with young children/elderly people/needy people/disadvantaged people, etc Page 31
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• emotionally mature - calming and positive temperament - compassionate and caring • sensitive and patient interpersonal and communication skills • high integrity and honesty; ethical and socially aware • energetic and positive outlook, which often inspires others • calm, reliable and dependable in meeting objectives - logical and numerate CV / Resume Quantification / context / scale indicators to be added to Resume Phrases • number of staff • geographical territory • number of accounts • annual turnover or revenue • annual cost budgets • plant or asset value • size of location or site • number of departments • number of locations • international coverage • number of distributors or customers • value of business • number of products • number or scale of developments • timings and work or project duration • throughput or output • speed of operation or turn-around • travel or coverage • cycle time or 'churn' or turnover (replacement) rate or percentage • industry sector or segment or niche (eg, 'Automotive, consumer servicing and repairs') • business-to-business (B2B) or consumer (some people recognise this as B2C) • type of organisation - private company, public company, institutional, not-for-profit, etc • other organisational descriptions • organisational culture, structure, management style (be positive - not blaming or critical) • area or region • type department or division • precise work or job function • product or services descriptions • expertise and quality standards and levels • market position and share • competitive position • trends - increasing, reducing, declining, mature, developing, etc • distribution model • maturity of business or sector • other factors, pressures, growth, etc Page 32
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Non-work experiences that can be added to CV / Resume bolster work experience • voluntary work • fund-raising • grants and funding applications • committee membership of societies and clubs • organising things - at school, college, university, local community • campaigning for a cause • running a part-time business • teaching and helping people • caring for people • creating things - art, writing, photography, sculpture, etc • languages • sports and fitness • organising events and outings • entertaining and performing

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Don’t Forget your Cover Letter
Reports suggest that buy adding a cover letter you increase your chances of interview by 25% to even 50%. Wow! For the time it takes to prepare a cover letter it’s worth it, these are great odds. The same holds true for the cover letter as for the CV / Resume, concise, punchy, dynamic wording, plainly formatted, nothing fancy, the words do the selling. What’s the secret to a compelling cover letter? According to Jimmy Sweeney an ex copywriter who has become an expert in writing highly effective cover and follow up letters there are actually 11 secrets of a highly effective cover letter: 1. 2. 3. 4. One page max. Two-page cover letters are the kiss of job-search death! Start your letter with an attention grabbing headline. Let your cover letter ‘breathe.’ The more white space the better. Three paragraphs max. More than this and it appears to be a ‘tough read.’

5. Use bullet points and numbered lists when appropriate. This allows for easy scanning. 6. Start the first sentence of each paragraph with bold-faced type. It highlights the start of each paragraph inviting the person to read further. Works beautifully. 7. Paragraphs should contain no more than four to five sentences each, but Jimmy highly recommend just three well-written sentences per paragraph. 8. After you’ve finished your letter, print it out to see that it’s easy on the eyes and ‘invites’ you to read more. Remember: Less is more! 9. No overly big words, friendly and fast paced are what you’re after. 10. ASK for the interview. This is critical you must ask for the interview. 11. Add a postscript (P.S.) after your signature. This is Jimmy’s marketing expertise shinning through. Postscripts are always read, and are proven winners.

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If you would like to read Jimmy’s book “Worlds Greatest Cover Letters” download it here free of charge. Alternately download Microsoft word CV / Resume Templates and an example Cover letter using Jimmy’s formula that you can modify to suit your own purposes.

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The Magic Ingredient
Having seen more CV / Resumes than I care to remember, there is one tip or technique that I feel is so powerful it is worthy of separate mention. I have seen tens of thousands of CV / Resumes, but less than 1% that take advantage of the following technique. It’s the use of a powerful testimonial to confirm the validity of a powerfully written management summary or profile.

Few rules:

The person providing the testimonial must be more senior than you (the senior the better unless you are at board level and then a peer level testimonial will work). They must be willing to testify as a reference (This will be checked out). You can use a customer, again if they are more senior, and they are willing to confirm the statement. Ideally the testimonial is from your last role or a very recent role. Keep the testimonial to one line, two maximum. Ensure that it confirms your summary or profile statement accurately.

● ●

● ● ●

Most CV / Resumes certainly UK and US documents tend to maximise achievements to the limit, to the point of overstatement. Surveys suggest that many people even lie, and therefore there is often an air of scepticism when reading a CV / Resume.

But by placing a testimonial underneath your management summary it serves to dispel all concerns of the reader, and will pretty much guarantee your invite for interview.

Example: I will use Project Manager again. Management Summary

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Jane is a commercially savvy, determined and ambitious project manager, expert in recovering faltering projects, and restoring customer faith and satisfaction. “Jane stepped in to save a critical finance project that was behind schedule and way over budget. A tough task, but Jane restored our faith in XYZ services, and was a pleasure to work with” Michael Customer Finance Director (Client) Or “Jane has a unique knack of cutting through project ambiguity and inertia, and can always be relied upon to deliver great commercial outcomes, and bullet-proof client relationships” Tony Boss Operations Director XYZ Services (Line Manager) Any company wishing to hire a proven project manager would surely want to interview Jane!

This is powerful stuff, only use if you want the job…

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I very much hope this guide has been useful and informative, and would like to wish you all success in your career searching endeavours. Richard Penfold. Sentient Selection Ltd.

Any suggestions for the improvement of this guide (1st Draft) will be most welcome, and comments generally. To contact me please email

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