Resume Tips No. 15 – Resume Advice from the experts!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEver wondered what advice industry leaders in job and recruitment,  such as Seek and Career One, are dishing out?

Well, WER have summarised some of the key points being communicated to job seekers out there regarding their resumes and how to ‘fine tune’ it if you wish to get that coveted interview.

The Basics…

Six simple resume tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep to the employer’s submission requirements – .doc, pdf, docx, rtf (An important point…do not send your resume in a format not compatiable with the employer.  They DO NOT have time to download applications to view your resume)
  2. Brief is best – more details about your current or recent jobs, less about the past.  Consider it like an entre to your main course.
  3. Clear, straightforward text – make sure everyone can understand it.  It’s great if you have an extensive vocabulary, however your resume is not the time to showcase how to put every big word you know to use.
  4. Use one font – formatting matters and easy to read makes you stand out (as stated in a previous post of ours, stick to Arial, Calibri or Verdana.  Vear away from script)
  5. Ensure you contact details are correct and visible on the front page.
  6. Highlight specific skills – relevant to the job you’re applying to (Again, target the employer and the role)

When it comes to listing previous employers, you should include the key details below:

  • Company name and location
  • Role title you held
  • Start date and end date
  • Brief description of responsibilities
  • Any achievements – with particular reference to any benefit they might have for your prospective employer.

Put it into context …

Ever heard the saying, “that was taken out of context…” When it comes to your resume, ensure EVERYTHING is put into context. For example, when describing skills

Don’t just write:

“I possess superior communication skills.”

Write something like:

“My strong communication skills are demonstrated by … and ultimately proved to be invaluable to … because …

With context…comes clarity.

Tell a story but the right story…

Whilst it’s important to use words to demonstrate your exceptional writing skills, you need to ensure you aren’t over embellishing or even worse, at risk of making your resume sound more like a fantasy, epic novel.  Keep your words, clear and succinct, and above all, review your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

Don’t tell a fiction story, provide a documentary…

And whilst we’re on the topic of story telling…unless you’re applying for a novelist role, ensure any information you put into your resume can be backed up by evidence.  We can’t say it enough, employers want to see evidence! Whether it be, how you achieved an outcome, what you did, where you did it, what were the measurable outcomes?

Once again, it’s all in the telling. Don’t just write:

“Increased profit margin by 15%.”

Write something like:

“Introduced and implemented professional development programs as well as  incentive based bonus schemes for sales staff, which directly improved sales by 15% in the first quarter”

Same goes for your achievements.  When describing what contributions you made to a company, be specific and detailed as it increases your credibility. 

Here’s an example of how that might read:

“Transformed an inefficient customer service team with low morale into a collaborative, high performing and quality focused service centre, increasing overall customer satisfaction rates by 20 per cent, decreasing absenteeism by 30 per cent and reducing staff turnover by 25 per cent.”

Sometimes you might not have data and figures to tell your story. You may have to write it in terms that are a little more general, but no less meaningful. Here’s an example of that:

“Conducted a customer service process review and identified customer service gaps and implemented new processes and systems with a particular focus on response time and value added customer response templates.  Improvements led to a major shift in the company’s overall customer service ethos and point of difference offering.”

Different jobs, different versions

As per our previous post, One resume per employer, the jobs that you go for might all be in the same industry and the employers might all be similar types of people. But there are always going to be some nuances that you need to cater for.

Ensure you take the time to make those slight changes for each employer, otherwise, they won’t make the time for you.

Before you hit ‘send’…

Every employer values attention to detail and consistency. Before you save your resume (or send it) proof read it. And again. And again.  Then get someone else to check it for you. Make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, it’s written in a consistent tone and tense, and above all, the information is correct.

The above is a comprehensive summary of tips to improve your resume success however it is by no way the be all and end all.  For more assistance on creating a tailored resume, contact WER today.  In every role we aim to exceed expectations; ensure your resume also exceeds expectations and does not do you a disservice by poorly communicating your top qualities. 


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