Your resume is the first opportunity you have to introduce yourself to a potential employer. It’s a summary of your professional history and is used to demonstrate that you have the right education, qualifications, and experience for the job you’re applying for. The key to resume writing is to keep it brief, professional, and to the point. Get it right and you’ll be called in for an interview and be one step closer to a new job. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Keep it simple
When it comes to the layout of your resume, less is most definitely more. Choose an easy-to-read font, bold your section headings and use bullet points for clarity. If you’re applying for a corporate job, keep it black and white. Trying to capture attention with bright colours and pictures can appear amateur unless it’s designed by a professional.
Include your contact information
Clearly include your name, home address, mobile number, and email address at the top of your resume. Think twice about the email address you’ve provided – an immature email address using your high school nickname may not be the professional first impression you were hoping for.
Start with your professional history
Include all the relevant employment positions you’ve held, including any full-time roles, internships, and work placements. If your most recent position was an internship at an accountancy firm, for example, put this at the top and work backwards. If you’ve only just graduated and you don’t have a lot of experience, it’s worthwhile including any part-time jobs you’ve held while at university or any volunteer work you’ve undertaken. Here’s what this section should look like:
- Job title
- Dates of employment
- A short description of the role and your key responsibilities
- A brief explanation of any important achievements
Onto your unique skills and qualifications
Use this section to highlight any skills specifically related to the job’s selection criteria. This can be specific skills, for example, proficiency with industry software such as QuickBooks Online, or transferable skills you’ve learned either in your degree or through your work experience, such as client support or leadership skills. Keep it brief and to the point.
One size doesn’t fit all
Remember the work experience, skills, and qualifications section of your resume is your chance to demonstrate to the employer that you have the skills and experience they’re looking for. This is also your opportunity to show that you can follow instructions. Most employers will recognise a boilerplate resume, so make sure you tailor it to the job you’re applying for.
Don’t forget your education
Start with your highest qualification, then work backwards. This also includes any relevant training courses you’ve completed. Here’s what this section should look like:
- Name of qualification
- University or institution
- Dates of study
- A short description of the course
- Any awards received or relevant achievements
Conclude with your referees
Include the name and contact number for two to three referees. Make sure you’ve discussed it with them beforehand and they know to expect a call from your potential employer. Your referees should be former employers or university lecturers who can vouch for your experience, skills, and qualifications. Your resume should be a concise, professional document that addresses the needs of the role. So, do your research, make it relevant, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job.