Certain aspects of writing a good resume are debatable, like maximum number of pages, style or design.
These three keys to a steadfast resume, however, are essentially non-negotiable.
- Catching your reader’s eye
- Communicating quickly
- Selling yourself
The first two points are actually tools to enable the third. In fact, any element from design to length are all working towards the selling of oneself.
This may sound obvious, yet many job seekers forget they are selling something.
How do you catch your reader’s eye?
The key is not to go overboard. Don’t choose a fancy, hard to read font. Go with a conservative standard like Arial and ensure the size isn’t too small or large.
Your spacing must also be appropriate so your resume isn’t cluttered and difficult to read.
You should have clear sections such as education and employment, so be sure to make your headings slightly larger and well spaced.
Employers are generally busy people with hundreds of applicants to peruse. Hence, you need to communicate a lot in a little amount of time.
Bullet points can be useful but be wary of writing long lists which are irrelevant or unimpressive. Choose the best and ditch the rest.
Highlight your specific skills so they stand out. Many companies nowadays use digital databases to search for keywords, so sometimes it’s also a case of catching the computer’s eye.
Common buzzwords include “strategic” or “proactive”, but it depends on the industry you’re in, so do your research first.
Now, what are you selling?
Don’t just state your skills, state the benefit of them.
For example, “Strong interpersonal skills, helpful when dealing with sensitive topics”.
Aim for achievements over responsibilities. Every job has responsibilities. Specific achievements are far more impressive and memorable to the reader. Sometimes using numbers is also effective.
For example, “I was jointly responsible for saving the organisation more than $5000 during the budget”.
Just remember, your resume is your chance to sell yourself whether the design, the format or the content – it must be slick, easy to read and full of great buzz words.