10 Resumes that got worldwide attention

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 09.05.51Here’s a great collection of standout resumes from Yahoo.

It illustrates that the resume or CV is changing. Sure, you can play it safe and trot out a regular text resume or CV, but is playing it safe really playing it safe?

Or is it in fact just less likely to get you noticed?

Shine app lets you create stunning STAND-OUT resumes and CVs for FREE, and you can get it in the iPad (and iPad mini) AppStore right now.  Go on, have some fun with your resume or CV, get Shine, make your new resume, send it out, you’ll be surprised what happens.


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The 22 Best Resumes Any Company Has Ever Received

Best resumes everhttp://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-best-resumes-any-company-has-ever-received.

Joking aside, there is a lot to be said for making your application standout, recruiters spend on average 6 seconds reviewing your application, that means you FIRST have to grab their attention, peak their interest sufficiently to get them to read further.

Being outrageous may just do it, however, I don’t recommend that you include “EXCESSIVE MASTURBATION” as one of your hobbies. Example #2 in the list.

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How long do recruiters spend looking at your resume? Try SIX seconds!

stop-watchMost job seekers think recruiters spend 4 to 5 minutes reviewing a resume.

The truth: recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial “fit/no fit” decision – http://blog.theladders.com/ux/you-only-get-6-seconds-of-fame-make-it-count/

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10½ Tips to get the jobs that aren’t advertised

Shine - Beautiful graphical resumes and CVsMANY jobs are not advertised. They get snapped up by existing employees through internal promotion, or they get offered via personal recommendations and networking. I’ll always recommend networking your way to your new job, but if you can’t do that (too risky if your industry is very tight-knit) this post gives you some tips for how to reach out into brand new networks by targeting companies directly and breaking in.

I’ll assume you’ve already revamped your CV or resume but, better still, since we’re going to be breaking new ground here, I suggest you go get Shine app and do something a little more impactful (even one of the free layouts will do). So now you need to start using that CV, lets get started…

1. Target your employer

Would you rather be busy of successful? I’d rather be successful. In the context of job hunting, this means not spinning your wheels writing to (spamming!) every company under the sun, but instead targeting those whom you would really like to work for. A volume mailshot used to work, but that was before everybody got technology. Now the playing field is once again leveled and the volume e-mailshot / mailmerge won’t work now, you’re going to have to work smarter to cut through. So, decide which companies you think you’d like to work at, then make a list of no more than 50 (in some markets you’ll be talking just single figures here).

Seek companies that are expanding (who’s recent raised money, or announced new partnerships, or bumper sales figures), they will be faced with the challenge of recruiting – yes, the challenge. Ideally pick the more forward thinking companies, in my experience they always want good people, and smart hiring managers will want to find a space for you if you can present yourself well – even if they haven’t got round to defining a role. Use your industry press, online or offline, LinkedIn Groups, and Google to seek out the movers and shakers, Google news search is useful to find out who is making the news and why.

2. Start at the top

Since we’re not responding to a job ad, don’t target junior managers. You want to target the C-level executive that’s most relevant to your role. So, for example, if you’re into Business Development go for the Chief Commercial Officer or CEO, if you’re into finance then its the CFO, if its marketing then maybe the CEO again or the CMO if they have one.

Here’s where you use Google to find the name, company reports (for public companies), news articles (look for quotes), or even LinkedIn. But, I must stress, go for the top, because its these guys (and gals) that know about the holes in their organizations even before their managers do (hell, you could even be replacing a dysfunctional manager). They’ll be most impressed with your creative CV or resume (assuming you took my earlier advice), and its them that will be thinking in the most entrepreneurial way that will be consistent with your creative presentation.

You may not get – or even want – an interview with the CEO, but your resume will get passed down to the right person. Any good sales person will tell you, its easier to get passed DOWN to the right person, than passed UP. You’ve just got to be a little tenacious in finding the name, contact email (or address), personal assistant’s name, and having some persistence to break through. The good news is that, because you’re only going to be targeting a small number of companies, not hundreds, you’ll have the time to be diligent and persistent about this.

Once you know who you’re targeting you’ll need to think about a cover letter, so the next few points related to how to write your cover letter…

3. Avoid marketing-speak (unless your job is marketing, and even then maybe avoid it!)

I’m a multi-skilled proactive person with a consultative approach and a hands-on attitude to achieving ambitious targets in my daily role.


