But forget scented paper, a full-size portrait or edible bribes, according to one expert there’s just one word you need to include in your CV to increase your chances of getting that dream job. And no, it’s not ‘legend’.
“Introduce the word ‘which’ into your resume and it will instantly gain depth and substance. Why? Because the explanations that follow from ‘which’ put all your accomplishments and responsibilities into context,” recruitment expert Erica Seidel told Fast Company. (Watch: The 14 morning habits of successful people. Post continues after video.)
So can one little word really make that much difference?
“It’s very important to quantify your accomplishments on your CV. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to read what you think about yourself, they want to read about your results,” says Jane McNeill, Director of recruiting experts Hays.
Using the word ‘which’ can help ensure you include your results and achievements rather than simply list skills.
“For example, anyone can say they are innovative, but not everyone can say they successfully designed and delivered a new online sales booking system which in the first six months increased sales by 20 per cent,” she says.
“The important point to remember is that recruiters and hiring managers want to read about your results.” (Post continues after gallery.)
Remember, it’s not a time to be modest – your CV should reflect your work achievements with evidence to back it up.
“Examples could be ‘I independently designed and implemented a new strategy which increased sales by 25 per cent’ or ‘I implemented a new HR strategy which reduced staff attrition by 13 per cent’,” suggests McNeill.
While ‘which’ is a great tool to ensure you include the information recruiters want to see, there are also a few other buzzwords that can help you get further along the interview process.
“You can also use language such as ‘managed’ or ‘oversaw’ as hiring managers react well to such terminology. So long as you include examples and show results,” she says.
And before you completely write off those other "cliched" skills like "I'm a good listener", think about how you can individualise them to demonstrate your other achievements in your work place.
"For example you could say 'I never missed a deadline in two years in my last role', 'I’m a team player, and worked with our international and local marketing teams to implement a global rebrand across 12 countries' or 'I’m a good listener and received an award from my team for regularly delivering what a challenging customer asked for'," says McNeil.
"The key point however is to include examples of your work to demonstrate your strengths - it doesn’t necessarily matter how you do this. Remember that proof is in your results."
What's the best trick you've learned about writing a resume?