Is your resume doing an excellent job of selling you to potential employers?
Is it strong enough to be able to stand out from your competition?
You may have the skills and experience, but if it is not communicated well in your resume, you may be missing out.
In our recent blog, we covered the basics of resume writing. If you missed that edition, please feel free to get up to date by reading it here: https://www.hoban.com.au/2022/04/01/writing-a-resume-that-opens-doors/
The blog also contains links to download resume templates to get you started if you need a fresh start.
What Makes a Great Resume?
In this new edition, we go a bit deeper into what goes into creating a brilliant resume that could help you get into your next great role.
Overview or summary
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people who see many resumes daily. You will already be ahead of the pack if you can make their job easier by providing a short summary of your professional experience.
This should only be one or two sentences maximum; you can go into more detail later.
Some good examples below that use strong language while still being succinct.
- Project Manager with over ten years’ experience, delivering multimillion-dollar projects, on time and under budget. Looking for a new challenge in the resources sector.
- In the last five years as an Account Manager, I have a proven track record of problem-solving to maintaining exceptional client relationships and creating value for the business.
What are the essential skills the employer has asked for in their job ad?
Do you have these exact abilities? If not, can you provide other examples of skills that will still meet their needs?
Importantly, you should tailor these for each of the specific roles you are applying for, to make sure you match the required skills to your relevant experience.
Are you using the current industry terminology?
Is the terminology for the tasks you utilised in a job ten years ago still relevant for the job you are applying for today?
If not, update the terminology to reflect current and relevant skills.
If you are writing long paragraphs of text, the reader may overlook important details.
To make your key skills or experience skimmable to a reader, it is best to include these details as dot points where possible.
Highlight Actual Achievement
Better than just listing the tasks you did as part of your job, highlight your achievements.
- Consistently achieved 15% over KPIs.
- Highest achieving salesperson three months in a row.
The key is to describe a definitive positive outcome that you made.
Include case study work examples
Can you give examples of case studies in which you had great success in a role? Or where you showed initiative outside of your normal function.
Did you devise a great idea to improve efficiency that was taken up company-wide?
Was there a time you took the lead and were able to create extra value for your customers?
These points make for excellent examples to include in your winning resume. Once again, keep it brief and to the point.
Done well, another way to stand out is to use a little bit of colour in your resume.
Please don’t go overboard, unless you are in a more creative role. Also, pick colours that are not too over the top. Stick to shades that stand out, while still being easy to read, like darker blues or deep reds. Nothing fluorescent or that could be mistaken for hi-vis.
Colours will be best used to highlight headings, your name and contact details.
Picking a Font
Use a clean modern sans serif font (font without the extra bits on the ends). If you use an uncommon font in a Word doc, the user might open the file and the formatting will be messy. Some suggestions are below, but as long as they are clean not too heavy or overused, they should be fine.
- Open Sans
- Trebuchet MS
Fonts to be avoided include Comic Sans, Courier, Papyrus, and Times New Roman, amongst others.
For your main text, use a size of 11-12 points. The headings and contact details can be a bit bigger, if need be, but anything over 16 points may be too much.
Make sure you are formatting consistently for the paragraphs, subheadings and headings are the same throughout, both size and font type.
PDF or Word Doc
Generally, PDFs and Word Docs are the most widely accepted formats to be submitted. If you send a pdf, there are less likely to be formatting issues when opened by employers.
You can export your resume out of Word by selecting Save a Copy (or Save As for older versions of Word) and then changing the file type to PDF.
Contact Details Front and Centre
Are your details on each page. You want to make it as easy as possible for hirers to be able to get in touch with you. So include your mobile number and email address on each page, if you are using Word, you can include this as part of the header or footer.
We will be providing more tips in the coming months, so please keep an eye on our social media channels.
If you are looking for a new opportunity, please check out HOBAN’s latest vacancies here https://www.hoban.com.au/advanced-job-search/