Very few people are taught how to write a resume. It is a skill we are all assumed to be able to do. However, an effective resume can make you the standout applicant in a large, competitive job market. We suggest a few strategies to help improve the effectiveness of your resume.
1. Organise it according to the job
What does the job advertisement prioritise? If there is an emphasis on experience, it makes sense to put your employment history at the forefront of your resume, making sure to detail your job responsibilities and achievements. In entry-level and graduate roles, skills and qualifications are usually highly sought. Make sure to adjust your resume appropriately for each job, instead of using a generic resume. A base template resume is a useful tool, but don’t rely on your earlier preparation – each job is different and you should treat it as such.
2. Think about how your resume appears from the reader’s perspective
Certain positions receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications. If you were a recruiter, what type of resumes would you rather read? Poor formatting, long-winded & convoluted sentences, and ‘silly’ fonts make the process much more difficult and tedious for the person on the other end. Keep it simple, to-the-point and easy to read. This will allow the reader to identify the key points of your resume much more easily, increasing your chance of success in getting the job. If possible, one to two pages is best.
3. Use it your advantage – paint a picture of who you are
The purpose of a resume is to create a profile of yourself, and communicate how your abilities, experiences and qualifications align, allowing you to succeed in a certain job. Focus on trying to communicate to the reader HOW you will be valuable for their company. This means demonstrating how your skills could be useful in their business context – a Technical Customer Service Officer could successfully become a Business Development Manager if they can prove that their communication and rapport-building skills would be beneficial to that job, even without prior experience.
Writing a resume can be a difficult process, but creating a meaningful picture of who you are as an employee is vital to securing the job you are seeking. Design your resume with purpose in mind, and this will become much more achievable.