So you are officially a job seeker and ‘looking for new opportunities’ as they say. Perhaps you are considering a change in career or just wanting to update your resume so it’s ready to go if your dream job happens to land at your feet.
This means it’s time to dig out your resume, dust it off and update it!
It’s critical to your job search that you have a high quality and targeted resume. The purpose of your resume is to get you an interview, then it’s up to you to get the job.
"It’s critical to your job search that you have a high quality and targeted resume."
I’ve put together these top 3 tips to help you create a professional resume that highlights your skills and capabilities.
These are NOT just the usual standard tips of making sure it looks good, spell check or proofreading – these are REAL tips, aimed to making you shine on paper.
So, here we go:-
1. It must authentically represent YOU
Your resume is your ‘paper interview’. It’s important that your ‘paper interview’ aligns with the person who presents at interview – that’s YOU! There’s a difference between marketing yourself and showcasing the value you bring to an employer as opposed to openly exaggerating about the breadth of your capabilities.
I’m a firm believer that your resume shouldn’t look or read as if it were written by someone else. As a recruiter, I’ve seen this so many times and can pick these resumes from a mile away. It must be written in your ‘voice’ with your personality subtly shining through. So if you do have a professionally written resume (which of course, I’d recommend), make sure it is written by someone who has taken the time to get to know you and is capable and committed to adding a little of your personality into your resume.
2. Focus on what UNIQUE VALUE you bring to the employer
Your resume must clearly articulate what you bring to the employer. What can you do for them that no one else can? Is it your specialised experience in a particular field? Is it your specialist training? Is it your strong industry-specific networks?
Anyone can include some keywords in their resume to help score an interview. But you want to stand out from the crowd and help the employer visualise you as part of their team.
It is critical that you identify your point of difference from other job seekers that sets you apart and elevates you far above them. It’s that ‘something’ that makes you memorable and intriguing so it leaves the reader wanting to know more about you. Remember the purpose of the resume is to get you an interview, then you close the deal (so to speak) at interview.
3. There’s no rules
Hooray! Don’t we all love to hear that! This is perhaps my favourite tip of resume writing.
Honestly, there really are NO rules. Why? Because you are unique, so your resume will be unique. Things like formatting, content, use of colour, branding statements… all depends on your circumstances, your industry and what your career goals are.
You may be a student, a mum returning to work after maternity leave, changing careers or applying for a promotion in your field… your resume will be different.
So should you list your professional experience or education first? Should you have a personal branding statement at the top? Should you include your career objective? Should you include a link to your social media accounts? Should you list your volunteer/community involvement? Should it be 1 or 2 pages long? The simple answer is… it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Of course, your resume must be presented in a professional, clear and succinct manner. That’s achieved through careful consideration of the content and formatting.
So there you have it! I’m confident that you will find success in your job search with a quality resume that authentically reflects you and articulates what unique value you bring to the employer.
If you feel you need help in formulating your resume or would like a free ‘Resume Review’, please contact me today. I’d love to help!
Ali Pataky | Resume Writing Specialist