As many would know, finding a job in today’s highly competitive workforce is a serious challenge. When it comes to job hunting, if there’s one area worth investing in, it is definitely the time you take in writing your resume. The first impression, the make or break, your resume is essentially your future employer’s first impression of you.
Writing a resume is easier said than done, which is why these key tips should be taken into consideration.
The ‘DO’s’ for Your Resume
- Choose the right type of resume:
If you thought that there was only one standard type of resume, you thought wrong!
There are 3 different types of resumes which can be used depending on the job you are applying for and your past career circumstances:
- Chronological: The most commonly used type of resume, this format lists past work experience and history in chronological order, from your most recent to least recent positions.
Who should use it:
- Those with a solid work history
- Those whose experience is aligned with the position you are applying for
- Those with careers that reflect a clear path to the position they are applying for
- Functional: This type of resume focuses on skills and experience, rather than recency.
Who should use it:
- Those re-entering the workforce after a career hiatus
- Recent university graduates with limited work experience
- Those transitioning into new fields and careers
- Combination: This is a more flexible approach which combines aspects from both chronological and functional resumes to emphasise skills and experiences, as well as chronological work experience.
Who should use it:
- Those who want to equally highlight skills as well as experience.
- Include the right keywords in your resume:
On average, recruiters spend 6 seconds looking at potential candidates resumes before they are eliminated. Therefore, your resume must be 6-second worthy.
Recent advancements in technology and artificial intelligence have allowed companies to implement applicant tracking systems (ATS) as it streamlines the recruitment process. ATS enables recruiters to scan through resumes in search for specific terms that may determine the best potential match for the position.
Tips for optimising your resume for ATS:
- To find the most suitable and relevant keywords you should include in your resume, it is best to use terminology that appears multiple times in the job listing/description.
- It is important to ensure that your resume is free from typos, and grammatical errors as ATS will immediately pick up on it as it makes it harder to understand.
- Keep things simple – ATS doesn’t read and pick up on special fonts, tables, pictures.
- Only use relevant information.
- Include all the major components of a resume:
Resumes are typically comprised of 6 major parts. However, this will differ depending on the whether the resume is chronological, functional or a combination of both.
These 6 parts are below:
- Personal information:
- Should be at the top of the resume.
- Should include your phone number, email address and any relevant social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.
- Professional summary/Career objective:
- A brief description that summarises who you are, what you do, and why you are a strong fit for the position you are applying for.
- Include all your skills and achievements that set you apart from other candidates.
- Work Experience:
- A list of all work experience and job positions you have had in the past.
- Include dates, roles and responsibilities and the impact and/or result of that job.
- A list of all the skills that you have attained through your past work experiences.
- It is best to list the most relevant skills for the job you are applying first and the least relevant last.
- Key tip: Look at the job posting to see the skills that the company is searching for and include your skills that align with these.
- Include all details regarding your education, such as;
- Level of education e.g Bachelor’s Degree
- What you studied and what year you finished or are expected to finish.
- What institution/s you attended.
- Additional experience:
- Include any other relevant experience, such as:
- Volunteer experience
- Community involvement
- Extra curricular activities/efforts
- Finishing touches – proofread and spell-check!
At this stage, you are probably sick and tired of looking at your resume. However, this final stage is one of the most important as the little details count too.
Proof-reading allows you to pick up on any typos and grammatical errors, as well as missed opportunities.
Check the following list to ensure your resume is ready to be sent out:
- Are your contact details correct and up to date?
- Have you verified your employment information?
- Have you used spell-check or an editing platform such as Grammarly to edit your resume?
- Have you saved your resume with a simple and professional file name?
- Have you proof read it one (million) final time?
The ‘DONTs’ For Your Resume:
- Don’t get carried away with fancy fonts, pictures and colours:
When writing your resume, keep in mind that simplicity is best. It is important to avoid the use of fancy fonts, pictures and colours as ATS may not pick up on information, and is more likely to eliminate your application. More importantly, the person who files through candidates may perceive you as an ‘overachiever,’ something that is a negative in this phase of recruitment.
Recruiters are used to certain resume formats, so it is important that you don’t make it more complicated for them, otherwise they may disregard your application.
- Don’t lie or fabricate:
It can be tempting to fabricate information, especially in desperate situations. However, the risks far exceed the benefits. Use legitimate and accurate information that you can back up with references, and experience.
- Share personal information:
Avoid including any personal information such as;
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Political affiliation
This information is personal and irrelevant to the job – it adds no value to your resume.
- Don’t be inconsistent with formatting:
Settle on a type of format, and stick with it throughout the whole resume. This ensures that the resume flows better and is more consistent, which ultimately makes it easier for the recruiter to read and interpret.
- Don’t say ‘references available upon request:’
Recruiters expect that you can provide legitimate references, it saves them time when they are already included in your resume. Therefore, be on the safe side and include them already.
- Avoid the use of cliches and overused words:
One of the first things a recruiter notices on a resume is the use of overused and generic words. If you are going to use keywords, ensure you back them up with legitimate examples.
Phrases to avoid:
- Strong communication and organisational skills
- Hard working
- Goal orientated
Now that your resume is perfected and in top shape, the only left to do is find you a suitable position.
TLNT. is an Australian based recruitment agency that acts as a ‘middleman’ service between companies who are looking to hire employees, and people who are seeking jobs. The company has a strong focus on various industries and across various disciplines.
With an extended client base across Australia, TLNT aims to source the best and most suitable staff, no matter the industry or skill.