Preparing a compelling resume
Your resume is probably the most important career-related document you will ever create. Many organisations will decide whether or not to interview you based on the material contained in your resume. It is therefore a good idea to tailor your resume for each position you apply for to make sure it “sells you” well.
The following ideas may assist you to prepare a compelling resume:
- Start with your contact details. Ensure you include contact telephone numbers and a confidential email address that you check daily. (Your email address should sound professional, not for example, email@example.com)
- Include your career objectives or goals. Employers will want to understand your career preferences. If you want to work on a part time or contract basis, indicate this.
- List your key skills, areas of knowledge and strengths.
- Detail your education and any qualifications you have successfully completed, including the years in which any qualifications were awarded.
- Document the roles you have held (starting with the most recent). Include:
- Your job title
- The company you worked for
- A brief description of the company if not widely known
- The years and months of your employment in that role
- Your key responsibilities
- Tangible, evidenced achievements where possible
- Your reasons for leaving.
- Some candidates like to include their personal interests. Be conscious what perceptions this may cause readers of your resume to form.
- You may elect to include referees. If you do, ensure you have first gained their permission. Referees should be people who can speak with unbiased authority about your previous employment performance. Some people prefer to state in their resume that referees will be provided upon request, allowing them to ensure that only the most relevant referees are contacted about a specific role for which they are being considered.
- Make sure that you explain any “gaps” in the chronology of your resume. If you spent six months on holidays in Europe, two years looking after children at home, or a year nursing an elderly friend or relative, note this down.
- Spell-check your resume and double check the years and months of your employment. Errors in your resume will reflect badly on your ability to pay attention to detail.
- Avoid using outlandish fonts or document layouts that detract the reader from the content of your resume. Microsoft Office provides a useful suite of resume templates from which to choose.