A winning resume is just that. It can win you a job.
With a bit of care and know-how, you can impress every time. The seven signs that you’ve got it just right are:
- You’ve sold your achievements. Don’t beat around the bush. If you have facts and figures to show your achievements or written feedback, include it in your resume. But be brief and to the point.
“You must highlight key responsibilities and unique selling points to differentiate yourself in your resume, says Pete Noblet, senior regional director at Hays. “Crucially though, make sure you include not just your responsibilities, but your success at achieving them.”
- The responsibilities relate to the job ad. One size fits all and just right resumes are polar opposites. Your resume should be tailored to each job. Look at the key criteria and make sure you drop those words into your resume.
“The most valuable commodity a jobseeker can have is relevant experience,” says Noblet. “Using key words from the job ad is one way to highlight how your skills and experience match those required in the role.”
- The language is active, not passive. “I did” rather than “I was part of”. “Managed” rather than “was asked/recruited to manage”. This helps you get noticed.
Active language such as “I increased sales” or “I overhauled the department”, grabs recruiters’ attention. If you want a just right resume or CV then take a deep breath and write actively.
- You use your skills to give back to society. Whether you’ve done one-off or on-going volunteer work list it on your resume – especially if it uses any of the skills in the key criteria. Explain in a few words what you have done and what you learned from it.
“This does not need to be a very big section on your resume,” says Noblet. “One or two bullet points about volunteer experience speaks to your character.”
- You are easy to contact. Recruiters and employers are time poor. If you’re easy to contact you’ve got a greater chance of getting that job.
“It is very important to include such basic information as your telephone number, email address and, where applicable, Twitter handle. But make sure you keep these up to date,” says Noblet.
- Education is included. If you have tertiary qualifications, then list them prominently. Otherwise include your highest school qualifications. People who went to exclusive schools sometimes like to mention this as well, but don’t go overboard.
“You don’t need to go into a lot of detail here,” says Noblet. “Include the basics such as the educational institution you studied through, the course completed, and the year completed.”
- It has been reviewed, reviewed, and re-reviewed. Most normal, rounded, human beings aren't Pulitzer Prize winning writers. Ask friends, family, and peers to review your resume or CV and give honest feedback.
When you think you’re finished take a break and read your resume one more time. It’s much easier to see typos, mistakes and clunky sentences with fresh eyes. If you’re in doubt about anything you’ve written, rewrite it.
Noblet’s final tip is that the just right resume has details of two referees, such as former employers. Online recommendations don’t replace the role referees play.
“You must highlight key responsibilities and unique selling points to differentiate yourself in your resume, says Peter Noblet, senior regional director at Hays. “Crucially though, make sure you include not just your responsibilities, but your success at achieving them.”