Five things you must know about writing a resume
I see a lot of resumes, and I haven’t seen one yet that I would consider effective (except my resume, of course). And every guideline I’ve read is wrong. But if you follow these five tips, I guarantee you will get noticed by prospective employers:
What is its purpose?
It is important to understand what the purpose of a resume is and isn’t. It doesn’t get you the job. It might not even get you an interview. Its purpose is only to get the employer to contact you. Your telephone and interview skills will have to do the rest—that is, assuming you are actually qualified for the job. This purpose needs to be reflected in your application, which is what the next few points are designed to achieve.
The all-important covering letter
The covering letter is by far the most important part of your application and is usually neglected or omitted. It needs to follow an inverted style with a strong headline (to get their attention) and leader (to trigger a response).
Include all keywords
Ensure that all the keywords in the advertisement are included in your covering letter and resume. Many recruitment agencies screen applicants by scoring their resumes against a list of required keywords and phrases.
Most every resume I see looks like every other resume, and many use the same standard Word template. If you want to get noticed, format the covering letter and resume professionally with a modern, appealing style.
Remove the trivia
Structure your resume such that the most important information comes first. And remove all the useless guff about your love of horses and first-aid certificates gained in the 1990s—that is, unless they are relevant, i.e. you are applying to be the safety officer at a riding stable.
Take a look at my resume (see link above, redacted to protect my clients), and see how it meets these criteria. It is probably unlike any resume you’ve seen before—which is precisely why it is so effective. In fact, it gets the call nine-times-out-of-ten, even when submitted unsolicitored to a company that has never heard of me.
October 8, 2015 / Tim McAuley / 0