So, you are ready to look for a job, and whether this is your first job or your 30th, there are still things you can learn about resume writing. In previous times, you would have a Curriculum Vitae or CV which was a long, multiple page career history that provided a full list of roles and responsibilities. For most jobs, this has now been replaced with a resume which should be a brief synopsis of your career and ideally fit in two to three pages.

New technologies and global pandemics are rapidly changing the way businesses recruit, and the needs in different industries vary rapidly which could mean you are facing much more competition and have even less time to make an impression than ever before. Below are some tips that you can use when making or revising your resume.

Format

Most companies will use some form of screening tool software.  A lot of these will not read a scanned file or a heavily protected document. Stick to a regular word document. Don’t worry about saving as a pdf as this could prevent your details from ever even being seen!

Label your file correctly! Employers notice the details. As a basic rule use your first and last name and resume, avoid putting the year as this is another tell tale sign if your details haven’t been updated.

Keep to 2 pages – first page should be your employment history, second page can include education, references and additional employment history.

If you have had multiple roles over the years then highlight the most recent and most relevant and leave any that don’t apply to your new role as a sentence at most. Whilst some people say to not include anything from 10 years ago, it can still be a conversation piece, but doesn’t need to be a paragraph, just the role, employer and dates will suffice – you can always discuss more at your interview.

Style

Resumes should be clear and concise, think of the page as an invite to be read. Most hiring managers will spend less than a minute reviewing a resume. Some will spend as little as 15 seconds to see whether it’s worth reading on. Whilst graphics and colours can help even these need to be done in moderation unless you are applying for a graphic design role or similar. And if you are applying for a labour hire agency listed position, they will change the format all together. Keep it simple and spend your energy tailoring the content to the roles you are looking for.

Keywords

A lot of companies are using screening software now to find candidates based on specific words. When reading the job ad you should tailor your resume to include as many of their keywords as you can so that any screening tools will make you appear higher in the shortlisting process. For instance, if they say they need someone with “data-entry” experience, and you have put “input data” then your resume isn’t even likely to be looked at. Scary but true.

Achievements

List any achievement you have that are relevant to the role you are applying for and qualify the statement. You can add these throughout your resume so it’s less like a list and part of your everyday work.

Which would you want to interview:

  • Managed a busy reception

vs

  • Managed a busy reception with 150 calls per day and 10 walk in visitors.

 

  • Pick packing

vs

  • Pick packing a range of large consumables meeting a KPI of 6 items per hour

Then list any awards and achievements in addition to these in a separate header on page two.

And, if you have done similar roles previously make sure you highlight the differences between them and do NOT just copy and paste the same role description.

Spelling and Grammar

Check and double check your resume for any errors! Have other people read and review it. You can also use tools such as Grammarly to ensure that you don’t miss out on the perfect role because of lack of attention to detail.

Refresh and Revise

Review and change your resume frequently. Try different words, different styles, layouts etc. And reload to your job search platforms. This will also show any prospective employers that you are still interested and looking for work.

Be prepared to talk about it!

Remember, your resume will hopefully lead to an interview. Be prepared to talk about the details if required. You don’t want to ruin your hard work by not being able to expand on the great information you have provided.

Still have questions? Our AimBig Employment job coaches are experienced in resume writing for all roles. Contact your local office today.

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