There is a lot of conflicting information on what sections your resume should contain. The truth is that this is going to vary from profession to profession.
Due to the rising popularity of online applications over the last 15 years, recruiters are now receiving over 8 times as many applications as they did in 2003. This has completely changed the way in which recruiters review your resume. They initially read it like consumers browse webpages, looking for keywords that spark a desire to read on, if they don’t find any within the first ten seconds they add it to the no pile.
With this in mind, it’s important you aren’t wasting prime real estate space that simply isn’t relevant. These are sections like hobbies and interests, the recruiter is looking for someone to solve a problem within their business, not someone they can go scuba diving with on a weekend, so leave this out, this space can be better utilised with content showcasing your suitability for the position.
Also, don’t list your references, no one contacts references at the application stage. Instead, at the end of your interview ask the recruiter whether they would like your references, this will give you immediate feedback on how the interview went.
Your resume should contain the following sections in this order;
I’ll explain how to write all of these sections in the following videos within this series.
For more information on our resume writing service visit the services page of our website. Our professional resume writers are always on hand to assist with your application.
While we pride ourselves on the excellent value for money our service delivers, I completely understand not everyone has the finances readily available to invest in a professional writer to assist with their application documents.
I’ve decided to make 7 short videos explaining the latest writing standards for job applications, ensuring the documents you write yourself are completed to an excellent standard, and give you the best chance of securing an interview.
Throughout this short series I’ll explain how to write a cover letter guaranteed to increase your interview success rate, how to write a personal profile that ignites a desire within the reader to review your full resume, how to professionally design and format your documents, which key sections you must include to increase your interview rate along with sections that aren’t relevant and how to utilise LinkedIn to climb the career ladder.
Seeking a new position can be a stressful time. My aim for this series is to inform you of current best practices to increase your success rate. Thanks for coming along for the journey. I’m confident you’ll find these tutorials invaluable.
Resume design is a vitally important aspect of your application, if your resume is plain and lacks personality, in a pile of applications it can be easily overlooked. It’s one of the most common mistakes candidates make today.
On the other hand, bright colours, big text, fancy fonts, and pictures, can be visually off-putting and lead to instant rejection. The key is to keep the resume looking professional while adding aspects that catch the eye of recruiters. This can be a coloured header, a sidebar or a professional font other than Arial or Calibri.
Ensure all your section headers use the same size and font throughout, along with the body text of your resume. Make sure your resume sections and text align perfectly with each other and use the same weight, size and spacing within your text. Keep the resume size A4, and avoid coloured backgrounds and images as these are disliked by applicant tracking systems.
Save your resume as a PDF and use this for your application. This ensures when the resume is opened by a recruiter, it doesn't lose it's formatting due to compatibility issues which is common with Word and Pages.
Finally, ensure your supporting documents match the design and formatting of your resume. This shows that you care about attention to detail and it looks significantly more professional.
For more information on our resume writing service visit the services page of our website. Our professional writers are always on hand to assist with your application.
What personal information should you include and exclude from your resume and why?
The standard inclusions are pretty straight forward so they don’t need much explaining. When writing your resume include your full name, your direct phone number, your email address, a link to your LinkedIn profile and the city in which you live or are planning to work in if you are relocating. You don’t need to enter your full address on your resume, this is a privacy concern and nobody has physically posted employment acceptance or rejections letters within the last ten years.
The equality act has made it no longer necessary to include your date of birth, race, marital status, sexual orientation or nationality. To ensure you don’t fall victim to discrimination don’t include these in your resume, they are not required. Also, don’t include your visa status, this will show that you are foreign and this is the leading area of discrimination candidates face at the resume review stage.
If you hold a specialist driving license relevant to the position, show this on your resume. However, if you’re a seasoned professional, and driving isn’t an aspect of the position, don’t include your license information, this isn’t relevant.
For more information on our resume writing service visit the services page of our website. Our professional writers are always on hand to assist with your application.
Personal profiles are the ideal way for you to grab a recruiter’s attention and persuade them to continue reading your resume. This small paragraph sits directly at the top of your resume, concisely and effectively displaying who you are, your skills and strengths relevant to the sector or job role, and your career goals.
