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Skills-Based CV / resume?

Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So RavenRegistered User regular
Hello, I'm trying to apply for a job that requires only a CV to advance to the next round (interviews). My current CV has all the usual sections, objective, education, work experience, and additional experience / skills. I have only held part-time jobs and internships thus far, mostly in the television production field, none of which are relevant to the position I am applying for (data scientist).

Should I use a skills-based CV to apply for this job? I am planning to compose some sort of short profile, then my 'skills,' then education (which includes my recent masters in business analysis). Still, completely leaving out my four pitiful past jobs feels strange. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of CV, or had any success with one? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I'll try to type it up and post what I have shortly.

(V) ( ;,,; ) (V)

Posts

  • PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    No, don't leave out your past jobs. Try and find anything about them that you can relate to the job you're applying for.

    I haven't the foggiest what a data scientist does, or what you've done in the past, so I can't really do specifics.

  • Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So Raven Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Thank you for your reply. Specifically, this is the position I am applying for: http://www.deltadna.com/graduate-data-scientist/

    This is what my CV looks like at its current stage:
    Name, contact details

    Personal Objective
    To obtain a challenging position in the competitive field of data analytics and business intelligence.

    Skills Profile
    TECHNICAL SKILLS
    • Strong working knowledge of IBM SPSS Statistics and Modeler.
    • Fully competent in using Microsoft Office applications including Excel and Powerpoint.
    • Familiar with Naive Bayes classification, nearest-neighbour, k-means clustering, regression, and other machine learning and modelling methods.
    • Technologically adaptable and quick to learn new software.
    COMMUNICATION AND TEAM WORK
    • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and organise over thirty collegues to produce twelve hours of original television programming over eighteen months, programme won Broadcasting Education Association (BEA) award, 2011.
    • Group project to create and launch a new product was pitched to Google.
    ORGANISATION
    • Systematically collected nearly 3,000 cells of data for masters dissertation, conducted thorough analysis thereafter.
    • Managed scheduling, budgeting, and equipment/space bookings for television programme production.

    Education
    MASTER OF SCIENCE | AUGUST 2014 (ESTIMATED) | UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
    • Subject: Marketing and Business Analysis (2:1 expected)
    • Analyzed real-world data sets to implement new modelling methods for classification.
    • Related coursework: Data Mining, Spreadsheet Modelling and Problem Solving, Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Marketing Decision Analysis, Business Statistics.
    BACHELOR OF SCIENCE | MAY 2013 | ITHACA COLLEGE
    • Major: Television / Radio Production – Minor: Marketing
    • Working knowledge of multiple editing programmes, including Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas. Proficient with complex camera and studio operating systems.
    • Related coursework: Advanced Studio Production, Marketing on the Internet, International Marketing, Mass Media Research Methods, New Media Technologies

    References available upon request


    Does 'technologically adaptable and quick to learn new software' sound redundant? I might need to rephrase that.

    My work experience is basically cashiering, working in master control at my college's TV station, and two TV-related internships. I could put some of the skills I gained from those in there, but listing them all out doesn't look very impressive.

    Ravenhpltc24 on
    (V) ( ;,,; ) (V)
    Geth
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Yes, that's redundant. Put your latest jobs, but attach a cover letter on why you're in part times.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    You should list them, because they provide context for your technical skills. 'Familiar,' 'demonstrated,' etc are all words that need context. Prior to the 'education' section can simply be a bullet point 'work experience' list, with positions and dates/durations. Elaborate in the cover letter things that might seem unclear after that.

    ed: also, just having a history (however short or truncated) of being in an actual work environment will put you ahead of somebody with just a degree and in-uni experience in the eyes of lots of hiring people

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    Calixtus
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    I would swap the education and skills around. At your point in your career path, the degrees are the big draw. Until you get proper experience under your belt you should lead with the degrees.

    Technical skills. Bullet points 1 and 3 are far more impressive than 2 and 4. 2 and 4 are the computer equivalent of putting on your pants. Re-order and consider removing the mundane, or at least shortening to simply "Fluent in MS Office."
    5.

