Knowing how to write a resume is vital for acquiring a new role. A resume is your personal marketing document, designed to ‘sell’ your skills and abilities to a potential employer. Additionally, research suggests that employers scan resumes within 20 seconds, so it’s important to quickly demonstrate why you are the best fit.
Use these tips for writing a resume to help you land a job interview. Then have a look around our best resume and CV advice.
Mirror the job description
Show a clear match between your skills and the role requirements by using the same terms and language as the job description. Clearly demonstrate how you meet the key skills, experience and attributes the employer is looking for by emphasising your most relevant strengths. Finally, eliminate details from your resume that are unrelated to the position to keep it concise.
Focus on your achievements
When you write a resume, it should focus on the unique accomplishments that make you stand out. Demonstrate how you contributed to the organisation; did you save money or time, exceed targets, solve problems, improve processes, or attract new customers? Where possible, quantify how you added value with numbers, percentages or dollar amounts.
Ensure your resume makes for a compelling read
The tone of your resume should be enthusiastic, upbeat and professional. Put your strongest and most relevant points first, using action words such as ‘completed’, ‘developed’ and ‘managed’, and superlatives such as ‘first’, ‘best’ and ‘highest’. Presenting your accomplishments confidently using high-impact words are key components in how to make a resume extremely compelling for your reader.
Use a practical CV structure
There is no ‘perfect’ or ‘correct’ way to structure a resume, but you should always ensure that it is laid out in a practical and easy-to-follow format. For example, your basic details (name, address, phone number, mobile number and email address) should be clearly listed on the front page. Next, list your training and/or education with the most recent studies first. Finally, list your career history in reverse chronological order, including your job title, company name, start and finish dates, key responsibilities, and accomplishments for each role. At the end of your resume, it is standard to include your references, or note that you have references available on request if required.
Use clear formatting
Keep the layout of your resume simple with lots of white space, bulleted information where possible and a plain, readable font. This will ensure that your resume stands out. Three or four pages are usually sufficient, and it’s important to use clear, concise language. It’s also a good idea to ask a meticulous friend or family member to proofread your resume for you.