By Rachael Peters, Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment
It didn’t seem that long ago when I decided to change career paths and it came time to update my resume. I spent so much time on the layout – the font, the font size, bold, underline – the list goes on … It took days to get it just right. Unfortunately for me, although it looked great, it was so generic, and it didn’t really specify any of my skills or stand out in a crowd!!
Being a newbie to the recruitment industry, I now understand that most employers and recruiters are looking for specific skills to fill a role, and often receive hundreds of applications for one job. We all have our strengths and capabilities but how you put that down on paper is imperative on how you will succeed. When applying for your dream job, you don’t want your resume to be lost in a sea of applications because it is too long, too short or just boring.
Try to keep your resume to two to three pages and focus on your key selling points – it’s a career marketing tool, not an autobiography. Because we live in a fast-paced world with tight deadlines, hiring managers and recruiters may give your resume a 6 second glance before making the decision of whether or not you go on the maybe pile. Your short story should capture attention and leave the reader wanting more! (That being said, a more substantial resume would be expected for senior level positions or those from technical or academic backgrounds)
The first page should always be a career summary section, to define you as a professional and cover areas most relevant to your career level and job target. A career summary should provide a brief, but detailed version of your qualifications, experience and what you can bring to the table with the use of keywords and skills to help categorise you as a stronger candidate.
Your resume should be visually appealing, uncluttered, and have substance. Use of bullet points is a great way to add emphasis, but limit them in some areas to increase impact, and make your position descriptions results-based rather than task based. This means write down what you achieved rather than what you did.
And finally – there is no need to include your home address, marital status, age or gender anymore, but always have a phone number and relevant email address. If you have an old email address that may look unprofessional, it may be time to set up a new one while job hunting!
Remember your resume is a marketing tool – First impressions begin with your resume, not at the interview door. A well written and presented resume can get you that interview, which could be the beginning of a brilliant new chapter …