    Personal objective: Remove this. Unless you can write it so that it is similar to "[EXACT JOB TITLE THEY ARE SEARCHING FOR] of n years experience, specialising in [TOP 5 SKILLS]" They really don't care.

    Flesh out your degrees so you have a little more to go on. You spent 4 years on the Bachelors and another what, 2? on the Masters?

    References available upon request. Everyone assumes this to be the case. Take this line off, and use the space for something the recruiter will want to see. Skills and/or experience valuable to them.

    A CV is a sales pitch. They are getting dozens if not hundreds of these. Yours needs to be extremely relevant in order to make the first pass. When I hired for a 3rd line job I would vet 40-50 applications a day. After a month I had two candidates worth interviewing. Only one made it to the office for a face to face talk. The other 990 were screened out because of things like typos, lack of skills, lack of experience, inability to construct a sentence and outright weirdness (one guy wrote two full paragraphs on why he liked spaghetti, presumably he read a "tip" about making his CV stand out, or he skipped his meds).

    When hiring a person the main question is "who will benefit me most?" If you can quantify the value you bring, so much the better. Nothing stands out more than "At my last company I did x, generating y over n months." "By changing a, we saved b each year, totalling c." If you can't do that, then try and highlight as many skills as possible that are relevant. If they can hire what seems to be the equivalent of 2 people for the price of 1, they look like a genius.

    PedroAsani on
  • CalixtusCalixtus Registered User regular
    You should list them, because they provide context for your technical skills. 'Familiar,' 'demonstrated,' etc are all words that need context. Prior to the 'education' section can simply be a bullet point 'work experience' list, with positions and dates/durations. Elaborate in the cover letter things that might seem unclear after that.

    ed: also, just having a history (however short or truncated) of being in an actual work environment will put you ahead of somebody with just a degree and in-uni experience in the eyes of lots of hiring people
    The bolded is actually really important. Do not underestimate the importance of being able to demonstrate that you can keep a schedule and interact with people in a professional environment.

    Honestly, I'm sort of sceptical about a skill-based resume in general. Wouldn't an experience based resume, with a cover letter that describes the skills be a better solution? The objective is to have a solid real-world example of when you've used/practiced the skills you claim to have, and that's a lot easier to do with a cover letter + resume.

    Or when you said they just need a resume, maybe you meant that they don't really want a cover letter...?

    -This message was deviously brought to you by:
  • Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So Raven Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    I would swap the education and skills around. At your point in your career path, the degrees are the big draw. Until you get proper experience under your belt you should lead with the degrees.

    Technical skills. Bullet points 1 and 3 are far more impressive than 2 and 4. 2 and 4 are the computer equivalent of putting on your pants. Re-order and consider removing the mundane, or at least shortening to simply "Fluent in MS Office."
    5.

    Personal objective: Remove this. Unless you can write it so that it is similar to "[EXACT JOB TITLE THEY ARE SEARCHING FOR] of n years experience, specialising in [TOP 5 SKILLS]" They really don't care.

    Flesh out your degrees so you have a little more to go on. You spent 4 years on the Bachelors and another what, 2? on the Masters?

    References available upon request. Everyone assumes this to be the case. Take this line off, and use the space for something the recruiter will want to see. Skills and/or experience valuable to them.

    A CV is a sales pitch. They are getting dozens if not hundreds of these. Yours needs to be extremely relevant in order to make the first pass. When I hired for a 3rd line job I would vet 40-50 applications a day. After a month I had two candidates worth interviewing. Only one made it to the office for a face to face talk. The other 990 were screened out because of things like typos, lack of skills, lack of experience, inability to construct a sentence and outright weirdness (one guy wrote two full paragraphs on why he liked spaghetti, presumably he read a "tip" about making his CV stand out, or he skipped his meds).

