Resume Writing Tips
A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths in order for you to secure an interview. An interview will then secure you a new job! Remember your referees then need back-up the observations made by the recruiter as a final check by employers the comfort they are making the right hiring decision.
There are lots of examples of great resumes at CareerController and you can even create your own resume with content suggestions and resume layout options. If however you want to start with the basic see some tips below on writing the perfect resumes: (Updated June 2020):
- Include Facts and Numbers to Quantify Your Achievements
Adding numbers to your resume shows employers in black-and-white fashion what you have accomplished at work. Not all of your achievements are quantifiable, but adding those that are can serve as powerful negotiation tools when the topic of salary arises. Your resume should include your job title, the name of the organization, its website, the years of involvement (including total period), and of course facts about your responsibilities and contributions
- Review Successful Examples – Choosing a Resume Format
Before you start work on writing or updating your resume, review resume examples that fit a variety of employment situations. Then select a style and format that best highlights your strengths and achievements. Often using a resume template as a starting point allows for personal customization on a predesigned platform. Add your information to the resume template, then tweak it to highlight your skills and abilities. Alternatively, you can go to Pinterest to see thousands of great resume styles and formats. Choose one that best suits your personality and professional circumstances. Decide on one that best fits your work experience, educational background, and skill set. Remember to take the time to customize your resume.
- Summary or Introduction Section
Rather than having a ‘career objectives’ section, instead use a Summary or Introduction paragraph, with or without a headline, at the top of your resume customized to each job you apply for. This is a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Remember, the more specific you are, the better the chance of being considered for the job. Your resume should include the same keywords that appear in job descriptions in order to increase the chances of your resume being matched to the role.
- Contact Information. Whether to include full address and working rights.
Include all your full resume, including your full name, mobile number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile or professional website include these links as well. If you think there may be some concerns about your working rights – visa or citizenship – then also include in this section. It is not recommended to include your entire mailing address if you are applying for a job that is a long distance away or may require relocation. Alternatively, if you are simply registering your interest in working for a recruitment agency or employer then make sure you do include your full address as it is important they know where you live in order to match you against nearby jobs.
- Customize Your Resume for Every Job
Customize your resume and cover letter when applying for jobs, particularly when there is a perfect match for your qualifications, experience, location and salary expectations. The extra time spent is often paid back handsomely in the form of increasing your chance of securing an interview and ultimately a job.
- Identify Your Benefits & Accomplishments
Recruiters prefer candidates that can help them solve a problem or add value to their organization. It is therefore important that you demonstrate how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations. (1) Focus on what you did in the job rather than your job was; (2) Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments; and (3) If you can ask yourself “so what” after reading your description you have not converted a fact into a benefit to your prospective new employer.
- Resume Formatting - "Do the recruiters' work for them”
Your resume won't get a thorough reading the first time. Generally, a resume is quickly scanned for 5 to 7 seconds before a decision is made to read or reject it. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds 2 or 3 pages.
- References - “References Available Upon Request”
Recruiters will generally not require your references to be listed out on your resume when you apply. References are irrelevant at the early stage of the job application process and you are forgoing valuable real estate of your resume. It is recommended to include a References section however with a simple “References Available Upon Request “to indicate you do have references. Ensure you prepared a separate list of referees to handover or email if requested during or following an interview so long as you actually want the job. Ensure your referees know you well, are available and will support you as being the ideal candidate. Remember that referees not responding to repeated requests for a return call is a ‘red flag’ to hires.
- Education, Professional Development & Professional Affiliations
Create a record of all your education, beginning with your most recent degree. Remember as your career progresses to reduce the focus and detail in your education section as experience becomes more important than qualifications. List the institution, its location, the name of your degree or qualification, your majors and the graduation year. Also, separately list any relevant professional organizations or affiliations you’re a member of that are relevant to your career. For each group, please list its name and URL. If you took an active role in the organization, describe your responsibilities and any notable achievements. We live in a world of constant change so it important to show that you have re-skilled over time and are committed to continual learning.
- Languages, Interests & Volunteer Work
Language skills can be a great selling point on your resume. If you’re multilingual, be sure to list each language you speak and your proficiency level. If languages are not relevant and you are applying for a role where English is not your native language, it is recommended to omit this section. List any volunteer work you’ve done that’s relevant to your current job goals in chronological order. This is particularly useful if you are new to the workforce, including any campus activities or clubs in which you were active.