Your résumé (or CV) is your sales pitch on paper. It’s an important job-search tool that gives a summary of your background, work experience, skills and it’s usually your first contact with any potential employer.
How you go about preparing and presenting your résumé altogether determine whether you’ll land a job interview or not.
You may have the right qualifications but with a bad résumé – like what most job-seekers carry around-, you can hardly convince a potential employer you are fit for any job.
That said; however, here are essential features of a résumé that stands out:
– A good résumé has a profile: unlike the résumé objective that focuses on you, a profile focuses on your employer by connecting your skills with the specific role. Having a profile also makes your résumé look more targeted and prevents it from looking like an information dump since your accomplishments have to match with the profile content. The more specific your profile, the more appealing your employer finds it.
– A good résumé avoids spelling and grammatical errors: most employers would rather throw a résumé filled with errors out the window than having to expend their energy trying to pinpoint what the job candidate has to offer. Imagine you were the employer with a pile of résumés to screen, would you read any further a résumé that misspells your Company name or has a profile that reads “financial analist with a passion for new invstments…”? I guess not.
– A good résumé efficiently uses keywords: citing words and sentences that are vital to the potential employer.
– A good résumé is organised and professional: having the appropriate format, page color, font size and type, with few personal statements.
Tips to help you prepare a good résumé :
– Avoid the use of ‘I’ in your accomplishments. Use words like co-organised, co-led, worked with a team, etc.
– Use the right fonts type and size, bullet points and double-line spacing for clarity. Also use Bold and italics to emphasize relevant points. Avoid paragraph formatting.
– Do not use ambiguous words or too many Industry jargon in a bid to impress your reader, simple sentences or catch-phrases are very necessary to allow your employer an easy read.
– Include skills that are relevant to the employer. Explicitly use words in the job description. Write a title which contains the name of the position you are applying for, this would make you look the ideal applicant at first glance.
– Weave in accomplishments that match the title concisely stating the problems you solved or the values you added to your previous employers. You can also make good use of figures to quantify your achievements and bring life to your experience statements. Include awards, publications and certifications if you have any, to deepen impressions in the reader’s mind.
– Your CV should not be more than 3-pages long. Focus on what you can offer and not merely list irrelevant responsibilities.
– Ensure to set the tone of your résumé by including a few personal interests as additional information; this helps your reader match your skills and qualifications with a picture. Though in a less formal manner, these personal interests however must relate to your formal skills as aligned in the résumé. Interests like surfing the internet or watching movies shouldn’t be in your résumé.
– Take out time to proofread your résumé; give it to friends, siblings or mentors who can proofread it objectively. It won’t hurt to edit your résumé one more time.
Lastly, bear in mind that a good résumé should not only effectively communicate those skills that match with the job requirements, but also persuasively tell the employers what they stand to gain hiring you the candidate.
It’s a good thing to know how to write a CV, but it’s however advisable that you explore professional résumé writing services, with experts who have up-to-date knowledge in résumé requirements and the requisite experience to help you look good on paper.
Engage our CV experts to answer lingering questions in the mind of your employer after a few glances at your CV. Click here for details.
What does your résumé say about you? Please share your comments in the section below.