Resumes with Results

Having a resume that stands out of the crowd without shouting is important if you wish to be the best candidate sitting in the interview chair. With a few key details included in your resume, that lucky person could be YOU.

Ensure it is clearly outlining your credentials and professional presentation as being the key to getting your resume on the top of the “yes” list.

WHERE DO YOU START? Whilst some of the fundamental details like your age is no longer required, they’ll work that out for themselves, recruitment officers look at many aspects. Is he/she a team player? Does the candidate move around from job to job or town to town too much for the position? Are they job ready or do we need to invest in training?

CAREER HISTORY When writing up your career history, ensure the dates of employment are accurate and there is no overlapping or major gaps. If you were out of work for some time, explain the gap. Were you travelling? Were you studying? Were you caring for sick member of the family? None of these are deal breakers but will give the potential employer the best insight into who you are. Never state that you were simply unemployed.

SPECIFIC WORDING The creative art of resume writing demands some specific achievement words in your career history.  Not just a job description but areas of responsibility. Even a kitchen hand has areas of responsibility if only for emptying the bins. Do you impliment something? Facilitate meetings? Design a system? Manage a section? you get the picture.

Some recruitment organisations will also run your resume through various programs that highlight your achievement words and other specific words to measure your suitability to the selection criteria. Have you covered all criteria?

EDUCATION a very important aspect of a resume, afterall you want to ‘sell’ yourself as the best candidate. Consider every course that is work-related and include that. Show the potential employer that you invest in training to be the best candidate and keeping your skills up to date. If you can quote the course coding i.e. BSB51107 Dip of Management etc. it is easily recognised.

REFEREES Some people are reluctant to specify their referees however it will be one of the first requests made once you get to the interview. In some circumstances, it may make the difference of actually getting that interview as some companies will call your referees prior to interview. If you can’t be open with your referees, that could create a problem. Always check with your referees and advise them that you are seeking alternative employment so that they are prepared and not caught by surprise. Sometimes if the referee is difficult to contact by phone, put their email address in as well. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to be part of their team. It is advisable to include minimum 3 business or work-related referees and minimum of one personal referee.

HOW LONG? Your resume should only be 3-4 pages long depending on the level of the position and your experience. When employers or recruitment officers have many, many resumes to read, they want you to keep it short.

Don’t  write ‘War and Peace’ or your life history, only career history for the past 8 – 10 years is sufficient. Prior to that it is considered past tense and out of date.  It will also reveal your age if you have a 30 year history.

And then there’s that cover letter. Well that’s another story requiring further attention – I’ll talk about that next time.