A well received Resume will lead to an interview. Resumes are an organized method of selling your skills in a short and concise manner. All of the applicant’s achievements, education, experiences and skills are stated. Most employers will skim through the information so the Resume needs to highlight the best of the applicant in a positive light in an easy to read layout.
Although one may believe that the more elegant the Resume is the better it will be received, but this is not the case. Many times the fancier the Resume is, the harder the layout is to read because visually there is a lot going on. You also take away from the points that you highlighted in your Resume by adding a fancy style to your Resume.
Organization is key in writing your Resume. Here are some starting questions:
- What is the goal of your Resume?
- Who are you presenting it to?
- What do prospective employers/companies need to know about you?
What is the goal of your Resume?
Read over your Resume once you’ve finished it and see if you have achieved the following:
- Highlights you in a positive way.
- You are the best person for this career or position.
- It is readable, interesting and appealing to the employer so that he/she reads it.
- Creating an interest in meeting with you for an interview.
- Motivates the reader to personally call you to ask you to come in for an interview.
Who are you presenting it to?
Resumes normally pass through two sets of interview rounds. This is important to keep in mind. The first round goes to the Administration or Human Resources Department and if the Resume is stimulating, it will continue on it way to the line manager of the department to which you are interested in applying. The Administration/HR reviewer is on the lookout for basic information like the minimum qualifications, skill sets and experience necessary for the position. The line manager bypasses these basic requirements and skips to reviewing past work experience, education, additional skills that may be useful to the company at a later time and other small yet crucial details that may set you apart from the rest. In both rounds, it is imperative that the Resume is clean and concise as any clutter will surely put your Resume in the “not interested” pile.
What do prospective employers/companies need to know about you?
A Resume must stand out from the rest in order to get noticed. The first read through of the Resume ensures that only applicants who best fit the needs of the company and the position will continue on in the hiring process journey. If interest is lost while reading the Resume, it will be put aside. This means good organisation, interesting content and a clean format is absolutely necessary. Here are some tips:
- Your contact information including your name, telephone number and complete address should be easily identifiable at the top of the page.
- The best type of Resume paper is a high-quality paper standard A4 paper size in a neutral colour, like white, light grey, or buff.
- A clean and concise layout will prove to be successful. Your font will need to be easy to read so exclude anything that may look fancy or in script.
- Resumes should be no longer than two pages. Condense your information and exclude any information that is unnecessary.
- Using photocopies of your Resume is very unprofessional. Use original copies only. Use a high grade paper with your printed Resume.
- Each section should be labelled clearly.
- It is ideal to keep the work and educational experiences short, only highlighting your greatest achievements. You can explain these areas in depth while in the interview, in the cover letter or on a separate piece of paper.
- Always begin your work section in chronological order with the most recent experience first. The education section should be written similarly. The dates of attendance and working years and the locations should be identified as well.
- Just state the facts. Replace the vague "I greatly contributed to the successful year our company had." with the more specific "I implemented a customer follow-up call policy that increased repeat business by 25%".
- The Resume should be positive. Demonstrate confidence in your skills and experience.
- Always be truthful and accurate.
- Spell check is a must. You should also have your Resume proofread before sending it in.
- If you would like to learn more about Resumes, please see our step by step guide on writing Resumes.
Sample of a chronological Resume for an experienced accountant.
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