Please resist the temptation. This is one area that I really can’t tell you what to write, but, I ask that you do read what you write and wipe out all nonsense like that. Its may sound great to you, but its a bit meaningless because everyone says it. Don’t TELL me how you are, SHOW me by telling me your achievements. What’s much more important to any hiring manager is not how you SAY you are, or even what you do, its what you achieve, so give simple and short examples of what you have achieved in your last few roles – always looking for relevance to the new company your pitching.

4. Use short paragraphs

Keep paragraphs short; its much easier on the eye (yes, I know mine above are not, but then I’m not asking you for a job am I). If you practice writing concisely and eliminating marketing speak you’ll be amazed how short your paragraphs can become.

5. State relevant knowledge or experience

Whilst you should avoid using marketing speak, don’t be afraid to itemize relevant skills, RELEVANT qualifications, and relevant knowledge. For example, if your role requires you to understand ACAS, FIPS, and GIMPS, then be sure to include those acronyms. Just don’t dress them up to flowery. When I left college I was told to include information about ‘what I liked to do in my spare time’. Amazingly (to me) mature workers mostly seem to eliminate that from their CVs and resumes. Please don’t. What you do outside of work is a great reflection on what you are like (see my other post about skills versus attitude for my take on this).

6. Use bullet-points

Mix up textual paragraphs with bullet points to highlight key achievements, skills, or knowledge. Bullet points break up a long prose:

  • like this
  • and this
  • and maybe this
  • (you see?)

7. Assume they want to see you

Assume they want to see you, and your phraseology should be as such, after all, you took the time to target them so I have to assume that you’d be good for them, right?

8. Ask for the appointment

As per the above, ask for the appointment. Better still, offer TWO possible times. This does several things, it shows that you’re busy, but it also puts a timescale on the activity for them. Even if they don’t meet your timescales, keep using this approach, its best to show you are busy, even if you are currently not.

9. Always follow up

Always follow up. Increasingly, with prevalent use of email today, I find people hit ‘send’ and then assume their emails are not only read but acted upon. That’s a bad assumption, most email recipients were not sitting there drumming their fingers waiting for your email to come in; they were already maxed out with work. So, YOU have to take AND keep the initiative. There have been several occasions in my life when an exceptional sales person has followed up with me up to 10 or 12 times and then got me to engage. That takes real perseverance, and a resistance to PERCEIVED rejection that is second to none. Note that I say perceived rejection, because often a missed call-back is not rejection at all, only other things getting in the way. Do your recipient a favour and BE persistent until they say to you NO or don’t call me.  Really, I cannot underline this enough, persistence is a great quality and this gives you a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your persistence.

10. Round up

I figured there are plenty of hints and tips out there, and they can be a bit empty without some solid example, so, here’s an example I just knocked up to illustrate some of these tips.

Is it perfect? No. But its not too bad either:


Dear Robert

I’d like to join your team at [Company name], so please find attached my CV {{or use “resume” here, if thats what your nationality or industry expects}} prior to us setting a brief chat to discuss my possible employment.

In my recent roles I’ve:

  • launched 2 successful new products that generated $4.5m in revenue
  • grew the production team from 5 to 20
  • improved testing to reduce failure rates from 3% to 2%, saving $200m and increasing customer retention

My experience in widget making spans 5 years, and I have detailed knowledge of:

  • left handed widgets
  • extrusions
  • flux capacitors
  • and amplitude modulators

I’m confident that I can help with your plans; when can we meet?

I’m happy to come by at your convenience, and I can be in the area on Tuesday afternoon this week or Thursday next week.

Yours sincerely

Ben Shine
+44 1234 567 890  |  email@email.com  |  Skype: MySkypeID

// My ONE-PAGER resume is attached //


10½. And finally…

Oh, and finally, to prove the exception to the rule… One of the best hires I’ve made in the last 18 month was a guy who’s cover letter was like this:

“I think XXXX [my company’s sector] is shit-hot right now, and XXXX [my company name] is at the forefront. I’d love to come and work for you. Can we speak? My CV is attached”

I am absolutely seriously, he actually said “shit-hot” and it worked! I’d say that was a gamble, that wouldn’t work for most people, but sometimes you’ve just got to do something different to get noticed.

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I’m a hiring manager – Want to know what turns me on?

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 09.19.11As well as being one of the creators of Shine, I also happen to have a proper day-job (that I secured with my own Shine-style graphical resume – you can read more about that here).

Over the last 18 months my team has grown to more than 40 people. Do you know how many CV’s you have to look at to get 40 good people? And how many recruitment consultants do you think call me?

