Recruiters spend all of six seconds looking at a resume.
So you only get a brief chance to grab their attention.
The nature of the process means that hiring managers are looking for faults rather than seeking the skills to match the role on offer. A case of looking for weaknessess before strengths.
One key is to make sure achievements in a resume are backed up by metrics. If a project you were involved in was successful, say why it was with numbers.
“Resumes are vital to most job searches, but creating one can quite often be a long and tedious process,” says Ciaran Martin, Talent Acquisition Manager at Open Colleges.
“With so many conflicting pieces of advice, many people feel like they don’t know where to begin.”
Open Colleges, an Australia online education provider, has created a guide to building a career-boosting profile.
1. Pay attention to detail
Be consistent and make sure you spellcheck.
2. Write a cover letter
This shows your interest in the position and, just like with your resume, make sure it is tailored to the role.
3. Lead with a summary or person profile
But make sure it’s only about 10 lines in length.
“This should act as a snapshot to your whole CV,” says Martin. “Use this space wisely as it’s an opportunity to outline your key experience.”
4. Keep the layout simple
Adopt a standard format for each job role you’re discussing, highlighting responsibilities and achievements.
5. Avoid personal details
Only name, email and mobile number. No photographs. “Recruiters try and rule you out before they meet you,” she says. “For example, including your home address might lead to you being disregarded if you live far away from the place of work.”
6. Be careful with the font
Traditional is best, such as Arial or Times New Roman. The font size should be between 10 and 12.
7. Read the job advert
“Make sure you know what you’re applying for,” says Martin. “Tailor your resume so that your responsibilities and achievements are inline with the job spec. If the job was for a more creative/technical position, it would be helpful if those skills were demonstrated.”
8. Highlight key achievements in previous roles
“Ideally achievements that relate to the job you’re applying for, demonstrating your ability to perform well in this next opportunity,” says Martin. “Outline projects you’ve successfully completed – reflects on other skills such as time management, relationship building.”
9. Simple is best
“If you’re applying for a role such as a Graphic Designer, the layout of your resume will be important,” says Martin. “But as a general rule, the most easy to read and accessible is best. If it’s a creative resume, there must also be a link to a portfolio.”
10.Keep it private
“Don’t put your resume up online for everyone to see, plus always PDF,” she says. “Don’t send through a word version which could be edited.”
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