Cheryl was happy for me to take over her blog this month and I hope you will take the time to read and pass onto any interested job seekers. With my previous background as a human resource manager, recruitment consultant and having set up the WiseClick Job Placement Register I felt I could give you a few tips on making your resume stand out from the rest.
Your resume is the “door opener” and you need to make sure it gives the reader enough information to understand your background and how it matches up to the position you have applied for. It should be a “sales pitch of your abilities”, not just a list of your career history.
When I was applying for roles I had four different types of resumes ready to tailor to the position I was applying for. By targeting the resume to the role and then having a covering letter that clearly states the position you are applying for is a must. It will give you an immediate advantage and the reviewer can just tick, tick, tick and stamp “proceed to interview” on your application. Some agencies and businesses are using screening apps that look for key words that match their job ads, so read the job application carefully, highlight key words and include those in your resume.
Resume Structure – there are some terrific resume templates on the internet to save you time. Recruitment company sites usually have those in their resources section. Use them, anything that looks professional and clear will attract attention!
I liked this layout when screening resumes –
Name, Address, Telephone Number and E-mail Address.
This is the first paragraph under your details that can give a hint to your work ethic and personality – make sure it also links to the role you are going for and make it simple yet directly related to your quals and accomplishments. Have a few versions of your CV on hand with different objectives that support the type of position you are seeking.
Most recent first, list all units in your course where possible and any short courses. Note any special awards and commendations. If you need to top up your skills we have some terrific day classes to assist.
Most recent first. Always include the title of your position, name of organisation, location (town, state) and dates of employment. Describe your work experience and responsibilities using strong action words. Volunteer work, internships and student teaching should be listed here. Promote any achievements in any of your previous roles – use “Achievements” as a sub heading where you can and keep it factual (eg. “Helped the company achieve 10 day payment due date by instigating an electronic debtor reminder system”). Keep thinking to yourself as you write this section “is this going to help my chances” and “is this adding any value”.
Don’t forget to put the reason for a gap in the times if you have been away from work – it is better to let potential employers know the reason than trying to guess. Nothing wrong in saying you have been at home raising a family or taking a break to travel or better still study.
Use this area if you want to include information that doesn’t fit into the categories above, such as special interests, skills or activities.
When resume writing, you may wish to include on your resume: “References available upon request.” You must always ask for permission before listing someone as a referee. List three people, including name, title, employer, address, and business and home telephone numbers. Don’t forget to let them know you are looking for work. I remember ringing referees and they could hardly remember the persons’ name, let alone their work standard.
I remember taking 10 – 30 seconds to screen a resume, so give priority to the most important points up front in the Objective and Work Experience sections. The mark of a well-structured resume is when it can be assessed and matched to the role on the first page and the rest is just supplementary reading.
Think from the employers point of view, not your own. What are they looking for and how would their ideal candidate present on paper.
Take your time and ensure you use spell check and have fresh eyes check the grammar and layout. WiseClick is more than happy to do that for our students.
Don’t forget any of our Certificate IV Bookkeeping and/or Accounting students looking for work can send through their resumes to be listed on the Job Placement Register.
I hope this has helped and if you would like a blog on interview techniques from me in the future just email us at [email protected]
Kind regards, Kerry