The Resume is your most important and first instrument you use when applying for a job opening .
If your resume is poorly constructed or badly written, you are going to have a hard time getting that job/invite.
Spending time and working hard to know how to write a very presentable résumé is very important.
We will be giving you information, advice and great tips on how to make your résumé (CV) stand out among ever increasing competition.
For this write up, I will be using resume throughout instead of with CV, you can check the Difference between Résumé, CV, Cover and Application letter.
The Objective of a Résumé
Like i mentioned earlier that your resume is your first instrument you use in marketing yourself to employers.
In order to do that, it should be able to demonstratethe following:
- That you are employable
- You meet up the job and the organisation’s requirements. That’s qualified.
- Shows that you have the minimum qualifications and education
- It should also show that you have the required skills and experience.
- That you have the needed level of professionalism for the job position advertised.
How to Arrange your Résumé Professionally
Generally speaking, it is always beneficial to present the information on your resume in this order for employers to get the details at a glance.
- Contact details
- Mission statement/Objective
- List of your main skills
- A List of other skills (Technical or Software)
- Personal Attributes/career overview
- Educational qualifications
- Past projects or past Employment,
- voluntary or Charitable work, work placements
Note that it is not everything on the list above that must be present on every resume you write every time. The order can also change to suit different applications.
The key factor here is to list your most useful information first.
For example, if your educational qualification is not specifically related to the job you are applying, then include it toward the end of your resume.
I hope you are getting it now? Every job has its own requirement, that’s why its advisable not to use same resume every time.
The Length of a Good Résumé
There is no set of rule on the length for a resume. Resume varies in length depending on your expertise, experience or education.
If you are a fresh graduate or have less work experience, then one or two pages is ideal.
But for those with lot of experience and and qualification, three pages is okay.In order to have space to list many things.
Be very sure you don’t pad your resume like our budget because you want it long.
If your résumé is only one page and well presented, its better to a two page resumed padded with unnecessary information.
How to Design your Résumé
They are ways to design your resume, some of the ways include:
- Use your opening statement to link your experience and education to the organisation requirements of the job.
- List your most relevant key skills first as employers are very busy (or Lazy) to read all
- Always mention and give examples of achievements that meet the advertised requirements of the job
- Use specific and relevant key words and phrases throughout your resume.
Detail Explanation of Content of a Good Resume
Be sure to include your name, email address and a working phone number on your resume. I wonder what your resume will be without the above.
Don’t include your contact details in the header of your resume as Employers now uses Recruitment software to filter resume and sometimes these software find it difficult to read information on the header.
So in order to avoid the softwares missing your contact details, it is advised to add contact in the main body of your document/resume.
Your mission statement is a summary of who you are, where you’ve studied and have worked, and what you will be bringing to the job if hired.
It should not be above six lines long and written in first person tone but eliminating personal reference like “I” (that’s don’t say “I did this” – say “Did this” instead).
Mission statement or objective should start with one sentence about who you and what you will be bring to the job, then explain the skills and experience you have that you will use in achieving that.
Main skills and strengths
Your resume should include a list of between 10 and 15 skills that link your experience to the job you’re applying for.
If the job you’re applying for was advertised, search the ad for the position description listed skills and experiences that are essential for doing the job.
The advert may provide a list of desirable skills and experience. So your list of main kills and strengths needs to rhyme to all of the items on the list in the advert.
Other Skills (Technical/software skills)
This is a short list of the names of software or technology you know how to use. So tailor it to suit the ones you will be using if successful. Examples:
- Word processing
- Power point
- Programming languages etc.
I studied Accounting so if I am applying I will be listing softwares like:
But be careful to not just mention what you don’t know or you don’t possess such skills as doing will cause you more harm.
In Nigeria, experience is a key factor but If you don’t have much work experience, a list of personal attributes can be another way to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.
In this section, you should mention ways you can demonstrate that you are reliable, hardworking, honest, trustworthy and a fast/quick learner.
