9 Steps From A Professional Resume Writer

9 Professional Tips to Nailing Your Resume

Post Series: Resumes and CVs

 

Have you sent out endless resumes but still haven’t gotten called into an interview? Here are nine tips on how to nail your resume and get your foot in the door.

The very first thing to remember when writing a resume is to take your time and not just throw something together. A clean, organised and well-written resume is your key to unlocking opportunities with potential employers.

Did you know your resume has only 6 seconds?

After a job is advertised, hiring managers may have to sift through hundreds of resumes. This initial stage can be broken into two outcomes: selection and rejection. Research tells us that on average, hiring managers spend six seconds to decide which pile your resume lands in. To give yourself the best chance of being selected, the first step is not to give them a reason to dismiss your resume on the first pass.

Nine simple steps to creating an approved resume

  1. Make sure they can contact you: include all your details at the top. This is your marketing document, so only use a professional sounding email address that includes your name.
  2. Proofread, proofread, proofread: typos happen to everyone, but they are a deterrent for most employers. Employers see your resume and cover letter as an example of your written communication skills and your attention to detail. Be extra careful to make sure your spelling, grammar, capitalisation and formatting are all consistent and correct throughout your resume. Ask a friend to look it over and don’t hesitate to print it out to proofread – reading on a screen is a sure way to miss mistakes.
  3. Keep it clean and concise: at the early stages of your career, keep your resume to one or two pages maximum. If you are in a senior management role, you could go to three. You can use a maximum of two colours but otherwise keep it simple, uncluttered and professional.
  4. Prioritise your experience: list the most impressive tasks, accomplishments or responsibilities first under each role. Employers are time poor so if they only have time to glance at the first bullet point for each role, make sure it counts!
  5. If you’re going to include a Cover Letter make it personal by demonstrating you know about the company, why you want to work for them, and what you think you can bring to their organisation. Need more information? Give them a call and ask about the company and the role.
  6. Use bullet points to catch the recruiter’s attention and break up big blocks of text that can otherwise be hard to read. Prioritise them to highlight the most important aspects of your career.
  7. Be consistent throughout your resume and use the same format for dates, job titles and headings. Make sure everything is aligned correctly, you don’t want to appear sloppy. This is where a lot of people who claim to have “attention to detail” fall over!
  8. Tailor your resume for each application: generic resumes won’t help you stand out. It’s fine to have a foundation resume but customise it with industry or role specific keywords that fit the role you are applying for. Try to reflect the skills they ask for in the job advertisement in your summary so they can quickly see you’re a good match.
  9. Use active verbs to demonstrate you possess the qualities and skills to be successful in the role. Be sure to include examples of how you were successful in previous roles. Don’t forget to add in how you went above and beyond your job requirements to achieve great outcomes for your previous employers.

Want some more tips? Check out our full post at JobGetter and begin that job search right away!

When in doubt, speak to professionals. Successful Resumes has more than 30 writers across Australia who support jobseekers with a resume that helps them shine. Get in touch with writers in New South Wales, Canberra,  Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.