Your resume is arguably the most important part of your job search, as it determines whether or not you actually make it to the interview stage. However, with dozens of resumes crossing a recruiter’s desk on a daily basis, a lot of these are headed straight for the bin, so you should consider those you’re competing against when writing yours.
You’re going to have to do something that sets your out from the crowd and really showcases you in the best way possible, in order for them to consider you for the role, so what exactly can you do?
LinkedIn have created a guide to ensuring your resume gets read.
Write a summary about yourself
This will be the first thing the recruiter reads, so make sure it makes an impact and highlights all your best skills and achievements that you think will help to make an impression. It only needs to be a couple of sentences long, giving them an idea about your career so far and where you want to go with it.
Show off your skills
Demonstrate how your previous experience can benefit you in this particular role and what you can bring to the company. Outline all of the relevant skills, qualifications and training that you have, in addition to your previous employment listed in reverse chronological order.
Tailor it to the role
Have a read through the job spec for the role you are applying for and identify all of the corresponding skills and experience that you possess. You can then tailor your resume for that particular role, placing focus on the criteria asked for and elaborating in areas that will identify you as an ideal fit for the role.
Don’t get personal
Showing a bit of your personality in your resume can be a good thing, as it allows the recruiter to build an idea of what you are like as a person and whether you suit the job; however listing your personal hobbies and personal details, such as your date of birth are just taking up space and are not necessary.
Keep it brief
As mentioned above, if information isn’t 100% necessary, cut it out. Your resume should be kept to one or two pages, depending on your employment history, as recruiters want to be able to skim through them quickly. You can always go into more detail in the interview.
Avoid filling your resume with cliches, as recruiters have heard them all hundreds of times before and frankly, they’re probably pretty bored of hearing the same thing over and over again. Think outside the box and use more creative vocabulary to illustrate your strengths and skills.
Never submit your resume without reading it through to check for grammatical errors beforehand. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to check it over for you incase you missed any mistakes yourself. Sending a resume full of typos will come across as sloppy and unprofessional, so it’s worth the time to proofread.
Present it nicely
Unless you work in a creative industry, it’s best to keep your resume layout simple and clear, so it’s easy for the the recruiter to navigate and pinpoint the important information. Elaborate designs can often dilute the information or come across as too cluttered.
Accompany it with a cover letter
You should always write a cover letter, unless specified otherwise. Your cover letter should be used to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the job, a bit like your elevator pitch. It allows you to go into a bit more detail about the most significant points on your resume and to address how your skills and experience relate to the requirements of the role you are applying for.
Make yourself available
If a recruiter is interested in inviting you for an interview, it’s important that they can contact you. Clearly list your contact details, such as a phone number and a PROFESSIONAL email address.