The insider's guide to writing the perfect resume
A standout resume will be:
· Easy to read
· Have all relevant information as specified in the job advert
· Demonstrate you have the required skills for the role; and
· Demonstrate your intelligence and ability to communicate clearly using the written word.
Writing your resume can be one of the most mind-numbingly boring and stressful parts of the job search! How on earth are you meant to convey how amazing, talented and intelligent you across just two pages? Here’s the good news: you’re not. The interview is the place for you to shine like the star you are, your resume is to get you to stand out on top of that hiring manager’s pile.
Firstly, make sure you have your contact details on there. Nothing worse than a great resume without advising your prospective employer how they can get in touch! Phone number and email are sufficient. Insider tip: if your email address reads like a bad ’80s porn star’s name, change it. No-one wants to hire firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have links to your Linkedin profile, pop it on too, and also any website links that promote relevant work you have done that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Next? Read that job advert. Read it again and again. This is the role you are applying for, so ask yourself what the necessary skills are. Do you have them? Have you displayed this in your resume? You should be tweaking your resume for every role you apply for.
When laying out your resume it’s important that the hiring manager can quickly identify your skills and how they’re relevant to the role. You know you’ve got all the right skills, but telepathy’s not a requirement for hiring manager’s, so spell it out for them.
So in a nutshell:
And now let’s break this down.
Cover letters are designed to let the hiring manager know what you’re about, what flicks your switch, and why they should be meeting you at interview stage. This is your moment to shine! Think about your relevant experience and whether or not the company has done something standout that’s really impressed you. Yeah, we’re all “motivated team players”, but outlining that you’re aware that the company recently won an award for design, followed by stating your keen interest in design (then a cheeky link to your uni project that demonstrates your passion for the field), is a lot more valuable.
This is where reading that advert over and over comes into play. When outlining your duties for previous jobs, split them into two areas: primary and secondary. If any are relevant to the role, outline them first. At this point, the hiring manager should already be giving you loads of ticks. Remember to always start with your most recent employment at the top and work back chronologically.
Under your secondary duties you would then list your achievements within the organisation in bullet points. This shows that you not only did the day to day, but that you also excelled day to day.
These should be outlined clearly and in date order starting with the most recent.
This is a tough one, you want to promote the fact that you have a life, however it all becomes a bit monotonous and same, same. If you like running, why do you like it? It’s much more interesting to say “I’m a keen runner and have just entered my first marathon. I’m also training to reach that goal in October”.
And the biggest tip you’ll ever receive about resume writing?
Read your resume over and over and have someone proofread it for you. Bad spelling and grammar are a massive turn off – especially if you’ve been promoting your “attention to detail”. We’ll leave you with a few golden examples…
“My work ethics are impeachable.”
“I’m attacking my resume for you to review.”
“Hope to hear from you, shorty.”
“Directed $25 million anal shipping and receiving operations.”
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