You can add between 3 to 5 personal attributes, but make sure you don’t include them instead of your key skills if you have any.
Educational History Format
Your educational history only needs to show your highest level of education. You don’t need to include your grade, unless its 1st Class and want to prove how well you fit for the job.
If you can, you should also mention a few bullet points to list your academic achievements (e.g., Class or Course Rep, awards you have won ).
This is for those with past working experience, When providing your employment history, start with your most recent job and go backwards from there.
State the position title and the dates you worked there.
If you have no past jobs or experience, you can use other things to demonstrate your experience, which may include:
- Work experience you have done while studying
- Work placements or internships that you have done through university or IT Placement
- Volunteer work you have engage in
For each job provide a list of the things that you achieved while in that job, and the significant contributions you made to the organisation.
Make sure that these achievements and contributions match the main skills and strengths listed earlier on your resume.
Your resume should list not more than two people who can positively recommend you as an employee.
Ideally your references will be people that you have worked with before.
Provide their name, their position title, and a way that they can be contacted. The era of writing “Referee Available on Request” has so much past.
Like I mentioned above that a lot of recruitment agencies uses software that scans applications for key words and phrases.
Applications that don’t use those keywords are in the edge of being automatically rejected.
Key words and phrases that this software looks for can include the following :
To know the right keyword and make sure your resume has the right key words and phrases, check out the job advert and make a list of the words and phrases it uses.
If you don’t have a written job advert or those keyword ain’t posted along, you can use a job search engine to find other similar jobs and see what kind of keywords they uses.
Once you have a list to of those keyword, start adding those words and phrases to your resume. Advisable places to add the keywords include:
Your opening statement
List of key skills
Employment history etc.
Things to Eliminate from your Resume
They are a few things that are not suppose to be in your Resume so try to eliminate them.
Note that sometimes it may be a requirement for the job so endeavor to add those the advert ask for.
Providing personal information on your resume has become outdated. While put information that employer may use to generalise and reject you. Such information include:
- Your gender
- Contact address
- Any ailments or disabilities
- Health status
You should include any of them if adding it will give you advantage in getting the job.
For Example, when employer are looking for a young female , age and gender will be a must to add.
Typos and Errors
Submitting a resume or cover letter with spelling mistakes will guarantee you not being called for nterview.
You should spell check your resume before you sending it or get someone else to read it and check for mistakes you might have missed.
Check everything again that you added in your resume. If you mention the company’s name, make sure you get the spelling right.
If you mention the name of your previous job(s), make sure you get them right. Mistakes on resumes are worse than normal typos.
Each time i saw Resume with Passport or images, i laugh so much because employers, recruiters, even me so much dislike it.
They can also create problem for HR software so don’t bother adding it. They will see how cute you are on the day of written/oral interview if that is your aim.
Fancy Font and Formatting
Please Stick to an easy-to-read fonts and formats. This makes it easier for recruiters to review your resume.
It also means any recruitment software that reviews your resume can easily read the information.
Don’t use large headers to break up the sections of your resume. Use a 10 or 11 point font for your main content and a 12 or 14 point maximum for headers.
Don’t format because you are not applying for Graphic job, even those applying for Graphic jobs won’t do that so why should you.
Using Tables in Resume
Some people uses tables to format and make their resume presentable, help with layout but some HR software can’t read information on table.
Your resume should only be formatted using line breaks and simple formatting (setting multiple columns across the page). AVOID TABLES
Sending PDF versions of Resume
Some HR software can’t read PDFs. Unless the job advert specified it please don’t send as .pdf, you should always submit your resume in word format (.doc or .docx).
Lastly, after constructing a good resume by observing the information above, give it to others to review before sending it out.
Having known what to include or add in your Resume, I wish you all the best in that job hunt.
Need any more help or have any question, Don’t hesitate to ask by commenting.. If you appreciate this write up let us know. See you at the very Top