Here are our top ten resume writing tips to get you to the top of the pile!
Picture this – you have received over 100 emails with cover letters and resumes attached from the job advertisement you placed last week. Your day is already completely full, with meetings, proposals and work to perform but you are still desperate to find a new staff member to help relieve the pressure. How do you get through this long list of applicants quickly to find the best person for the job?
As a job seeker, always bear this in mind when you are writing your resume.
1. Be relevant
Focus your resume on the points of interest in the job advertisement only and ones you think may help in the position. Think about all your experience and how that experience can help this new employer.
2. Be concise
Get to the point quickly, don’t waffle.
3. Scannable resume
Write your resume in a scannable format, using highlighted headings and bulleted points. Remember the employer doesn’t have much time on his hands and will only scan down your resume looking for easy to read information. They will make a decision about you in only 10 seconds.
4. Contact details
Include all contact details, you will be surprised how often people forget these details, because they are so focussed on the other information in their resume.
5. Follow the keywords that are in the job advertisement
Use the same kind of jargon or wording that the employer or recruiter is using on the job advertisement and back up with job experience. Recruitment companies may use software to do keyword searches on applicant’s resumes, using the keywords in the job advertisement.
6. Write a different resume for each job application
Tedious as this may sound but it will give you a better chance at getting a job interview as you fine-tune your resume for each job advertisement. A targeted resume can really highlight the areas where your experience will benefit the employer or recruitment company in hiring you for the job.
7. Address the job advertisement requirements closely
If the job advertisement says to put the job application in a certain format or keep it to one page or to send copies to two different people – do it! By following their requirements, it shows you can have excellent comprehensive skills and can follow instructions.
8. Check for spelling and grammatical errors
These days incorrect spelling is inexcusable with all word processing software providing spell check. Have a friend check your resume, as a fresh pair of eyes will pick up errors you may have missed. Alternatively, read it aloud, you will be amazed at how many grammatical errors you will pick up. Resumes can be rejected simply for an error.
9. Show don’t tell!
Everyone can say ‘good communication skills’ on their resume, but go one further and show how you have good communication skills. For example, write, ‘Presented weekly to management on building progress.’
10. There is no ‘I’ in resume
Do not use the word ‘I’ at all – don’t write ‘I trained the new employees in safety issues onsite’ instead write ‘Trained all new employees in safety issues onsite’. This sounds more professional and businesslike.
The best tip of all is to send out your best resume you can!