First Impressions Last – Make Your Resume Impressive

KISS – Keep It Short & Simple. The objective of your resume is to sing your praises in order for prospective employers to grant you that first interview. Most companies are driven by results and your resume should show your ability to produce results. Your resume should not simply be a list of job titles and duties. It should also highlight your skills, experience and responsibilities, and indicate how you can make a difference.
DO’S – If you’re applying for a specific positions do your research on the company via the internet, brochures, annual reports etc. and tailor your resume to the specific position with relevant experience.
• Do use bullet points to ensure the KISS principle.
Do use headings i.e. personal details, education, and career overview. It allows the reader to quickly scan your resume.
Do check your resume over and over and have it proof read. A fresh pair of eyes may see something you may have missed out. Have others who have not worked as closely with the resume as you have, read it for accuracy and typographical errors before you submit it. Ask questions about whether the resume communicates what you intended. Does your resume support your claim of being qualified for the job? Does it address the requirements of a specific job description you’re after? Does it need to be modified to fit the situation exactly?
Do use positive language and a confident tone in your resume.
Do make relevant information prominent and easy to find for the employer.
Do use a good quality white paper to print your resume on.
DONT’S – Do not lie. A wise man once said “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. You will get caught out and it will do you no favours in the long run. You may be successful in getting a job, but you may not be able to keep up the charade of your lies or handle the pressures of the workload. Our advice is to be honest.
Do not use elaborate fonts and colours.
Do not include a photo unless specified in the job advertisement or you are applying for a modeling agency.
Do not be modest – you don’t get a second chance to make an impression.
Do not use “I”
Do not exceed 3 pages with your resume – 2 is ideal.
The structure of your resume should follow the KISS principle. It should be clear and easy to understand as well as pleasing to the eye. Bullet points are very effective as they exclude unnecessary wording. The language of your resume should be specific, clear, succinct, positive, and exciting. You should include the following:
PERSONAL DETAILS – Begin with your personal details right at the top of the front page. Immediately underneath, include address, phone number, age (optional), email and nationality (optional). Include work numbers if you are open to be contacted at work otherwise do not include them. A personal profile is also very helpful to the prospective employer to give them an indication of your suitability. A personal profile is a very brief summary of your skills, experience, knowledge and career aspirations.

EDUCATION – Your educational history should include dates and locations of study. The points should be listed in reverse order, beginning with your most recent qualifications and work backwards. If you have just completed a degree there is no need to put specific school results. If you’re in the middle of an educational qualification and feel that particular aspects would be of interest to a prospective employer, use your common sense and include them.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY – Again, begin with your most recent job, and work backwards. Include company name, location, position title, your responsibilities and duties, specific dates of employment (e.g. May 1992 – Oct 2003), achievements, the reason for leaving (optional) and whether the position was full time, part time, temporary or permanent. Employers want to know how you can make a difference, so pay particular emphasis to your achievements and responsibilities. Be clear and concise and sell yourself. If possible quantify your achievements with facts and figures – employers love numbers! Gaps during employment history should be accounted for. Employers tend to be cautious – if you account for your gaps it will bring peace of mind to the prospective employer. Examples of gaps may be time out for further education, travel or maternity leave. Be sure to explain yourself. We do not believe it necessary to provide detailed information about positions that were a long time ago or for a very short period of time.
OTHER RELAVANT INFORMATION – This section should be used to highlight anything you feel suitable and will help you to secure that first interview. This is your chance to include information that may not have been included in other sections. Keep it Short and simple. Include skills that you have not afore mentioned. This may include skills such as software or systems knowledge, typing speed, foreign language skills etc. You should state your level of proficiency in each (basic, intermediate, advanced). Memberships to professional organisations etc. should also be mentioned here.
INTEREST – Keep the interests section short, but make sure to detail what you do put into it. Also include any achievements, but don’t over do it.
Employers are generally looking to gain an indication of your personality – whether you’re a team player or work best on your own and whether you would fit into the existing corporate culture.
Be truthful – do not claim something you cannot back up.
REFEREE – The general precinct is to provide two or three referees, of whom one should be your most recent employer. Only include your present employer if you are ok with them being contacted. University and school leavers with limited work experience should nominate relevant teachers or lecturers. Include your referee’s company, position title, mobile number and direct work contact number. If you do not feel comfortable providing referee details, make clear that you will provide them upon request. Be sure to tell your referees in advance so that they are prepared to be contacted.
Good luck.

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