How To Writing a great Resume
Here are some golden rules and some top tips to help you get your Resume in good shape.
It may be a while since you updated yours, or you may not have one at all. Some people have a Resume in the style required by their current employer, which may do a good job for internal job applications, but be unsuitable for jobs outside.
Keep in mind that when your Resume arrives in the inbox of whoever has to read it, that these factors are at work:
- If you are responding to an advertisement, the person receiving it
will have dozens, maybe hundreds, of Resumes from other people
to read also.
- Most of these others will be rather similar to yours. Sounds obvious, but if it is a finance ad, it is going to pull in finance Resumes.
- Therefore it is important for you to find a way for yours to stand
out from the crowd. But not by use of photos, graphics or wacky fonts - by use of relevant and easy-to-read content.
- It's not just computers that scan paperwork. People do it too. Most of us have such a volume of stuff to look at that we take a quick spin through, rather than a leisurely read of all of it.
TEN COMMON FAILINGS:
- It reads like a job description
This means you are saying more about the organization than about you. And responsible for something, explains the scope of your job, but says almost nothing about how well you did it.
Does not make clear what relevant abilities you offer
If the reader cant easily find what you bring to help solve their problem, they are not going to hunt for it; they are going to look through the other Resumes.
- Jobs get words in proportion to how long they lasted
This means little thought is given to what might interest that reader. Word allowance is not used wisely.
- Focused on the past
A Resume should be written about the past, but with an eye on the future and the next job.
- Does not distinguish the writer from their peer group
- There is not much mileage in an Accounting Manager just claiming a good understanding of finance. All accountants have to understand finance. It is necessary to have something else to offer beyond that.
- Poor choice of language
Meaning the Resume is a difficult read. It makes no allowance for some readers having less technical expertise. Too much complexity or too much jargon.
- It is too long
As we said, people scan. 30 seconds attention is quite a lot. More usually the decision is made sooner. Hiring Managers are busy, that is why they are hiring. Too much information puts the reader off and shows poor judgement.
- Everything is treated as equally important
This one speaks for itself.
- It contains spelling, language or grammar mistakes
Everybody mentions this one. That's because it is true. Don't give a sloppy first impression; you will not get a chance to correct it.
- It's just another job history and has no impact.
- Remember how many other Resumes the Hiring Manager will probably have to read.
- The Resume just has to get you the interview not the job. Be a bit selective about what you include. It should tell the reader just enough about your abilities that he or she decides to see you.
- Be concise. Everyone has their own 'word limit' - especially for material coming to them on screen. Keep in mind they probably have a full in-tray and a busy schedule. Plus you should keep a few morsels back for the interview.
- Don't worry if your first version - or your present Resume - is too long. Worry about capturing everything that might be important first. Then do the editing.
- Dont waste important page 1 space with your address; put it as a one-line footer. Who is going to write to you anyway when they can phone or email? Mobile and email are therefore enough at the top of the page.
- If you have any experience that was gained over 10 years ago, treat it briefly; it is background not foreground.
- Dont use outmoded terms or refer to outmoded work practices.
- If your career is quite long, condense the first few years under a heading such as 'Early Career'.
- Use commonly accepted abbreviations such as CFO, MD, CEO, US, IT.
- Pare back your education details to the highest level attained. If you are in the early stages of your career, you are allowed to say a little more .
- If you are looking for a complete change to a new kind of job, you may well be better served by a skills-based version which emphasizes your competencies rather than your history.
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