As I write this, the new year is just around the corner and it’s an opportunity for a lot of people to take a fresh look at their life, goals, and resolutions.
So why not revamp your resume to match?
After all, your resume is often the very first impression between you and your next potential employer, based on this impression, they will decide whether to follow up with a call to organise an interview. So make it memorable!
Here are some tips and tricks to help make your resume stand out against the rest:
Focus on your responsibilities and achievements for each position held.
To assess whether you are a suitable candidate for a particular role, the employer will look for similar experience and specific skills that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Simply summarising your key skills or using a standard set of skills across multiple positions, doesn’t highlight your suitability. The job title, employer and dates of employment should be the headliner, however, don’t assume the employer will know what your position and experience actually entail if it’s not detailed!
Keep your format simple.
Make your resume clear, easy to read and avoid using overcomplicated layouts. A lot of recruitment agencies use special software to scan applications and your creative formatting often makes content illegible to read.
Tailor your resume for the position for which you are applying.
We’re talking about the restaurant you worked at during University, so it's best to remove unrelated information if it’s not relevant to what you’re applying for. In saying that, you don’t want to leave huge gaps between positions held, but know where the line is to cut off experience too far in the past. As a rule of thumb, most people try to stick to a resume of two pages.
Don’t include irrelevant information.
This means your age, religion or health etc. This may have been acceptable in the past, a request by your potential employer for this information is now illegal. They can’t ask for it or advertise for it. In fact, some online job boards now have the option of blurring out personal information altogether, to remove bias.
Read the essential criteria.
Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how great your resume is if you are applying for a position where you don’t meet the essential criteria (there will, of course, be certain exceptions e.g. graduate roles). Work smarter not harder, you will have more calls returned for your hard work if you tailor your applications to appropriate roles. Recruiters can see exactly what roles you have applied to within their organisation and if you have 30 applications being considered for completely different job requirements, it shows you don’t have a clear plan about your desired career path.