Your resume is your introduction to potential employers, and as a candidate, it is crucial to represent yourself successfully to get through the initial application process and to the interview stage. Here are our tips on putting together a professional resume:
Stand out with the right formatting
Think about the first time the hiring manager will see your resume – they probably have a hundred others to read through and want to quickly scan through yours so they can get through the rest before lunch. Stand out without being too obnoxious – don’t print it out in bright red text, but use a professional font and sensible font size which is easy to scan through. Using some keywords directly related to your profession is a great way to stand out from other dull, mundane applications. The use of bold lettering as headers will help separate sections and allow for clean reading. Avoid text that is too large, bulky or distracts the eye. Check for any spelling errors and establish yourself as a professional candidate.
Don’t say too much
Make sure your submitted resume is tight and to the point. A recruiter doesn’t care if you were the #1 player on your high school soccer team, but they do care about how much experience you have in the role you are applying for. List your experience, accomplishments and qualifications, and stay away from multiple page resumes unless the application specifically calls for that. Remember to choose your words wisely, too. Using overly long-winded sentences to sound smart will act against you if a recruiter can’t comfortably scan through your resume.
Market yourself and your achievements
Avoid using a general description of your previous job, instead outline your achievements in that role. Sell yourself as a successful, reliable candidate by providing the hiring manager a clear picture of what you are capable of.
Forget about sending the same resume to multiple employers
Although time-consuming, each resume you send out should be tailored to the role you are applying for. A good trick if you are submitting the resume by email is to save your resume as a word document under your name and the name of the company you are applying to, letting the hiring department know you spent a little extra time configuring your application to their needs. Remember, one size does not fit all!
Provide a concise objective
Writing a unique resume objective will grab the attention of the reader. Being too general, such as “I’m looking to learn more,” is not as effective as “I intend to use the skills I already have to develop new ones.” This is your chance to be specific in your career goals, think of it as your mission statement.
Tell them what your experiences taught you
What experience did you gain from your last job? What new skills did you develop? If you were constantly working to deadlines, stress your time management skills. If you spent time working for a non-profit, use this as an example to showcase your work ethic. One mistake resume writers make too often is either expanding too much or little on your previous experiences. Employers want to know everything you have to offer that is relevant to the vacancy, but don’t overwrite yourself.
Resume writing is a skill to be developed throughout the course of your career. Sure, you can pay somebody else to do it, but nobody represents you quite like you. Before typing it out, make sure you’ve done ample research on the company you are applying for. Use keywords, a crisp design and don’t write too much or too little. Once you’ve mastered the art of resume writing, all you have to worry about is the interview.