If you’re currently looking for a job, your most important asset in promoting yourself to potential recruiters and hirers is your resume. It’s a part of the first impression that you are making on your potential employer, and you want to be certain that it will leave a great impression at that.
There are no hard and fast rules around what makes a good resume – but there are tried and true tricks of the trade that are sure to make your application stand out.
For a modern resume, don’t feel restrained by the thought of keeping it to one page. In saying that, don’t overstretch the information that you have to fill out copious pages. The length of your resume should be guided by how much valuable information you have to offer.
Relevant skills and experience that might be of assistance to the position you are applying for are always welcome information to pad out your resume. A good rule of thumb to adhere to resumes is anywhere between two to three pages is acceptable for length.
However, that does not mean that you should neglect your first page. The first half page is what catches the eye of the reader, so you want to ensure that your narrative is appropriately conveyed and without mistakes.
Use words that align yourself and your skills with the role that you’re applying for, and take the tone and language from the application. A simple trick that you can apply to personalise your resume and tailor it to the role is to have a separate list of the key skills or attributes you possess and then implant the most relevant ones into the resume.
Here are 5 of the best ways to revamp your resume and turn it from the paper stack to a potential job getter:
1. Recommendations are always a great way for employers to ascertain your suitability for the position as they provide a third party’s experience of how you work. Get a Linkedin recommendation, and embed it into your resume as a hyperlink.
2. Have a go at nailing the bones of a primary introduction, and use words specific to the types of roles you’re applying for to communicate your message.
3. Focus on your 2-3 most recent roles, and use a hierarchical approach to presenting the information. List the key achievements first, and contextualise them with a summary to close.
4. Opt for a simple, clean and to-the-point design for your resume that matches the message conveyed in the resume. If design or visual communication is a critical aspect of the role, a supporting portfolio might be more appropriate.
5. Succinct information that focuses on only including the recent and relevant experience for this particular job will help situate you as a candidate targeting this role.