Resume Writing

Resume Writing

Writing a good resume is probably one of the most important things you will need to do if you are looking for a job. If you want to be selected for an interview, you need to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd

Here are some tips on how to write a good Resume

No matter what some people say, first impressions are important. We have all heard the saying “you should not judge a book by its cover” however, it is very unlikely that most people would read a book whose cover is not enticing. The same is true about your CV. Did you know that most recruiters or hiring managers spend on average 6 seconds scanning a CV? This means that grabbing their attention straight away is crucial if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Here are some tips that will help you convince hiring managers or recruitment professionals that you may just be the person they are looking for.

1. Read the job description carefully!

Unfortunately, many job seekers fail to read the job description carefully. This is a mistake that can do you more harm than good. A job description tells you exactly what the employer is looking for. Ignoring this simply tells the potential employer that you are not the thorough type.  Identifying the key skills a potential employer is looking for, however, allows you to tailor your CV to the position you are applying for. Make sure you draw a connection between your relevant experience and the skills required for the job. You should also look for keywords and ensure you include them in your CV as this will also help you in cases where software is used to filter CVs that are not suitable.  More often than not, the initial screening process is carried out by a computer programme; this means that if you want your CV to be read by human eyes, you need to ensure you overcome the first hurdle: technology.

 

 

2. Organize your Resume to showcase relevant information

Once again, reading the job description is the key to determine what information should go first. Are they looking for someone with specific qualifications? Is the emphasis put on work experience? Are certain skills important? The secret lies in identifying these factors and placing the most important information for that particular job first.

3. Create Visual Impact

Three factors are important when trying to make your CV look appealing.

a. Layout and Grammar

Presentation is everything. A good CV has to look tidy and professional. It is therefore important to organize your CV so that more prominence is given to the most important information. Avoid writing long paragraphs and use clear headings. Check that there are no gaps in your work history and avoid using absurd job titles when describing your work experience. 

Other extremely important factors to consider are grammar and spelling. The way you write says a lot about your personality and if you cannot be bothered to spell check your CV or to ensure the grammar is correct, this may send a negative message to the person reading your CV. Remember that good grammar is not out of fashion. Even in these times when the exaggerated use of text messages seems to have done away with proper English, language conventions still apply when writing your CV. Spelling mistakes or poor use of punctuation are simply not acceptable.

You should also avoid using abbreviations and use technical terminology only where it is appropriate.  Add bullet points for additional impact but don’t overdo it.  Be concise and specific. Avoid repetition and the use of the pronoun “I”. Ensure you use the past tense and appropriate punctuation.

b. Length

Your CV needs to be informative but concise. Remember that recruiters and hiring managers usually get hundreds of CVs for just one vacancy so you do not want to discourage them from reading yours by sending a document that looks too long. 2 pages are ideal. Resumes that are longer than that tend to be ignored.

c. Font

Use a professional font to create visual impact. Avoid fonts such as comic sans and go for the more modern varieties such as Arial, Calibri or Verdana. Use appropriate spacing and make sure the style is consistent throughout.

4. Ensure your contact details are highly visible and up-to-date

Logic says that if you want to be contacted by a potential employer, you need to provide them with your latest contact details. Hard to believe though it may be, many candidates sometimes fail to do this. They wrongfully assume that to include that information on the email they send and not on the CV attached is more than enough. Sadly, this is not the case. CVs are usually uploaded to databases or passed on from one person to another and if the information is not there, then the chances are your application is going to be discarded.

It is also a good idea to choose a sensible name for the file containing your CV. Ideally, you should use your full name so that recruiters or hiring managers will find it easy to save and locate the file.

Another important thing to avoid is the use of ridiculous email addresses. Email addresses such as “coolestdude@gmail.com “ will not make you look approachable and trendy but will rather give the impression that you are not very professional.

To sum up, in order to write a good CV and maximize your chances of being hired you need to have clear objectives in mind and to remember that this is your chance to impress, to show a potential employer that you have what it takes to do the job. This, however, does not mean that it is OK to exaggerate or invent facts. Being honest is always the best policy.

Please watch the video below for additional tips! 

If  you are ready to start looking for a job…

To read another article about how to write a great CV, click HERE.

If you are wondering whether you should add a photo to your CV or not, please read our article “Should you include a photo on your CV?”.

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