In today’s competition-rich job market, creating a resume that stands out from the crowd has never been more important. SB Recruitment have put together our top tips for creating an ideal resume, to get you one step closer to the job of your dreams!
- Don’t give it all away. It is important to communicate to the viewer what your strengths and abilities are, but they don’t need a 1-page breakdown on every job you’ve had since you were 15. Keep it short and sweet, and only go back as far as it is relevant. For example, if you’re nearing 40, they don’t need to know your worked at McDonald’s when you were 15. If that job led you on to work in management 10 years later, then that’s a great piece of information to share in your cover letter, or at the interview. However, as a general rule, your resume should be no more than 2 pages in total.
- Write for your reader. If you do your research and ask about the recruitment process you will have a better understanding of who your key audience is here, and what they are looking for. It is important to tailor your content accordingly. For example, a CV that will ultimately land in front of a CEO needs to be written in a way that they will see your key skills. It is also important to answer the way the job ad asks. Are they asking for attention to detail? Make sure your resume is error free. Also, many employers ask you to submit to them directly, not seek.com.au, or ask for a particular type of CV. By showing you have read these details and can follow instructions you will put yourself miles ahead.
- Make it relevant. Your first reader, or probably even computer system that reads your CV wants to know you’ve read the job ad and are specifically applying for that job. You can show this by mentioning key words or skills about you and the industry precisely in your CV. Some software systems are also designed to match up specific key words, so you may not even have a human reading your CV in the first instance. That is why it is important to make sure you reference the job and key attributes/key words accordingly.
- Put a touch of personality in there. People usually make decisions based on emotion, and then try and back it up with facts. So if you can get a little bit of who you are in there it can be the point of difference that’s needed to get you an interview. Be careful though, you don’t want too much detail, this is a professional resume at the end of the day. Perhaps you can highlight any charities, or local sporting, art or communities you are part of to show both involvement and a human touch. Listing a few hobbies is fine if you have space, but no more than 5, and keep it professional.
- Don’t be afraid to look different. With most candidates using a generic word CV template it can pay to get your resume professionally designed, or do it yourself to show creativity, flair and to stand out from your competition. It is important to keep your audience in mind too though, for example a creative agency may be looking for this type of thing, whereas a law firm may require a more conservative look, again think about who your audience is and tailor your document to them.
- Be honest. There is no point wasting your, or a potential employers time by lying about what you can or can’t do. It will only lead to disappointment from both parties and potentially damage your reputation very quickly.
- Explain the gaps. If you took some time off to study, have a baby, travel… whatever the reason, explain it! Potential employers will quickly look for gaps in your resume and you don’t want them making assumptions about why you have left that information out, as it may look like you are trying to hide something. You don’t need to write a lot, sometimes even a little one line explanation will suffice.
- Make sure you cover the essentials. While it may seem obvious, it is important to ensure you have included your personal/contact information, education and qualifications, work history and/or experience, relevant skills to the job in question and your skill set. Adding in your own interests, achievements or hobbies is up to you, and of course include some references. Be sure your references know that they are being included though – not all employers check first before calling and you don’t want them caught off guard.
Need some help? SB Recruitment are specialist recruiters and we can help you find the next opportunity you are looking for, and make sure your resume is highlighting your skills – to put you in the best position to be offered an interview. Contact us today!