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Writing your resume is the first step to finding the job that challenges you as well as financially rewarding you. When it comes to finding a job, this step is crucial as it is your first point of contact with the prospective employer or recruitment consultant and it is what makes the difference between you moving on in the process or tripping at the first stage.

Advance your Resume with this quick Checklist

  •     Are your achievements tailored to the values of your Employer?

  •     Have you clearly described your achievements with evidence?

  •     Does your Resume encourage people to read it?

  •     Does it show a rounded picture of you and go beyond your job description?

  •     Is your resume layout out clear and wording simple to make it visually appealing?

  •     Will your content combined with your layout differentiate your resume from other

        candidates?

  •     Are your weaknesses actually strengths?

Steps to writing your Resume

There are 3 important steps to make sure that your resume is advanced, sells you correctly and convinces your future employer that you are the talented candidate they have been looking for. These steps are:

Step 1: Structure your CV

Recruitment consultants and employers seeking new candidates spend a large percentage of our time looking at resumes. As a result, they become ‘master’s’ of scan reading them, and in some cases it only takes a 20 seconds to decide if they will going to proceed with the candidate or not. This means that the presentation of you resume is vitally important. You do not need to be a graphic designer to make something stand out and be aesthetically pleasing.

Step 2: Write the content

As a rule of thumb, the resume should be broken down with 50% work experience, 30% personal information (contact details, profile) and 20% education and skills. Your main aim is to convey the experience you have, the skills that make you a great prospect, and to convey a little bit about the type of person you are.

A good way to put it together is:

               •     Have your name and contact details at the top.

               •     A brief overview of your self including skills etc.

               •     Education, training and any software or mechanical competencies.

               •     Work experience.

               •     Closing section including interests and goals.

When putting a resume together, the golden rule is to keep in mind that the person who will be reading the resume knows nothing about you and your work experience. Clearly put the company you worked for and the position you held in bold, the duration of employment, including months as well as the year (this is always good for the more recent positions), and if you can put a reason for leaving that will also give an indication of your commitment, loyalty and goals. Include a brief overview of your role within the company, as well as key responsibilities and skills you developed. If the position was temporary, contract or freelance, it is also a good idea to make this clear.

In terms of the types of jobs to include, you should only put jobs that will have a bearing on the position you are applying for. One way of getting around jobs that are not appropriate is to title the section ‘relevant work experience’.

In terms of the length of the resume, it is always important to be concise. While two pages is a standard, this will vary depending on the position. What is most important is that you try and fill whatever pages you use. For example, if you have just gone onto a third page, either think about cutting it back to get it to two pages, or extend it to fill the third. Remember as well, it is always good to have additional information you can talk about in the interview that is not in the resume.

Step 3: Layout and design

A resume should always be put together in Word, or another word processing program, not a excel document. There maybe some exceptions with designers, but 99% of the time a Word format is the right way.

If you have designed a masterpiece and want to send it as a PDF, then that is good, but some recruiters will ask you to send a word document as well or a version with your contact details taken off, so it is always good to have a second copy.

Some types of jobs for example 3D artists, or graphic designers will have additional portfolios or web sites for example, and although having examples of your work is essential, it is still important to have a resume to send out first.

Key Points to Remember

Whether you call the document a CV, Resume or a Curriculum Vitae is not important, however your name and contact details are.

You do not need to have lots of fancy tables, borders and graphics, rather just make sure that all the information is clearly presented, and the different sections are clearly separated.

While creativity can be a good thing, there is an accepted format for resumes. Your employment history should be presented in chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backwards.