In my years in management in the business world and wearing the hat of a recruiter, I have seen hundreds of resumes. Stacks and stacks of resumes, most of them, really bad resumes. I guess that's why I decided to include in my career counselling, a spot just for developing a really good resume. There are books out there, they are a dime a dozen. Some that are worth the read, some not.
The thing to remember here is the resume is a constantly changing product. Dependent on the role that you are applying for ... Adapt and change, adapt and change. This is of course is dependent on your skill set, and the type of work you're seeking.
Being a recruiter was a rude awakening, when it comes to reviewing resumes. You get hundreds a day sometime, you have to be good at scanning the material in such a way that you're make a judgement call on a resume in less than a minute. I used to think that recruiters guide you and help you create the best resume to win the job. Not. They don't have time. They are driven by numbers, quantity over quality. It's not necessarily about finding the right person for the job, it's about finding a warm body to fill the vacant space. If you are using a head hunting company ( and I actually recommend not just choosing one, but use them all, the more your resume is out there getting promoted, the better your chance of getting a job. Like everything else, their are some really great recruiting companies, and some that aren't.) Find a recruiting company and a recruiter that is aligned with your job skills.
When it comes to the almighty resume, find someone, that knows what they are talking about, do your research. I've seen some that were professionally paid resume writers that created a sub-standard product at the end of the day, not worth it's weight in gold. You also need to be sure that the government agencies that are supposed to be helping you are actually doing you a favour. Some of the worst resumes I've seen to date are coming out of those places, do your own homework.
I will give you five tips to remember when you're re-writing your resume that as a recruiter, I looked for constantly.
1. Keep it succinct, The one page rule only applies when your work history is short. Nowadays people are changing jobs frequently and have a wide variety of skills and experience.
2. Spelling and grammar check along with proper formatting
3. Tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. (yes, even if you have to change it every time) Transferrable skills can be different and worded differently to accommodate different job descriptions.
4. MAKE IT LOOK GOOD. (again with the formatting, if your resume is all crunched together, no one wants to read it, it's like an assault on the eyes and brain)
5. Decide what kind of resume you want to create, many times, I go with skill based as I think they give a better picture of your talent. You can still chronologically list your positions, just not with a lengthy description beneath.
CV's are a different matter altogether as the positions that applicants are applying for are usually high end, large responsibility roles. CV's also should be succinct but I don't believe length is as much of an issue.
Spend as much time as you can creating your resume as you have got one chance to catch someone's eye in the vast pool of applicants. Be diligent, be prepared, use the tools the employer has provided: a good job description, that job description is your best friend. Use it to create your cover letter, and the basis of our resume. Cover off as many of the points as they have asked for with your own transferrable skill. SELL YOURSELF.
Last but not least, believe in yourself, have confidence. You NEED to have CONFIDENCE to write that great resume, THEN sell yourself to both the recruiter and the employer. Keep posted for the next instalment in regards to the part everyone hates...THE INTERVIEW.
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