The quality of your resume can be the difference between securing an interview and getting no response from potential employers, so it pays to get it right!
To help you with writing your resume here are five tips and some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
1. Create a targeted resume
The “all purpose” or generic resume has been replaced with a targeted resume. This is a resume that is tailor made for each application and specific to an employment goal. Begin with a core resume (this is the information that doesn’t change), then research the requirements that are specific to this role and finally customise your resume to reflect the desired requirements
2. Watch your language!
With so many applicants applying for one role, more often than not we see software used to make the first cut. So you need to make sure you mirror the language being used in the job description, that is what the software will be programmed to pick out.
3. Keep it neat
The heading of your resume should include your name, address, phone number (the one you are most accessible on), email address and LinkedIn profile link. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t include a photo unless requested. Use easy to read font like Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica.
4. It’s not your life history
List your professional experience going back ten years, starting with your most recent role and provide the following information for each position;
- Company name – including a brief comment on the company
- Position title
- Duties – start with the overall purpose statement
5. Don’t forget to include other relevant information
Your potential employer will want to know a wide range of information about you including:
- Computer/Technical skills
- Professional memberships
- Community activities (but don’t go overboard!)
- Personal interests (this isn’t going to be a deciding factor, but helps the reader get a better understanding of who you are).
You should not include referees unless specifically asked to provide them. Instead, you can say “Referees available on request” or leave it out altogether as it is assumed.
Resume dos and don'ts
Ensure enough white space on the page, so it is easy to read
Include a header and footer with name and page numbers
Use good quality paper for printing
Use underline and bold sparingly
Send your resume as a PDF document
When emailing your resume, only attach one document. If you include a cover letter, add it as the first page of your resume.
Use more than two fonts
Use multiple font colours, fancy patterns or borders
Include a cover page
Use coloured paper, decorative folders or plastic sleeves
Include written references