How to write the perfect Resume
If you are reading this article then you have probably come to the conclusion that your method of using Jenny’s older brother’s friend Steve’s resume to write your own isn’t the best method for ‘standing out’. This is because your resume should be a reflection of yourself, not Jenny and not Steve, but you. So as tempting as it may be to Google “perfect
CV” and fill in the blanks of a template, we are here to deliver the unfortunate news that writing your own CV is the key to making you stand out amongst a large pile of resumes and ultimately the key to making you more employable.
Now don’t give up yet, you’re not completely alone, below are a few easy steps for you to follow to ensure you cover everything that the perfect CV should include. Also, if you missed last week’s article on how to write a cover letter make sure you check it out so you can complement your great new resume with a perfect cover letter.
1. In today’s technologically advanced world no one is short of information, instead we are faced with the challenge of sorting through large amounts of content to find what is relevant to us. As a result, people are prone to only skimming the first page of a Google search or the executive summary of a document. Don’t think your resume is any different! This means that the quality of the first paragraph in your resume is crucial and that you should aim to make it as readable as possible. So what information is most important to the employer – what school you went to or your first job? NO! The employer wants to know why you’re more suited to this position than anyone else, so you should start with your “Key Competencies”. Take
a moment to think about your key skills and situations where you have shown you possess such strengths. Also consider the attributes that the employer has identified as having high importance in their advertisement. Take four of these and list them (bullet points or numbers will make them easier to read). In addition include examples of when you have shown you have these skills.
Technical Skills: During my role as Client Administrator for “….” I had the
responsibility of managing client relationships; as a result I am proficient in all Microsoft Office tools, ACT Database… (If this is one of your chosen strengths then include all technical areas that you are skilful in. If you are capable of using any software mentioned in the advertisement or relevant to the position be sure to mention them and a time when you have shown your abilities in the area).
As well as making your resume more readable and relevant to the employer, “Key Competencies” is important as it ensures your resume passes through software searches. Due to the high volume of resumes that employers now receive, many firms use software to search through resumes for key terms which then decreases the amount of CV’s they need
to read. This confirms even more how important it is to use key terms that are in the job advertisement in your resume. Also consider searchable terms, what would they be likely to search for? Then make sure these terms are included in your resume and are a focus within
your “Key Competencies”.
You may also consider beginning your resume with a short paragraph describing your “Career Objectives” however this can also be included throughout your cover letter instead, there is no need to repeat yourself as the person reading your resume is generally time poor. Make it easy for them!
Following Key Competencies you should include:
2. Education and Qualifications
Education should be in date order starting with the most recent. You should include the period of time for which you were there or state whether you’re currently undertaking the qualification.
3. Career History
Employment should be in date order starting with your most recent employment. You should include the period of time for which you were there or state whether you’re currently working in the role. Additionally, you should include a list of the key responsibilities you had within the role.
4. Industry Experience
This section is for any unpaid work experience that you have undertaken relevant to your chosen field. It is a good space for showing off how much interest you have in the area and will help to enrich your skill set, so if this section is empty consider volunteering for some internships!
5. Community Service
What wonderful things have you done for the community? Don’t worry if your school or uni forced you, it still counts!
6. Professional Memberships
Yes the process of applying for a membership with “The Australian blah blah Association” was lengthily and at the time you were probably wondering why is Mum, Dad, Uni, the Career’s Adviser making me do this? Well here it is! If you have been good and kept informed about your industry through membership with an organisation then here is the time to tell people about it.
Employers want to gauge an understanding of who you are personally and what interests you so they can consider whether you are the right fit for their team. So this space is where you can let them know what you get up to in your free time. I strongly recommend that you steer away from words such as “night clubbing”, also don’t lie! If you were to write that you love to read then you may be questioned in an interview “what is your favourite book?” and I can assure you any interviewer will see right through your “ummm…Macbeth” response, keep in mind the list of prescribed HSC texts doesn’t change that often.
You may choose to list one or two references in this area however many are now writing “references available upon request” this is sneaky as you can get an idea of whether they are interested in your application by seeing whether they call for a reference, which will also give you a chance to speak to the advertiser directly. This also shows that you are considerate and wish to protect the privacy of your referee. If you do decide to provide the details of a referee then always ask the person first so they are prepared to receive a call. If you’re a student then your previous work experience may not be as relevant to the employer, in this case you may choose to provide a “Personal Reference”.
Now it’s your turn to do the typing. Once you’re ready to do your job-hunting keep an eye out for job offers on www.homepagedailyjobs.com which we will continue to be updated
with student and graduate jobs. Also, keep an eye on this space, as we will carry on filling it with articles that will give you our very best career advice.
Happy resume writing!
Do you have any resume writing tips? What have you found to be the best tips for when applying for work? think, reflect and remember… Disqus!!!