The job market is tough as a job-seeker, so how do you get an edge? Having a great resume or CV is one of the most effective ways to stand out in the crowd and get noticed by potential employers.
So what makes a good resume? Here are the top four tips to a cracking resume:
1) Less really is more:
Probably the number one rule in resume writing is to keep it short and concise. DO NOT waffle on and try to pad out your CV. If you’re lacking job experience, you can’t invent it. Do anything you can to get some, including volunteering for charities or approach employers and offer to work for them for a short period of time, without pay.
Another thing you may need to consider is doing some vocational education and training (VET). Distinct from more traditional and academic courses, this type of study focuses on getting you straight into work by providing you with the job and industry-specific skills and knowledge. Some education providers even work directly with employers to provide apprenticeships and job-based training.
2) Follow the recipe:
When it comes to writing your resume – don’t freestyle it – stick to the classic recipe. This consists of:
- Your name and contact details
- Your qualifications – title of qualification / year of completion or expected completion / education provider
- Relevant training / skills / attributes
- Your work experience.
The work experience element is undoubtedly the most important and is what employers really focus on. This should always be listed in the following format:
- Chronological order – starting with your most recent work experience
- Job title
- Employer and location
- Key achievements
If you can’t think of any key achievements or you’re just new to the workforce, you can probably skip this bit and just focus on role responsibilities.
3) Make it relevant:
Resumes can be very generic and after reading dozens at a time, one can blend into another for the people reading them. If you really want to stand out in the resume crowd, you need to tailor your CV to match both the employers and jobs you’re seeking. To do this, give greater emphasis in your resume to the particular skills and experience that a company or organization is seeking. However, this doesn’t mean fabricating jobs and experience, so ensure that you’re honest and truthful.
4) Keep it clean and uncluttered:
Imagine you’re an employer and on the hunt for new talent. You’ve advertised a job and now your desk is literally covered in resumes. What’s the first thing you notice when you pick up someone’s CV? It’s the overall design and presentation. Choose styles that are clean and uncluttered, but allow you to express yourself and subtly make your mark. Absolutely avoid detailed and busy page borders and super fancy fonts.
When it comes to resumes, it’s what’s inside that really counts. While a nice-looking design is important, it all comes down to the content. Don’t ‘fluff up’ your CV, stick to the standard format, and where you can tailor it to suit specific employers and jobs.