Creating a resume is something that most of us must do at some point in our lives, but when was the last time somebody sat you down and showed you how to make it pitch perfect? With a myriad of different templates online and many vague instructions of just “list out your employment/education”- there is a lot left up to the imagination. From the basics of having your contact details up the top, to how to best display your credentials, let us show you how to put together the perfect resume.
1. Tell Them Who You Are
Of course, after listing your contact information at the top, the first section of your resume should read as an opening profile or mini-elevator pitch. The idea is to curate this section, so it sums up your background and is relevant for the types of jobs you are applying for. This is the place to tell your potential employer just why you are an amazing candidate, with a story aligned to the role. It is also the section where you can provide a concise overview of your skills and experience- tell them what makes you unique and just what you can bring to the table. This is not the time to go into detail, just keep it short, snappy and take the opportunity to sell yourself.
2. Key Skills & Strengths
A key component of your resume is to include your key skills. This can include technical and non-technical skills but always keep them relevant to the job you are applying for. Take the time to highlight any unique skills as well- you want to be able to stand out from the rest of the applicants. You do not have to go into too much detail, as there is time for that later on- but you want the person reading your resume to know you are experienced from the first glance. You will also need to include many of these to pass through the ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) that most recruiters use.
Immediately under this section is also a good place to include tertiary education or other relevant qualifications. Keep these relevant however and save the extended professional development and other training courses you have completed for the end of the CV.
3. Include A Career Summary Snapshot
One of the best ways to condense your resume and make it easier to read is to include a career summary on the first page. Again, curate this to the position you are applying for. This snapshot means that even if somebody is just skimming your resume, they can see your experience and previous roles without having to sort through multiple pages and larger chunks of text. It gives them a quick timeline, information on your previous employers and how long you were in those positions. No need to include duties or responsibilities, that is for later in the resume. Also, if you have quite an extensive career, then only include relevant positions, or limit this to the last 10 to 15 years.
4. Then Provide Them With Highlights & Relevant Detail
Once you have developed a strong, clear and concise opening page- the next step is to delve into that detail a little more. Ideally, the profile, skills summary and career snapshot should have enticed recruiters to read on, so this is where you can strengthen your case of why you are the best candidate for the job.
Starting with your recent employment history and moving back, highlight your achievements and anything that gives further proof of your worthiness. Focus on quantifiable achievements wherever possible, for example, did you put together a timesaving measure in your previous role that not only made your company more time-efficient but saved them money? That is something to highlight and ensure you mention the numbers/percentages to strengthen your claims. Do this for every relevant job that you have included. You can also check out our new article soon on how to write a knockout achievement.
Once you have highlighted your career achievements and responsibilities, then you can also list any professional memberships/associations that you are a part of, professional development you have undertaken and other areas such as extracurricular activities. As always, keep it relevant! Also, do not feel the need to list your referees – unless the job description asks for them specifically.
5. All Too Much? Hire a Professional
If the previous four steps still have you a little lost or if you just want to avoid the stress and leave it to the professionals, then hiring a credible resume writer is your best option. A professional resume writing service is a great option for those who may not have the confidence to write, feel that they are missing something or just don’t want to leave things to chance and would prefer to put their faith in a professional. At Alpha Resumes, it is our job to ensure that you can put your best foot forward. We will work with you to create a resume that is sure to wow any recruiter.
When writing your resume, confidence is key. Whether you are writing it yourself or using a professional resume writing service, the role of a resume is to show any potential recruiter/employer just how much of an asset you are. Get this part right and you can assure your career will prosper.