A resume is where it all starts, a recruiter deciding whether to shortlist you or reject you for a job opening. Write an effective resume with these tips and stand a better chance of an interview leading to a job.
- Do not prepare one resume you will submit to all possible recruiters. Learn to tailor a resume to a specific company and job requirements. A resume is marketing where you sell yourself so customize to suit target.
- Keep it concise, with bullet points for important qualifications and achievements on the job.
- Structure it will, categorizing various sections so that a recruiter can jump to a particular point without waste of time. When you mention skills and experience, state how these helped your present or past employers and how they can help your targeted employer. Mention achievements, not job responsibilities, as an indicator of your capabilities.
- Support claims with actual experience and achievements. Use titles for each section and description.
- Customize each resume for each application with the right set of keywords that will convince a recruiter to pick your resume for an interview call.
- Once done, read a resume objectively, from a recruiter’s perspective to know if it sets out your qualification and experience as desirable enough to shortlist for an interview. The most important and relevant information should be on the first page since most recruiters glance through resumes and it is the eye-catching points that help them decide to trash or shortlist your resume. Better still, have someone else critically review the resume.
- Give attention to layout, structuring it with paragraphs, headings, titles, bullet points and the choice of right typography, using fonts large enough to be read legibly but not too large as to make the contents stretch out to pages. Contents are equally important with least mention of negatives, either about yourself or your past employers. Format it and save in a format, usually .pdf, where formatting is retained on any system or OS.
- Prepare a cover letter to go with the resume. Never send it unpacked even if it is by email. If you are mailing a printed version, use very good quality white A4 sheets.