Get Noticed: Writing an Effective Resume
By Axel Koster
A resume is a summary of your work experience, skills, and education. Your resume should highlight how your aptitude and abilities match the requirements of the job you are applying for.
That is what recruiters need to understand before they decide to invest in your candidature.
When applying for a job you often apply for more than one role. A resume should be adjusted to show the skills and experiences most relevant to each role. That is a must! Even though it means more work, a tailored resume is often more successful than a generic one. Professional recruiters can see whether you have spent time to modify it to the selection criteria.
When writing your resume consider including the following:
- Personal Details: Your full name, contact details including your contact number(s), address, email and any other methods of contact. Please be sure that you can be contacted via the details provided. If applying for jobs that internationally include the country and area codes. Also consider creating a Skype address. This can be the easiest way for a potential employer or recruiter to contact you. If you’re applying for a role overseas, remember that it may be expected that you provide a photo, your date of birth, marital status and list any children that you have.
- Career Objective: Show the employer or recruiter what sort of job you want. It demonstrates that you have given thought to your future and you have direction. This should not be more than a sentence or two.
- Education and Training: List your educational achievements in chronological order, starting with your most recent studies. List training after any formal education and ensure it is relevant to the role you are applying for.
- Employment History: Start with your current or most recent role and work backwards. List the name of your employer, your job title, the dates you worked there (include the month and the year). Once again list the duties that are most relevant to the role that you are applying for. Consider using dot-points and listing 8-12 relevant points. If there are any considerable gaps in employment it is worth writing what you did in that time. Also if any of your employment was for a short time-span write down why you left the role.
- Skills and Attributes: List the things that you are good it. Use dot-points once again, it makes it easier for a potential employer or recruiter to read. It is okay to use broad headings, just don’t go over the top and list things that don’t really mean anything.
- Interests: List a few hobbies and interests that you have outside of work. An employer does not want a workaholic that will burn out in six months time. It is also a good opportunity to show areas in your life where you have gained experiences like teamwork.
- Referees: It is ok to write that referees will be provided upon request. The important thing is to have strong referees that can talk about how good a worker you are. Try to have senior referees from your last few jobs. The position of your referees within an organisation can offer more clout for you. Be sure that you ask for your referee’s permission before using them. List their name, company, occupation and contact details. Consider having three to five referees.
Before submitting your resume proof read it, check your spelling and grammar. Make sure everything makes sense, it reads well, your contact details are correct and it is factual.
Use a standard font and use text size smaller than 10 point. If you are submitting a physical resume print it on clean, white paper. Ensure that it is laid out well and easy to read.
Don’t be scared to use page breaks. Remember that your resume is a marketing tool used to not only sell yourself but also sell your presentation skills.
Lastly, create a LinkedIn profile and will ensure the information matches the information on your resume. A well written LinkedIn profile is something that a potential employer and recruiters also look at.
A well written resume won’t guarantee an interview, it will maximise your chances of being contacted.
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