Wait - have you done our Career Quiz? Oh man, this whole thing will make a lot more sense if you do that first.
To create a killer resume, don’t be afraid to brag!
You need to stand out, so don’t just list previous work or educational history. Showcase your accomplishments! Wherever possible, use numbers to demonstrate these achievements, as metrics are always more compelling. Secondly, always write a customised cover letter focused on why you want to work for that company specifically, and keep your resume concise and easy to read.
Gemma Lloyd, Work180
When a manager or a recruiter is looking at your CV, you have less than 60 seconds to end up on the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ interview pile.
The basics include spell check: there is no quicker way to be rejected than grammar or spelling errors, regardless of the role. No more than two pages, ideally one and make sure the formatting and layout make it easy to read.
My number one tip, though, is to detail in just one to two sentences, what you believe was your greatest achievement in each role you’ve had. This will make your CV more enjoyable to read. If nothing else, it will separate you from the other resumes, giving you a competitive advantage.
It gives the recruitment manager a better insight into you and your approach, and goes beyond your skills to speak to your attitude and what you personally deem as success. It shows you care and that you see your role underpinning the overall success of the business.
Natasha Hawker Director, Author and Employee Expert
So what helps you get your resume on the yes pile?
For over two decades I’ve been on the receiving end of hundreds of resumes a year from hopeful first-time applicants, mostly university graduates, to work in my PR agency. I’ve just about seen it all.
Resumes that are pages too long, resumes that are too short and cheeky, those delivered with a box of socks with a promise "to knock my socks off’" to bouquets of flowers with the resume tucked inside.
I’m afraid the process of selection is ruthless. Two piles entitled yes and no and a few seconds attention on each resume.
- I, like most business owners, want to work with people I like and admire, so I want to see the human behind the written document quickly, because I’m looking for a team member who is natural, open, personable and genuine.
- I also look to see if the resume has been written as a generic document or a personal approach to me, my team, clients and business because we treat our clients as individuals (no cookie cutter approach) so I want you to care. Tailor your resume carefully to the job you are applying for.
- It stands to reason that for a job that requires comms, writing and presentation skills there should be no typos or formatting errors so I’m looking for accuracy and attention to detail.
- The next criteria is relevance: what makes you and your history relevant to my company, my clients and the rest of my extraordinary team. Have you any experience or internships in agencies?
- Next, when we make contact you respond quickly, get in to see my management team quickly and are honest about other jobs you are interviewing for, so we don’t waste each others' time.
Finally, on interview day, arrive early, dress to die for, shake hands, look me in the eye and don’t forget to smile. Relax and enjoy the experience because potential employers are just as excited about meeting you!
Sharon Williams, Taurus Founder and CEO
Focus on Achievements
Many jobseekers make the mistake of including a list of strengths on their resume such as ‘teamwork’ or ‘organisational skills’, without backing these up with achievements that actually demonstrate these skills. Including examples that demonstrate the skills you refer to is key.
Consider ways you have excelled in your work or your academic or extra-curricular activities, such as awards or recognition you have received, or successful projects you have been involved in.
For example, if you refer to having strong communication skills, think of some specific examples that demonstrate you actually have these skills, such as being involved in the debating team at school or presenting at an event, and reference this experience within the resume. This will help you to stand out amongst other jobseekers.
Nicole Wren, www.goresumes.com.au
Lay the foundation for an attention-grabbing resume through preparation and thorough research.
Before you write a single word, find out as much as you can about the job and the hiring company. This will help you tailor your resume to the specific vacancy you are applying for.
Scrutinise the job advertisement or position description to get a clear understanding of what the employer is looking for. For example, they may specify a skill, qualification or knowledge as a requirement for the role. If you have any of these, make sure you highlight this information. This will ensure the reader can see you have what they’re looking for in a candidate. If this information is missing or not clearly stated, they will likely assume you don’t have the key requirements and reject your application.
Study the organisation’s website to find out about its work, values and culture, and search LinkedIn for profiles of employees who hold the same or similar roles. Identify key words and phrases used by the company and its staff – for example, ‘caring and passionate team members (Coles)’ – and adapt these to include in your resume. This will demonstrate how compatible you are and increase your chances of being selected for interview.
Simon, Glide Outplacement
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