Our Guide to Resume Writing
One of the most important things a candidate can improve about their offer of interview success rate it to take look at their resume to make sure it stands out. Your resume is the presentation of your career. It outlines your skills, experience and interests in one compact document, giving an overview of you as an individual.
To increase your success rate when applying for jobs it’s important to make your resume stand out from others. Your resume is your key tool and method of being noticed. Keep that at the forefront of your mind when you are putting it together or updating it to apply for a new job.
You know that your resume has to stand out from your competition. It is not only information that makes this happen. If a prospective employer or recruiter has 300 resumes to go through in just an hour, they will scan read, then spend only 15 -20 seconds looking for key components on the resume that stand out.
Employers are faced with large numbers of resumes for every job they advertise, and their pre-selection process may be as simple as placing them into 3 stacks; “yes” – interview, “no” – reject, and “maybe”.
Make sure to keep each section separate; use page titles and keep your resume simple and clean. If you go over two pages, that third page will most likely never be read, so put the most important information on the first two pages
For your resume to make the “yes” stack, even a cursory glance should reveal you have the skills they are looking for, particularly technology skills. This takes a combination of style and substance.
Use Bold type - simple but immensely effective in highlighting relevant experience
Use bullet points - they draw the reader's eye to what you want them to remember
Don't be side-tracked - put your most relevant experience first. It may not be your most recent project, but this is less important to the employer than knowing you have the experience they need.
How long should my resume be?
People often say a resume should be no more than 2 pages long however, a resume should be descriptive of your career and cover your personal profile, experience, duties performed, achievements, qualifications and aspirations. If this can be covered in 2 pages, great - if not, use as many pages as is necessary without disengaging with the employer.
What should I put in my personal profile?
A personal profile is a personal overview of you and what you’re about. It should include a short statement about your experiences and achievements. We would also recommend you include a short statement about your career aspirations.
What should I put about the jobs I’ve had on my resume?
You should start with your most recent job first, clearly outlining the company’s you have worked for, what position you held, the dates of your employment (don’t just put the year – you need to at least put the month and the year for both the start and finish dates). State brief details of the duties you performed and the responsibilities entrusted to you by your employer. It also helps to state if the position was temporary, maternity cover, fixed term, etc. You should do this for the last 3-4 roles. After this you can just go down to company name, what position you held and the dates of your employment.
Simple resume guidelines:
- Keep the document clear, simple and easy to read
- Add meaningful figures wherever possible (turnover, staff numbers, profit increases etc)
- Focus on key points that are applicable to the job you applying for that you can expand upon at interview
- List your most recent position first
- Mention any training courses/qualifications you have achieved
- Ensure only information relevant to your application is on the document
- Be honest to not stretch the truth in anyway
- Give accurate contact details on how you like to be contacted Mobile, email etc
- Get someone else to read the resume to make sure it clear and east to read in there eye also
- Ensure that the document is spell checked and grammar checked.
- Make sure it’s factual and is a true reflection of your capabilities.
- Have you included enough detail describing your previous roles?
- Don’t use fancy fonts or bright coloured borders.
Resume Presentation tips
- Your resume should be carefully and clearly laid out – not too cramped, but not with large empty spaces either. Make use of bold and italic typefaces for headings and important information
- Never produce a double-sided resume – each page should be on a separate sheet of paper. It's a good idea to put your name in the footer area so that it appears on each sheet
- Tailor your resume every time you apply for a different role. It is useful to carefully read person and role specifications and relate yourself, your skills and abilities to those that are required.
- Be concise: a resume is an appetiser and should not give the reader indigestion! Don't feel that you have to list every exam you have ever taken or every activity you have ever been involved in. Consider which are the most relevant and/or impressive. The best CVs tend to be fairly economical with words, selecting the most important information and leaving a little something for the interview. Good business communications tend to be short and to the point, focusing on key facts and your resume should to some extent emulate this
- Be positive: put yourself across confidently and highlight your strong points. For example, when listing your A-levels, put your highest grades first
- Be honest: although a resume does allow you to omit details (such as exam re-sits) which you would prefer the employer not to know about, you should never give inaccurate or misleading information. A resume is not a legal document and you can't be held liable for anything within it, but if a recruiter picks up the presence of false claims you will be rapidly rejected. (An application form which you have signed to confirm that the contents are true, however, is a legal document and forms part of your contract of employment if you are recruited)
- If you are posting your resume, don't fold it, put it in a full-size A4 envelope so that it doesn't arrive creased
- Show what makes you unique. When employers are faced with many candidates all possessing similar skill sets, you need to demonstrate how your skills can provide solutions to a company’s problems. How can you save them money? Or make them money? How can you help them?
- Keep your resume up-to-date. Don’t miss out important information. Remember to include all of your most recent achievements, projects, and activities at the top of your resume Finally, every time you achieve something note-worthy add this to your resume and cut out anything irrelevant.
DO NOT SEND AN OLD, OUTDATED RESUME WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB
Following just these simple tips will ensure that your resume assures the employer that you have the right skills, knowledge and experience. This greatly increases your chances of being placed in the 'Yes' stack.
We have created a template that will help you to build your resume. See the link below
Download Resume Template