We all know how to ‘knock-up’ a resume but how many of us know how to write a really professional curriculum vitae that will capture senior executives’ immediate attention regardless of the severe competition you are up against?
Ask yourself, what is the point of having a truly impressive academic and professional background if you spoil it by having a resume which just isn’t up to the highest standard?
By making an effort with your presentation and thoroughly researching what each individual company you are applying to requires, you could save yourself time as well as heartache and could land yourself the dream job!
It is thought that HR departments spend roughly 6 minutes looking through each submitted resume, so that’s not long to impress them.
As with anything, there are https://www.theladders.com/resume-examples accepted layouts and formats with resumes and lots of dos and don’ts. Obviously, you may have to tweak your resume to each application but here’s a general overview on what’s thought of as acceptable:
- Try and keep your resume to one/two pages – obviously, this is dependent on how many qualifications and how much relevant work experience you have.
But remember, you want to interest and stimulate potential employers, not bore them!
- Use simple, clear headings to help break up the text.
- Use a clear font with a sensible size.
- Save your resume as a PDF.
The right resume format
Try and keep your resume presentation stylish yet straightforward.
There are basically three acceptable types of used format:
- Reverse chronological – this is ideal for those people who have lots of work experience for the post they are applying for – so most recent work experience first.
- Functional/skills-based – this is for those who lack work experience but have lots of recent education – perhaps best for graduates.
- Combination – this is perfect for those with diverse skills and qualifications.
Potential employers want to be able to dip in and out of sections of your resume quickly. They don’t want to spend ages searching for various information so having your section headings clear and labeled is a considerable advantage.
Some resume advisors believe that contact details, although they may look neat and concise, could confuse the applicant tracking system, so they advise against listing contact information within the body of the document.
Section headings are advisable to be something like this:
- Professional title – such as Editor, Copywriter, etc
- Contact information (up-to-date phone numbers and emails included) – A recent survey by Jobvite indicates that 93% of HR departments also look at a candidate’s social media presence – for most people, this means adding a link to your LinkedIn profile. Just ensure your Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles match your resume!
- Professional resume summary or objective – 4 to 5 lines stating what you’re great at and passionate about.
- Relevant work experience (with dates)
- Professional Development – education (latest qualifications with dates first). Include certifications, technical skills, and language skills, related awards since graduating from school, and professional associations and memberships pertinent to your work.
- Skills or core competencies (including any relevant professional skills)
- Optional – could include languages, publications, interests, etc.
So, although it can be a headache, and there is much confusion about what to include in your resume, it could make all the difference in you obtaining that longed-for job!