Professional Resume Writing – Tips, Pointers, Structure

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This section contains some pointers that we hope will give you a few ideas to help you create or redesign your resume and ultimately get selected for interviews more frequently.

Employers receive dozens, and maybe even hundreds of resumes in the mail and from over the Internet each week. Unfortunately, only 2 out of every 100 resumes will result in a job interview. WHY? Because most employers just give each resume a quick, ten-second glance. So what steps can you take to increase the possibility of yours being one that gets read by the employer? Remember these simple steps:

-Keep it clean and neat.
-Keep it simple and to the point.

A winning resume grabs the readers’ interest. Its primary purpose is to get you an interview. It should also show why they should hire YOU by focusing on your accomplishments. Think of it as an advertisement brochure on YOU.

Your covering letter, application form and resume are the only tools an employer has to make the decision to interview, or not. These documents must get you through the first stage, and therefore need to prove that you have the skills and experience required. Read the job advert and put yourself in the position of the company placing the advert. What would you like to see in a candidate if your roles were reversed?

Your resume should always be concise and well laid out, so that an employer is able to quickly pick out your key attributes. It can be frustrating for an employer sifting through hundreds of resumes if the information is not readily available. Try and restrict your resume to a maximum of two sheets of A4 to help keep it concise.

It is a good idea to tailor your resume for each position you apply for. If it is not possible to tailor your resume for each position, then use a covering letter to draw attention to the most relevant sections in your resume.

A good way to start on your resume is to first identify your own strengths and weaknesses. We suggest that you divide these into two sections, experience and skills. Next identify what skills and experience the position you are applying for requires. When you write your resume, you should pull these components together to create a “selling” resume targeted at the position.

There are basically two types of resumes – chronological and functional.

A chronological resume highlights your work experience, beginning with the most recent position. It is the most commonly used style. This resume is useful for people with work experience who have been laid off or are changing jobs and do not have major gaps or numerous job changes. 

A functional or skills resume highlights skills and potential, rather than work experience and education. It is particularly useful when you are changing careers, you have good skills but limited work experience, or there are gaps in your work experiences.

Check List

Here are some great tips for you to use when creating your resume:

-Keep it Short and Simple.
-Put your most recent information first.
-Limit your resume to two pages.
-Use simple, everyday language.
-Use bullet points – don’t attempt to tell your life story.
-Be honest, don’t exaggerate.
-Keep your resume relevant.
-Exclude irrelevant information: this will improve readability, and give you more room to concentrate on what the reader actually wants to see.
-Don’t list personal references (have a separate reference sheet).
-Use standard 8 ½” X 11″ paper.
-Use a word processor, save and email your resume with the file extension stating your name and last name.
-Avoid fancy type such as outline, shadow, script or other difficult-to-read styles.
-Bold, Underline or CAPITALIZE section headings to make them stand out.
-Proofread for spelling and grammar. If possible, have someone else proofread it for you.
-Buy quality photocopies. Choose white, ivory, or gray paper. Avoid flashy colors.

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