But there is a catch.
Your resume needs to stand out from the crowd. It needs to say ‘I care about the position you have on offer and I am the person you want’.
Your resume therefore needs to be professional, constructed with a logical and well balanced framework, demonstrate attention to detail and be word perfect.
Too hard? Well then, perhaps you don’t really want a job that requires a professional resume.
But you have the skills and qualifications I hear you say. Well why are you hiding them? Let them shine and shout out loud that this advertised position belongs to you. All you need is that interview, and you can tell your potential new boss.
The resume preparation
Consider the resume the first part of your pitch for the job. Prepare for it. Take you time with it and if needed, get it professionally done. It will be worth it.
Firstly, consider what skills and experience the advertised job needs. You may need to tailor your resume to each advertised position specifically. If you get your resume professionally done, talk to them about how you can tailor your resume and let your skills and experience shine.
Put yourself in the shoes of the advertising company and become the person you think they need.
This may mean going through your history, retrieving some skills, experience or even education and bringing it to the top of the list. If you don’t like where you are at the moment, consider burying it or even deleting it. You can always explain at interviw.
Don’t oversell yourself unless of course, you are looking for a top salesman position – they will be expecting you to sell yourself. But if the position is looking for a good manager or a creative designer, you need to emphasise those skills, experience and education.
Recently I did a resume for someone who had a professional qualification but had never really worked in that capacity. We therefore had to work through each of the held positions and tease out the experience that related to that unused qualification. Don’t make the mistake of taking your experience too objectively. We all perform many roles as we are expected to be multi-skilled.
In my last role I was a manager. But if you ask me, I had a lot of experience – writing, editing, accounting, human resource, graphic design, computer skills including excel, word, powerpoint, presentation skills, conflict resolution, car management skills, data entry skills and so the list went on.
Decide on the format for your resume. Your chosen format will relate to the style of position you are seeking.
If you are seeking a position that is a step-up from where you are at present you need to demonstrate how you have achieved this process. You may consider a resume based on a structure that highlights your recent company, position held and years of employment with the most recent first. You only need to go back about 10 years and it is not always necessary to state incidental employment unless it relates to your present status.
If you are seeking a position that is professional and you need to demonstrate your strengths, abilities and education you may chose a structure that is a little different. Consider stating your career objectives, skills and education up-front. Then you can state your experience with the most relevant first, even if it is not your most recent job.
When you state your work history, consider what is most important – the job you held or the company you worked for. If you worked for an International Company in an averge position, perhaps you could consider putting the name of this company first. If however, you held a very high position in a smaller company, put the position first.
When you describe the job you performed, do a job summary rather than listing the duties and responsibilities. This is where you can emphasise your achievements and the contributions and differences you made to the role.
I always like a career objective as I think it demonstrates that you are at least thinking about what you believe in and what you consider worthy of achieving. This is I think a personal choice and perhaps relevant to the job you are seeking.
Keep your resume to two and no more than three pages.
List your name, address and contact details including email address clearly. And you must be available on that number. LinkedIn address is useful if it is appropriate as it can give a good overview of your status and any recommendations and achievements. LinkedIn is being used more and more for professionals so keep it updated.
You don’t need to add your gender, age, marital status, religion, ethnicity or health status. Consider if any of this information is relevant to your position before you decide to add it to your resume.
Resumes must be appealing.
Your resume must be visually appealing. This means simple with no images or fancy trimmings.
It must be presented in a clean and well structured format, with no spelling mistakes. Stay consistent in your format and use the one business font. No fancy fonts for your resume.
Get someone else to read your resume and give you an honest answer. Your new boss will be looking at this resume and you need to create the right impression from the beginning.
Good luck as you know that once you get to interview, you will nail it.
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Written by Rose Osborne.