    When hiring a person the main question is "who will benefit me most?" If you can quantify the value you bring, so much the better. Nothing stands out more than "At my last company I did x, generating y over n months." "By changing a, we saved b each year, totalling c." If you can't do that, then try and highlight as many skills as possible that are relevant. If they can hire what seems to be the equivalent of 2 people for the price of 1, they look like a genius.

    Thank you very much, I have made several changes according to your suggestions. Believe it or not I previously had a 'personal profile' at the top, which amounted to three lines of wasted breath. I thought shortening it to an objective would be a better idea, but I agree that I should ditch it completely.

    Calixtus wrote: »
    You should list them, because they provide context for your technical skills. 'Familiar,' 'demonstrated,' etc are all words that need context. Prior to the 'education' section can simply be a bullet point 'work experience' list, with positions and dates/durations. Elaborate in the cover letter things that might seem unclear after that.

    ed: also, just having a history (however short or truncated) of being in an actual work environment will put you ahead of somebody with just a degree and in-uni experience in the eyes of lots of hiring people
    The bolded is actually really important. Do not underestimate the importance of being able to demonstrate that you can keep a schedule and interact with people in a professional environment.

    Honestly, I'm sort of sceptical about a skill-based resume in general. Wouldn't an experience based resume, with a cover letter that describes the skills be a better solution? The objective is to have a solid real-world example of when you've used/practiced the skills you claim to have, and that's a lot easier to do with a cover letter + resume.

    Or when you said they just need a resume, maybe you meant that they don't really want a cover letter...?

    Yes, this seems to be the case. There is no place to submit a cover letter, they are only interested in a CV (which I find weird, but ok).

    I will add a short description of my work history, although my page space is running low. As an American I've had it drilled into me that resumes/CVs should never be more than one page long! But I'll move things around and try to make it work.

    Thanks for your help, everyone!

    (V) ( ;,,; ) (V)
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    I've also been told that rule is kind of junk, especially now that everything's being submitted electronically and there's little chance of a second page being lost/not looked at. As long as you're not just padding with useless BS it doesn't seem like a second page would be a problem. I certainly didn't care in the extremely brief amount of time I spent on a hiring committee, but maybe I'm weird.

    I agree that a goal statement or whatever is sort of silly; the goal is to get the job you're applying for, res ipsa.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I've also been told that rule is kind of junk, especially now that everything's being submitted electronically and there's little chance of a second page being lost/not looked at. As long as you're not just padding with useless BS it doesn't seem like a second page would be a problem. I certainly didn't care in the extremely brief amount of time I spent on a hiring committee, but maybe I'm weird.

    I agree that a goal statement or whatever is sort of silly; the goal is to get the job you're applying for, res ipsa.

    While you should strive for a single page, I've seen much longer, especially when you have to list out technical certs. As long as you're TRYING for 1 page, you should be fine. It's when you have a 3-4 page resume of fluff statements that it's a problem.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    It is now a myth that you need to keep to one page. The first stage of culling is usually automated. Fire up Word, pick a keyword and do a count. Note the number, do another, note it, repeat. Human eyeballs aren't looking at the words, and certainly not the page length.

    Depending on the number of applications, the top 5 or 10% now get looked at by either a recruiting agent, or HR. They aren't experts in the field you are applying for. They are reading it to see if you seem competent. Spelling mistakes, horrific grammar, poor layout will all get you thrown into the reject pile. They try and do this quickly, so glaring errors help them. Don't have any.

    The final stage is usually done by the person who will be your boss. They are looking for value as I said earlier. They have maybe 2% of the original stack to read. They can afford to take their time (to a point) and what they are looking for is The Perfect Candidate. The less you write the less you have to convince them. Provided every single line on the CV is doing it's job, which is highlighting a particular skill or attribute, length doesn't matter. Here it is much like the first page of a good novel: grab the reader's interest and they will keep reading. Keep that interest until the end, or lose it halfway, it's all up to your writing.

