Resume writing sounds a whole lot easier than what it actually is. You’re selling yourself in the most attractive way possible on a mere sheet of paper, two if you lucky enough to entice them to turn the page.
Here are 10 fail safe tips to make sure that your future employee keeps turning:
1. Keep it Relevant
Having a 100 per cent success rate when opening jars, being able to remove an item of clothing in a moving vehicle or achieving the impossible by drinking a shot with no hands are not skills, regardless of how impressive you may think they are. They don’t improve your professional description one bit, so unless your boss is Bear Grills or a maniac, don’t put them in.
2. Make it short
Who wants to flip through a resume with enough pages it could give the Oxford Dictionary a run for its money? No one has time for that, so if your resume is more than two pages long, don’t be surprised when no one has time to return your calls.
Bombard your resume with key words specific to your profession. Proofing. Researching. Client relations. Collating Data. Meeting deadlines. Professional. Reliable. These are the money words that everyone wants in an ideal employee. Pepper these throughout your employment history and professional profile to continuously jog their memory.
Everything that has words in it needs a solid layout if you don’t want it to look like a jumbled mess, and resumes are no difference. Start with a professional profile, core competencies and your employment history that outlines what you did at your old position, what you learnt and what you achieved. Solid numbers supporting growth and a definite yes!
5. Avoid Ageism
Don’t say how old you are. This may seem dishonest, but it’s the only way to avoid ageism. For younger applicants, your to-be boss is unlikely to hire someone who’s the same age as their youngest cousin who goes on weekend benders and drinks a bottle of vodka every Saturday night. For the older crowd, a manager could see you as an investment risk that might be on the verge of retirement. Age should never matter – skills should.
6. Keep it Short
Short, sharp and informative sentences are key. They drive home information in record time and are an absolute breeze to read while still having maximum impact. Long, flowery and essentially boring sentences will leave the reader feeling like they’re back in year 11 reading Shakespeare, so get to the point.
7. Looks Matter
This topic wraps into layout, which is not only essential in terms of material, but also aesthetics wise. When your resume lands on the receptionist’s desk (very rarely does your actual boss take the first look or does the culling), if it’s got weird font, a kaleidoscope of colours or poorly presented information, you’re a goner.
8. Set The Tone
Adjust your tone to suit the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a position as a comedian who writes a monthly column, it pays to inject a little humour into what you’re describing. But if you’re applying for the role of a banker, engineer or emergency services worker, it’s best to leave the jokes at the door.
You don’t have to include a list of your references. Space is precious. You don’t need to waste a quarter or half a page highlighting the numbers of people who are going to say nice things about you. Simply leave it at ‘references on request’.
10. Make it Suit
Adapt your resume to perfectly suit what the employer is looking for. Often job advertisements will have a list of requirements that you need to fill to have a shot at the position. One or two of these points may not have been covered in your base resume in your previous job history, so slot them in – it’s more than likely you’ve done them, so don’t worry about making anything up.