It may seem like a simple task, but when we’ve been out of the job seeking loop for a while, or if this is our first time, the task of writing a resume that wins interviews is quite daunting.
A resume serves a couple of purposes.
- To highlight your relevant experience and skill set to date.
- To sell yourself as the perfect candidate for this particular job.
The information you provide needs to be tailored to the job you’re applying for. Really look at the job spec and identify the key requirements they’re looking for. Make sure they’re properly highlighted and explained in your resume.
Because jobs vary and companies look for different things from someone in the same position, it’s good practice to tailor your resume to every job you apply for. This may take more time but if you’re missing vital information for that particular job – chances are you’re not going to get an interview.
If you’re confident with design you can try out different layouts for your resume, however the tried and tested way is to layout your information as below. The benefit to this is that recruiters and hiring managers that scan through resumes, know where to jump to in order to find the information they’re looking for.
You’ve got an average of 4 seconds that your CV will be looked at and if the information isn’t found after that, it’s going to the bottom of a very large pile. This is why it’s essential to provide the right information clearly and concisely. If you’re creating your own resume then follow the layout below. If you prefer, there are 2 templates at the bottom of this article that are already laid out in this way and just require you to add in your own information.
Skills & Achievements
Education & Coursework
Hobbies & Interests
References (Available on Request)
Show instead of Tell
A resume shouldn’t be used as a platform for you to tell them what you’re good at. It should be used as a platform for you to give relevant example that Demonstrates what you’re good at.
For example, don’t proclaim yourself to be motivated on your CV or LinkedIn profile, use an experience that demonstrates it. Like saying:
“Worked on side project for the company in my own time. Pitched the idea to my managers and they loved it. The idea was implemented and received an ROI of 200% in the first two months.”
You have steered well clear of dreaded buzzwords in the above example and even though it’s a short sentence, a recruiter can look at this and see that you are hard working, motivated, enterprising and don’t mind going the extra mile for the company you work for. Much more powerful.
According to LinkedIn, the most used keywords on people’s profiles and therefore, Buzzwords you should avoid on your resume, are: Motivated, enthusiastic, track record, passionate, creative and driven.
Below are 2 templates created on a word document that are great starting points for people that need to build from scratch. The Graduate template takes into account that you won’t have built as much experience up as of yet. The mid-level is slightly longer but once you’re finished you should be able to keep it within 2-3 pages.
For people who are confident in adding more advanced templates and want something a bit flashier, check out: 10 Incredible Resume Templates That Will Land You a Job