Resume Writing Tips
A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths in order for you to secure an interview. An interview will then secure you a new job! Remember your referees then need back-up the observations made by the recruiter as a final check by companies the confidence they are making the right hiring decision.
There are lots of examples of great resumes at CareerController and you can even create your own resume with content suggestions and resume layout options. If however you want to start with the basic see some tips below on writing the perfect resumes: (Updated June 2020):
- Recruitment Software – How to slip past and rank highly
Large organisations and most recruitment agencies will often use Application Tracking Software (ATS) to read and often reject your resume without ever reading it. Matching the skills and experience keywords of the Job Ad or Position Description with the terms included in your resume is important. Blend your own style with language the software bots will understand. Good hiring managers will read the same If possible, keep it under 2 or 3 pages. Bots and humans alike prefer shorter, more concise resumes.
- Contact Information. Whether to include full address and working rights.
Include all your full resume, including your full name, mobile number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile or professional website include these links as well. If you think there may be some concerns about your working rights – visa or citizenship – then also include in this section. It is not recommended to include your entire mailing address if you are applying for a job that is a long distance away or may require relocation. Alternatively, if you are simply registering your interest in working for a recruitment agency or employer then make sure you do include your full address as it is important they know where you live in order to match you against nearby jobs.
- Summary or Introduction Section
Rather than having a ‘career objectives’ section, instead use a Summary or Introduction paragraph, with or without a headline, at the top of your resume customized to each job you apply for. This is a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Remember, the more specific you are, the better the chance of being considered for the job. Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in job descriptions in order to increase the chances of your resume being matched to the role.
- Include Facts and Numbers to Quantify Your Achievements
Adding numbers to your resume shows employers in black-and-white fashion what you have accomplished at work. Not all of your achievements are quantifiable, but adding those that are can serve as powerful negotiation tools when the topic of salary arises. Your resume should include your job title, the name of the organization, its website, the years of involvement (including total period), and of course facts about your responsibilities and contributions
- Customize Your Resume for Every Job
Customize your resume and cover letter when applying for jobs, particularly when there is a perfect match for your qualifications, experience, location and salary expectations. The extra time spent is often paid back handsomely in the form of increasing your chance of securing an interview and ultimately a job.
- Education, Professional Development & Professional Affiliations
Create a record of all your education, beginning with your most recent degree. Remember as your career progresses to reduce the focus and detail in your education section as experience becomes more important than qualifications. List the institution, its location, the name of your degree or qualification, your majors and the graduation year. Also, separately list any relevant professional organizations or affiliations you’re a member of that are relevant to your career. For each group, please list its name and URL. If you took an active role in the organization, describe your responsibilities and any notable achievements. We live in a world of constant change so it important to show that you have re-skilled over time and are committed to continual learning.
- Languages, Interests & Volunteer Work
Language skills can be a great selling point on your resume. If you’re multilingual, be sure to list each language you speak and your proficiency level. If languages are not relevant and you are applying for a role where English is not your native language, it is recommended to omit this section. List any volunteer work you’ve done that’s relevant to your current job goals in chronological order. This is particularly useful if you are new to the workforce, including any campus activities or clubs in which you were active.
- Skills & Proficiencies
Remember to list skills and your proficiency if they are relevant to the role or industry in which you operate. Be specific and as comprehensive as possible. This list can include anything from social media platforms to project management systems and computer languages. Recruitment software will often match skills as mandatory or preferred with many candidates not short-listed for simply omitting to include skills that they took for granted.
- Identify Your Benefits & Accomplishments
Recruiters prefer candidates that can help them solve a problem or add value to their organization. It is therefore important that you demonstrate how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations. (1) Focus on what you did in the job rather than your job was; (2) Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments; and (3) If you can ask yourself “so what” after reading your description you have not converted a fact into a benefit to your prospective new employer.
- Resume Formatting - "Do the recruiters' work for them”
Your resume won't get a thorough reading the first time. Generally, a resume is quickly scanned for 5 to 7 seconds before a decision is made to read or reject it. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds 2 or 3 pages.