Your resume is an essential tool for landing job interviews. It’s important to make sure it sets you apart from all the other CVs the hiring manager will be reading.
In our last blog, we provided some expert tips on how to write the perfect resume summary. This post will take it a step further and with advice on building the rest of your CV to get the interviews you want.
Here are our top resume tips:
Ensure you can be contacted!
Keep it short, but accurate
Highlight your educational pedigree
List your skills
Projects and accomplishments
Keep the style clean and simple
Step 1: include your contact details
Your contact details should be made as clear as possible at the top of your professional resume. The employer then knows who you are straight away and is able to contact you should they want to bring you in for an interview.
Ideally, your full name should be in a slightly larger font than the rest of the text. You should also include your email address, phone number and LinkedIn profile URL.
Step 2: Keep it short, but accurate
When writing a resume it can be tempting to include lots of detail to highlight why are a perfect fit for the role. But in this case, less is more.
Hiring managers tend to have a high volume of CVs to read through. They will only be skimming the information on your resume to determine if you’re the right candidate.
If the information on the page is long and difficult to digest, you risk losing their interest.
As a guide, you should clearly
Highlight the length of your experience
The main industries you’ve worked in
And any accomplishments related to the job role you’re applying for
Step 3 - Include educational accomplishments
Educational information is also important to include in your resume. This is particularly true if the role requires qualifications or certifications (for example, a degree in your chosen field).
Don’t forget to include the name of the institution you gained the qualification from, and any honors you received when you graduated.
Step 4 - List your skills
The hiring manager will be looking for skills that align with the job description. You should use appropriate keywords to demonstrate these. Include any relevant skills you’ve developed in your career, and any software you’ve used or are familiar with.
Present these in short paragraphs or bullet points to make them as clear as possible.
Try to focus mostly on hard skills, such as a strong understanding of engineering principles, for example. Using action verbs such as ‘problem solving’ can help you to stand out. You should also include soft skills that clearly define you as a professional, e.g. leadership skills.
Step 5 - Work experience
When it comes to your work history, the hiring manager will be most interested in the responsibilities you’ve had in each of your job roles.
Potential employers will want to know what activities you carried out and why this experience makes you a good fit.
As a guide, point out 1-6 main responsibilities per role that provide a clear idea of what you do. As with the skills section of your resume, try to use keywords that appear within the job description.
Step 6 - Projects and accomplishments
In this section, add anything you think is important for the hiring manager to know about you. For example, developing a new system or procedure, or identifying and resolving a work-related problem.
Quantifying your achievements is a very effective way to stand out from the crowd
Have you saved your project or employer time by implementing a new initiative? How much time it did save?
Have you initiated a project that had a financial impact on your business? How much revenue did it generate or costs did it reduce?
Implemented Lean Six Sigma to reduce variation in our widget manufacturing. By minimising errors to near zero, our production times halved and created a cost saving of $1m over 12 months
Step 7 - Keep the style clean and simple
Try not to use too many colors and font styles. We recommend always sticking to a professional font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. And keep the size at 11 or 12 so that it’s easy to read.
If you want to highlight details to make them stand out, use bold text rather than a different color.
You should always save your resume as a PDF or Word document, so that the hiring manager can access it easily.
This resume template approach will set you up for the best chance of getting an interview.
Remember to keep your sentences short and to the point, and use relevant keywords that link back to the job description.
We hope these tips have been helpful. Good luck with your job search!