    My "short" CV is 9 pages. The long one is 13. And I have no problem with getting it read by either recruiters or hirers, in the UK, Europe or the US, by native English speakers or ESL speakers. Now, I have a 16 year career history and fistfuls of qualifications, but it still gets read because every line does it's job. I don't have a section for my hobbies, and I don't have lines about how I'm a Good Team Player that Works Well With Others. If you find yourself writing CV clichés, you have gone wrong somewhere. Just focus on getting down all the things you did, the skills you have and the value you bring that nobody else has.

    Ravenhpltc24
  • Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So Raven Registered User regular
    Alright, we're up to two pages now, I've added in my work experience.

    Also, I went to the career centre today and had a nice lady look it over, she gave me many of the same tips as you lovely people. She also suggested I write a thoughtful and sincere personal statement that bridges the weirdness of my two isolated degrees but honestly I don't think I want to include one.

    Like PedroAsani, she said to give more examples of how I've gained these skills and applied them, which is different from what I think is expected on an American resumé (short and sweet). I've added in dates as well, per Pedro's suggestion.

    As it stands:
    Education
    MASTER OF SCIENCE | SEPT 2013 - AUG 2014 | UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
    • Subject: Marketing and Business Analysis
    • Analysed real-world datasets to implement new modelling methods for classification.
    • Designed and ran simulations for problem solving and logistics assignments.
    • Related courses: Data Mining, Spreadsheet Modelling and Problem Solving, Business Statistics, Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Marketing Decision Analysis.
    BACHELOR OF SCIENCE | SEPT 2009 - MAY 2013 | ITHACA COLLEGE
    • Subject: Television / Radio Production – Minor: Marketing
    • Working knowledge of multiple editing platforms including Final Cut Pro and Sony Vegas.
    • Proficient with complex camera and studio operating systems.
    • Related courses: Advanced Studio Production, International Marketing, Internet Marketing, Mass Media Research Methods, New Media Technologies, Statistics of Psychology.

    Skills Profile
    TECHNICAL SKILLS
    • Strong working knowledge of IBM SPSS Statistics and Modeler, utilised on multiple occasions in data mining and spreadsheet modelling coursework.
    • Familiar with Naive Bayes, nearest-neighbour, k-means clustering, regression, linear programming, and other machine learning, modelling, and problem-solving methods.
    • Fluent in Microsoft Office.
    • Technologically adaptable to new software.
    ORGANISATION
    • Systematically collected nearly 3,000 cells of data in SPSS for Masters dissertation, conducted thorough analysis on variable relationships to substantiate research.
    • Managed scheduling, budgeting, and equipment/space bookings for television programme production.
    COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK
    • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and motivate over thirty colleagues to produce twelve hours of original television programming over eighteen months, programme won Broadcasting Education Association award, 2011.
    • Worked as the marketing strategist in a team project to create and launch a new product, pitched to Google executives.
    POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP
    • Acted as lead producer and head writer for local television programme, trained over twenty fellow students to use studio equipment and/or compose scripts.
    • Trained four fellow students to become live-tested master control operators.

    Work Experience
    MASTER CONTROL OPERATOR | ITHACA COLLEGE TV | SEPT 2010 - MAY 2013
    • Trained new operators to pass competency exam.
    • Managed programming and commercial breaks for six consecutive hours of television per week.
    • Coordinated with studios to air multiple live programmes.
    • Paid position.
    INTERN | WMUR NEWS 9 (ABC AFFILIATE) | SUMMER 2012
    • Performed several studio and control room functions necessary to every news broadcast, entrusted with operating cameras and teleprompter during live segments.
    INTERN | PROSPECT PICTURES (DCD MEDIA) | FALL 2011
    • Aided show producers by conducting project research.
    • Attended creative brainstorming meetings and contributed to discussion.
    • Occasionally acted as office secretary; answering and directing telephone calls.
    CASHIER | HANNAFORD SUPERMARKETS | JULY 2007 – AUGUST 2013
    • Courteously greeted and served customers with speed and accuracy.
    • Entrusted with additional duties such as closing the store due to high performance and dependability.

    Some of it is a bit repetitive which worries me: should my producing job fall under both 'teamwork' and 'leadership'? Same with my master control gig and the training of underlings.

