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I remember applying for jobs five years ago as a new grad and receiving an email saying that I was one of 130 applicants and my application had been unsuccessful. I remembered thinking ‘how will I ever get a job’ and ended up taking the first one that was offered to me as with these odds who could afford to be picky. Then when I applied for my current role, I was one of 250 applicants and the only reason that my resume was noticed out of such a large selection was because of one word ‘RAIL’. That’s right, if I had not previously worked in a similar industry, my resume would not have stood out and therefore I might still be looking for work.
How do you make your resume stand out you ask? This is a very good question as everyone has a different idea of what works and what doesn’t. One thing I can is say, is that simple is best. Yes, that is right, don’t use multiple fonts or sizes, nor multiple colours (black is more than sufficient) and whatever you do, do not include pictures of yourself or pictures in general as this distracts from the content of your resume. The most important thing in your resume is the content and is tells the person reading your resume if you are right for the position.
In terms of content, start with your name and contact details (how else will the person know who to contact). It is recommended that you have an appropriate email address, usually your full name is ideal. Inappropriate email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org (The Simpsons reference) are humourous but not particularly professional. Also make sure you have an active voicemail and that you have a clear message saved stating your name and that you will call the person back, There is nothing more annoying and less funny that a voicemail that goes ‘hello’ and beeps ten seconds later.
Next on your resume list your skills and qualifications. I recommended listing them with bullet points, so they stand out and are easy to read. Most people when reviewing resumes look for the key words or qualifications they require you to have, no one reads every resume word for word. Next list your work experience, making sure that the company name, your position title, dates worked are clear and then list your duties using bullet points (See example below)
Company: Concept Engineering
Dates: January 2013 – December 2013
• Writing job adverts
• General Administration duties.
When writing your duties, list them all (even the most mundane ones) and always make sure that your duties link back to the position you are applying for. Remember that using the same words that are in the job advert, will help you to stand out from the crowd and help you to secure an interview. Also remember to always be truthful on a resume, do not say you have those skills unless you actually have.
Remember to always proof read your resume, spelling mistakes will always let you down, especially if attention to detail is part of the role. Also when sending your resume, ensure that it is addressed correctly, there is nothing worse than receiving an application that is address to the wrong name and it can cause your application to be over looked.
All in all, keep your resume simple and easy to read, ensuring that is captures all the skills and experience you have. Good luck!
For some statistics and information about how crucial your resume is, clcik here.