There is a veritable minefield of resume templates available online and whilst it is fantastic to have such options, it is also overwhelming. What constitutes a good resume? I have tapped into my HR and recruitment background to bring you some top tips on carving out an impressive resume that will ensure you get noticed.
Avoid using excessive colours and designs on your resume. Yes, you do want to catch an employer’s eye, but you also want to be professional. The only occasions that warrant some vibrancy are for arts industry professionals, who have licence to be creative.
Begin your resume with a snappy profile about yourself. This little snippet is a chance for you to really sell yourself as an attractive employee. It isn’t necessary to detail your employment history; this is an opportunity to highlight your awesome personality! Hone in on your “excellent attention to detail” and your “flexible communication style” for instance. The profile is also a good place to tailor towards your ideal role. For instance, if you were seeking a supervisory role, the profile is going to ideally include some information about your ability to lead teams and provide mentoring.
Skills and Strengths
Follow up your profile with a “Skills and Strengths” section. This can simply be a little section of bullet points that highlights your key competencies. If you have a wealth of IT skills, you might even create a separate list for these.
Detail your employment history for about the last seven years; particularly important if you have held several roles. If you have only had a couple of jobs, for example, the last ten years with one organisation and a five year position with another organisation, then by all means detail both. A good way to set out each job is as per my example –
Job title Date – Date
For any jobs that you are not detailing, it is acceptable to put these in a little “Previous employment prior to “section. Something like this works –
Job Title Date – Date
Employer, Suburb, State
Education and References
Detailing your educational history is important, but there is no need to go back too far. Leave out your Year 12 grades!
Make sure to include some references (and always get permission from your referees before detailing their information on your resume!). It is quite frustrating as a recruiter to see “references on request” on a resume.
Now that you have a super shiny resume, do a spell check and a grammar check? Title your resume clearly at the top with your name, phone number and email address; no need to put your full address. Make sure to PDF it, and it is ready to go!
Make sure that you keep your resume letter current. It looks lazy to send through a resume that has not been updated with your more recent roles.
When applying for jobs, always make sure to follow the procedure for application as per the job advertisement. Whilst you may have a very sexy resume (which you will have once you follow my tips) this loses value if you haven’t included the requested selection criteria. Most employers will view this as a failure to follow simple instructions, and you may be discounted for interview on this alone! If a selection criteria is not requested, if it always advisable to create a cover letter. Avoid using a generic one; whilst it may feel like a lot of work, crafting a cover letter targeted towards the job you are applying for is very impressive to an employer.
Have these tips helped? Let me know!