I often get friends and family asking for tips on resume writing. As a recruiter who has been in the industry for close to a decade, I have reviewed a lot of resumes come through from applicants. There is a lot of common mistakes that we all make and having seen a lot of these I thought we could share our top tips for commercial resume writing.
1. Make your resume easy to read. We often see resumes come through with various font size, odd editing and lots of colour. Remember the Recruiter is receiving a large number of applications and will be reading the resumes quickly. If your resume is difficult to read, the message you are trying to get through may be missed. Too much colour can be off putting so, unless you’re applying for a graphic design position, it isn’t warranted, just keep formatting nice and simple. I recommend not putting a photo of yourself on the resume. If the recruiter is savvy, they will check out your LinkedIn profile.
2. It’s not true that your resume should only be two pages, but it shouldn’t be a novel either. I recommend at the start you have a summary of work experience in chronological order with the Organisation’s name, length of service and position title. Within the document, have a detailed description of the position. Be sure to include a section at the start with your career objective, skill set summary and qualifications.
3. Correct details – I know that this sounds obvious, however time and time again we see resumes with incorrect details, whether the candidates own contact details are incorrect, their referee’s contact details are incorrect, or the dates of employment are incorrect (often not sending through a resume that is updated with most recent position). Spelling and grammar are important, we often see resumes with attention to detail as a skill set, yet in the next sentence there is an obvious spelling mistake. Proofread your resume and then get someone else to read it.
4. Tailor your resume to suit the position that you are applying for – yes, it can be a lengthy process so have a couple of resumes at the ready depending on the positions that you are applying for. It is imperative that you highlight the skills that are relevant to the position you are seeking. Remember the person who is reading your resume is not a mind reader and, unless it’s on the resume, you may be overlooked in favour of another candidate who did address it in their resume. Look at the key skills the job ad is requesting and, if you have the skill, put it down in your skill set summary. Ensure that you have placed on your resume any ERP/CRM systems that you have experience with.
5. LinkedIn, social media and interview – your resume is one step in the process. It’s imperative that your LinkedIn profile matches your resume and what you tell the recruiter in interview. Some organisations will go as far as searching you on Facebook or Instagram. If you have anything that may impact you negatively take it down or ensure that your profile is private so they can’t see it.
Overall these may seem like obvious tips, but I assure you we all make one of these errors on our resumes. I often tell my team that a job can change a person’s life, to get that change you need to ensure that you put in the groundwork! Good Luck!!
Samantha Smith - Branch Manager