by Andrea Palacios
Your résumé is very important for job-hunting success. You are potentially one of MANY applicants to apply for the same job, one mistake or flaw could mean the end for that position. Your résumé must be appealing enough to capture the employer’s attention and compelling enough to stand out from the crowd. Here are 21 important points I recommend:
1. EMPHASIZE RESULTS!
This is the most critical point! Employers would like to have a quick idea of your strengths and a measure to determine this. State the action you performed that is relevant to the applied position and the results you achieved. Include details about what you increased or decreased. For eg one exceptionally busy morning, in the morning rush, you were able to pour 100 coffees in 1 hour and that you managed.
2. BE TARGETED
Only state the specific qualifications for the advertised job. If your scope is too broad, your résumé will be overlooked. Eg if you are applying for work in a café, put all the content relevant to performing that job only.
3. USE KEYWORDS!
Use keywords that are relevant to the position you are after so the employer knows that you have an understanding. This applies for positions in café’s, cleaning, engineering and every other position you can think of. Flaunt your knowledge.
4. SHOW PROFESSIONALISM
Only submit résumés in PDF format. Every employer should be able to open and view the file.
5. ADD A SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS SECTION
Summarise your most desirable skills together with the relevant work experience at the top of your résumé. Just keep in mind, employer’s are busy and probably have a lot of résumés to get through. If you highlight your top skills and relevant work experience, they are likely to continue reading your résumé.
6. ONE PAGE IS BEST
Again, employers are busy and probably have thousands of résumé’s to get through. On average they may spend 15 seconds glancing at each résumé. A one-page résumé will force you to be concise and to the point, highlighting only the relevant points.
7. VISUALLY APPEALING
It must be readable, sharp and professional looking. Keep it easy on the eyes by using bullet points, bold to highlight relevant points, arial font, and size 12-14.
8. DO NOT LIE!
Employers see many résumés and they usually have a good idea of when something is exaggerated or misstated. These will usually be uncovered during interviews and reference checks so be prepared to be caught out if you lie!
9. USE A CLEAR JOB TITLE
If your job title does not describe your role very well, state your responsibilities in bullet form.
10. USE ACTION VERBS
What not to do: I make coffee at Lou’s Diner. Correct form: Managed coffee station at Lou’s Diner. Start sentence with descriptive action verb such as managed, created, planned, etc. Avoid using “I”.
11. BE COMPLETE
Do not use abbreviations!
12. MAKE POINTS FAST
Get straight to the point; employers don’t want to see a page full of writing.
13. JUSTIFY EXPERIENCE
When speaking about your work history and experience use past tense eg I managed the cleaning operations for building in 360 Collins Street Melbourne. I managed a team of three, used the following cleaning equipment and used the following products. This reassures employers that you will be able to do it for them as well.
14. BE PERFECT
No spelling errors, mistakes or typos! I personally do not hire any offenders. PROOFREAD CAREFULLY. Get a friend to look over your email and résumé. Just remember, employers look for any excuse to reduce the big pile of résumés down to ONE successful applicant.
15. MAKE IT READABLE
A busy looking résumé will go unread. Use white space, bullet points to highlight key points and remove anything that is not necessary.
16. AVOID GRAPHICS OR GIMMICKS
An employer wants to know that a person is capable and serious about doing a job. Graphics and gimmicks may distract the employer from taking you seriously.
17. DON’T STATE SALARY
Do not put previous salary in résumés or state desired salary in résumés. Better to negotiate this later down the track in interviews when employer brings it up or if you have job offers from more employers.
18. NO TAG LINES
Employers know you will provide references if they request them, therefore it is not necessary to put “References upon request” at the end of your résumé. Better yet, list your references!
19. DON’T ADVERTISE NEGATIVE INFORMATION
The résumé is the wrong place to advertise that you were laid off, fired, or had an extended illness. Only put the dates of employment. If necessary, this can be discussed in an interview where you have the opportunity to explain yourself.
20. UPDATE OFTEN
Keep your résumé up to date. This will give you the opportunity to apply for promotions and new positions. A current résumé will allow you to take advantage of new opportunities!
21. FINAL TEST – ARE EMPLOYERS CALLING?
Are you seeing results? Are employers calling you for jobs that you are qualified for? If not, you may need to rework, go through the 21 points, or get professional help to improve your résumé.
Your résumé should quickly and clearly state that you are capable of doing the job and have supporting information to state why you are capable.
Comment below to let us know what challenges you face when putting your résumé together.