Updated: Aug 4, 2019
You may be actively looking for a job or may even be happy in your role, but wherever you are at, if your resume isn’t up-to-date it can be a huge unwelcome task just when you need it. When this happens we can rush the resume and not put our best foot forward when applying.
Your resume is your most important document when it comes to your career - it is your personal marketing brochure! Studies have shown that the average resume gets no more than a 30 second review (often a lot less) before the reader makes a judgement as to whether or not you are suitable for their job. It is therefore critical that you sell yourself in the best possible way to increase your chances of being selected for interview.
Here is our top 10 tips guide for writing your resume.
1. Keep It Professional The resume is the key document that a potential employer is judging you by. It is also a business document. It is important therefore that the language and presentation are consistently professional. Avoid gimmicks, clichés, pictures and unprofessional email addresses!
2. Target The Role Tailoring the resume to the job role is critical to its success. Establish the key skills and experience that are being asked for within the job advert, then ensure these key words are reflected in your resume. By using key words, it also means that commonly used Applicant Tracking Systems will pick you up in the initial selection process.
3. Prioritise Your Content While the order of information in the resume is flexible, have key material on the front page. For example, if a critical requirement of the role is to hold a professional membership, then have this information readily available to the reader. Less important information can be swapped to the back pages.
4. Self-Promote This is your time to shine so don’t be modest. Your resume is your self-promotion brochure so sell yourself. If you don’t tell the employer how awesome you are, no one else will! Use positive persuasive language to enhance the resume.
5. Keep It Consistent Be sure your resume is written in a common-sense way—in an order that is logical and easy to read. Be consistent throughout your resume with your margins, fonts, and line spacing.
6. Check Your Spelling, Grammar And Punctuation, Then Check Again! Mistakes in these areas are easily picked up and harshly judged.
7. Keep It Brief In reality, most resumes receive a maximum of 30 seconds of perusal time therefore we want them to be succinct. A resume will vary in length depending on years’ experience, seniority and industry but the maximum a resume should be is 4 pages, 2 or 3 is ideal with a 1-pager best for graduates and school leavers.
8. Remember Your Contact Info Simple enough but easy to forget. Name, email address and phone number are essential, home address, LinkedIn profile link, and home phone number are optional. Never add your date of birth, marital status or your nationality. These are NOT required in nearly all cases.
9. Proofread Print out a copy of your draft resume to proofread. We pick up many more mistakes when we read a document on paper than we do on the screen. Ideally have someone else proofread the resume too to pick up on any mistakes that you miss.
10. PDF It Once you are happy with the final document be sure to save it as a PDF before you send off to potential employers. This will ensure that all formatting is fixed and doesn’t warp within differing versions of Word. It also stops anyone copying or editing the document once you have sent it.
Blue Sky Career Consulting offers a professional resume and cover letter writing service to help take the strain out of perfecting your document. If you’d like more information on this or any of our other services, please contact us on email@example.com or call 0434 427 255 for a no obligation quote.