    Still, it looks all neat and pretty in a .pdf right now. Hoping to send it in this weekend.

    Again, thanks a lot for your help! My old CV, aka the starting point for this mess, was truly horrendous.

    (V) ( ;,,; ) (V)
    Calixtus
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    I still think that your degrees need more bullet points. Break those "related courses" out into separate bullets with some more details. You paid a lot to get these. Make them earn the money back.

    I would consider removing the Cashier work experience. The first bullet is kind of trite, and the second doesn't add much that isn't already implied in the more interesting jobs.

    Break News 9 into the separate functions.

    I would also rephrase Prospect Pictures, particularly 2 and 3.

    Ithaca says you trained operators to pass an exam. Did you take it yourself? I don't see it listed.

  • Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So Raven Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    I still think that your degrees need more bullet points. Break those "related courses" out into separate bullets with some more details. You paid a lot to get these. Make them earn the money back.

    I would consider removing the Cashier work experience. The first bullet is kind of trite, and the second doesn't add much that isn't already implied in the more interesting jobs.

    Break News 9 into the separate functions.

    I would also rephrase Prospect Pictures, particularly 2 and 3.

    Ithaca says you trained operators to pass an exam. Did you take it yourself? I don't see it listed.

    The 'exam' is extremely informal, basically the station manager sits down with you and asks you to perform all the main parts of the job on the switcher board to make sure you know how to do it. If you seem to have a good understanding of it all, you pass. I does not qualify as an official certification or anything like that.

    I will make the changes you suggested. I think expanding my 'related courses' sections is a good idea, but I'm not sure I want to do the same with my undergraduate degree. I didn't do much related to this job save for basic statistics and research methods courses. I wouldn't be adding any more information or projects that I didn't do on a larger scale in postgrad. I think I'll keep the undergrad section more or less the way it is.

    (V) ( ;,,; ) (V)
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    The undergraduate was 4 years. I would expect to see a lot of bullets for that amount of time. The Masters is a narrower focus, so the Bachelors is a way to show a broad range of what you did.

    I have seen a lot of CVs where the BSc was almost glossed over, usually with the grade omitted. Upon questioning that will usually be a 3rd, maybe even a Pass. Essentially they showed up and didn't start fires. Candidates that can put down a lot are more interesting (and therefore likely to make the top of the pile) because it shows they were actively engaged rather than coasting.

    As a rule, 4 bullets is for short term (anything from a day to two months) with 6-8 being for medium (three to six months) and 10 for long term ( 6 to 18 months) with an extra 2 per year after that.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    Your resume has a lot of what you did or what your duties were but not a lot (or any) achievements.

    Anyone who applies for a job with me and actually has achievements on their resume gets an automatic phone interview - they're that rare, and suggests to me the person may understand work is about results!

    Bonus tips if the person formats duties/responsibilities different than achievements so I can spot them easily.

  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    "cells of data" is a weird way to put it, aren't these just data points? Also don't say 'nearly', its weak in tone and the advert wants people to deal with large datasets (they might be talking millions of messages!).

    "Technologically adaptable to new software" are you a robot? ;)

    The job advert calls it Naïve Bayes Classifiers, you should too (ditto on the nearest neighbour). This is good for both the bot and HR checking and that the technical person at the end reading it feels you have a strong understanding of the concepts.

    If you have any programming experience at all I'd mention it - the advert has R which is heavily command line as opposed to SPSS's graphical interface.

    Breaking some of those skills out into achievements might be good - you're burying the broadcasting award in the middle of a block of text for example.

    The cashier job doesn't really indicate anything the Internships don't cover (i.e. being in a real work environment) so I'd drop it.

    With UK jobs the 1 page thing isn't particularly adhered to.

    Dis' on
  • Ravenhpltc24Ravenhpltc24 So Raven Registered User regular
    Thanks for your feedback everyone. This has seriously improved my CV for this application and future ones as well.

    (V) ( ;,,; ) (V)
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