Well, my estimate is that I have personally reviewed around 2,000 CVs in the last 18 months alone. And, let me tell you, I probably get, on average, 2 calls from recruitment consultants, headhunters, and agencies EVERY day (I can tell who you are, you are the ONLY people that block your numbers. You all do it).

So what, I hear you say, well, here’s what: that a LOT OF BORING CVs to look at. Yes, boring, sorry to say it. I can safely say that in ALL those 2,000 CVs in the last 18 months, NONE have jumped out at me and shouted “I’m worth an interview”, I’ve had to work VERY HARD to elicit that information from those weighty documents.

Why make it so hard for me?

I know why you do it; because someone told you that the way a resume or CV should be, right? I’ve been there myself, even professional recruiters want their candidates to churn out boring, text-heavy, long-winded, identical, carbon-copy CVs and resumes. “Its what hiring managers want” they say.

Well, guess what. WRONG, we don’t. Give me something that doesn’t make me work so hard, show me your personality so I can make a better judgment about what you are like. Help me help you! (anyone seen Jerry Maguire?).

I respect that this may sound like a bit of a rant, I’m not that highly strung, honest, but, I do want to illustrate a point.  I am sure that I am not the only hiring manager that has quite enough to do every day thank you…

  • my inbox is full
  • the phone never stops ringing
  • my colleagues need to consult me on this and that
  • I simply don’t have any spare time

I WANT to hire you, but you need to understand where I’m at; I’m not lazy, far from it, its because I am so driven and focused that I just don’t have much time to spend reading everyone’s CV.

So, give me something exciting, new, visual. Something that I can take in, in one glance, something that will single you out as that one-in-two-thousand. I can almost guarantee that when I get that CV I’ll at least have a chat with you. The same cannot be said for the 9960 other people.

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Skills versus Attitude

I’ve recruited many, many, people over the course of my 25 years in business, and I would say that my expertise in picking the ‘right’ people has improved greatly with age.

Elsewhere, I write about the doubt that candidates feel when writing their CVs or resumes, but its fair to say that employers feel an equivalent doubt when recruiting, chiefly stemming from questions like:

  • can this candidate do the job?
  • will they fit in with the rest of the team and company?
  • will they go ‘over-and-above’ when needed?
  • are they a clock-watcher?
  • will they take responsibility, or shirk it on someone else?
  • will they be constructive or disruptive?

Recruiting is such an important part of any manager’s job, when you pick the right people you get an uplift on productivity and efficiency, but when you pick the wrong candidate you not only miss those benefits, but you also incur delays, lost time in the process, disruption, and expense – plus, when a candidate doesn’t work out in the role, you have the horrible task of removing them and then going through the whole process again.  Increasingly, I find myself considering the ‘soft’ factors of a candidates make-up more than the hard factors.

By ‘soft factors’, I mean factors like:

  • attitude (to work and to life in general)
  • aptitude (or, ability to learn new things and adapt)
  • presentation (does this person take care of themselves)
  • motivation (are they a ‘lean forward’ person, or a ‘lean back’ person – generally I find I prefer the former)
  • achievements (not just work related, and in many cases I want to see non-work related as it shows they self-actuate when at leisure)

By ‘hard factors’ I mean:

  • qualifications
  • experience
  • domain knowledge

In practice, this means that I get one (or sometimes more) of my technically qualified and skilled team members to interview and confirm qualifications for the role (e.g. technical competency, and technical or practical tests, etc.), BUT I rely upon my own judgment for the soft factors.

Its the soft factors that a less experienced manager will miss. And I believe the reason they miss them is because the perceived ‘safe’ bet is the guy (or gal) with all the qualifications, right? Wrong.

So, that’s it, I value ATTITUDE and APTITUDE higher than qualifications, that’s not to say hard factors are not important, but I consider them a ‘checkbox’ or ‘hygiene’ item. That is to say they must be there (check), but when faced with candidates that check all the boxes, the ones I will employ are those that win on all the ‘soft’ factors.

And why is all this important to you, as a candidate? Because it tells you how you need to present yourself to me FROM THE OUTSET. Sure, you can give me a list of qualifications, experience, knowledge if you like, and I get TONS of CVs and resumes bursting at the seams with this stuff – but, if you REALLY want to impress me, to stand out, show me the soft factors, be different, stand out.

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45 Creative Resumes To Seize Attention

Example Graphical Resume

Here’s an awesome collection of 45 custom-designed graphical CVs and resumes – http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-designer-resume-curriculum-vitae/

THIS is what your text resume or CV is competing with today.

But, you dont need to hire a designer and spend big bucks to get the same result.

Just get Shine App on your iPad.


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