The vital thing to remember when writing your personal statement is to keep it around four sentences in length. As with your cover letter, If your opening statement is too broad, you’ll give the impression that you haven’t done your research and your resume will be discarded.
When drafting your personal statement split it into three sections: who you are, what you can offer the company, and your career goals.
Get straight to the point and provide evidence of your skills and experience, but be brief! Offer just enough information to hook the reader and ensure they read the full resume.
Market yourself and make the statement look purposeful, show the recruiter you know what you’re talking about.
Be personable! Recruiters ultimately want to know you as a person and what you can bring to the table and always proofread for spelling and grammar. Mistakes are an instant turnoff.
For more information on our professional profile writing services visit our website. Our professional resume writers are always on hand to assist with your job application.
Writing a targeted cover letter is the most crucial step for being selected for an interview.
Firstly, it shows you have taken the time to read and understand the job description, this will automatically give you an advantage over 35% of the other applicants.
The way in which you write the cover letter should show how you specifically meet the criteria of the position. Identify the three key aspects the employer is looking for and detail tangible examples of this skill or experience within the cover letter.
In terms of the length, aim for two to three paragraphs at most and certainly not more than an A4 page, the cover letter should be brief and the content should ignite a desire in the reader to review your CV or resume.
Ensure the cover letter is personally addressed to the hiring manager. Include their name, job title and the job reference. Don’t waste your time with generic cover letters, all this shows to the employer is that you are not actually interested in their particular position and that you are simply playing a numbers game.
For more information on our cover letter writing services visit the cover letter section of our website under services. Our professional writers are always on hand to assist with your application.
The common misconception with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) reviewing your CV and how to get through the barrier.
We’re often asked “how do you guarantee that my CV will pass through applicant tracking systems”?
The truth is writers can do this for a particular advertised position, but not every position you wish to apply for. Unfortunately, less reputable CV writers and companies have created a misconception within the recruitment industry that there is a magic formula for your CV to pass through any Applicant Tracking System, and they often charge you extra for this ‘additional service’. After all, more and more employers are using these tracking systems to cut down on their time reviewing candidates that aren’t suitable and ensure they shortlist ones that are. So, why wouldn’t you pay extra to ensure your CV gets past these ‘complex algorithms’?
Well the truth is it’s a con, a tactic used to up-sell and maximise the revenue from each client without providing any extra service at all.
The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is set up by the individual hiring manager for that position within that particular company when they are writing the job description. On the back end of the ATS software the hiring manager will enter keywords for the position and these are referenced against your CV.
So, what’s the issue? Well every hiring manager is different, they use different grammar, different spelling and different terminology. Let’s look at the below example.
John is a hiring manager from Westpac
Phil is a hiring manager from NAB
They are both recruiting for team manager position, requiring 5 years previous team management experience and a MBA.
Johns position headline
Seeking an MBA graduate with 5+ years of team management experience to lead and develop a small team of banking advisors.
Phils position headline
Looking to recruit an experienced team manager to mentor and oversee a banking advisory team. Must have a graduated with a Master of Business Administration and have a minimum of 5 years’ experience.
As you can see, both hiring managers are recruiting the same position, both are seeking the same candidate but using different keywords (even though they mean the same thing). The point here is that the resume writer can very easily identify these keywords in each job description and tailor your documents to give you the best possible chance of passing the ATS, but no two positions are written the same way. One hiring manager uses MBA, one uses Master of Business Administration. There is no magic formula when writing a CV to pass every ATS. When you are applying for positions you must identify the key words contained within the job description and tailor the CV accordingly to give yourself the best chance of getting through the Applicant Tracking System.
Don’t let companies or writers charge you extra for an ATS compliant CV, they should already be doing this for the position you send them. For other positions, without them seeing the description, it’s impossible.
Most people feel confused when they talk about when to use a resume, and when not to. Others feel it's appropriate to go with a CV because it offers your employer more exposure to what you can do. While that is a very valid reason to want to use a CV instead of a resume, it can sabotage your chances of getting the job if:
• It has been clearly stated that a resume is preferred.
• If the number of applicants is much, employers are just looking for something to skim through in a page.
• Skills regarding a particular job are more preferred than your work history.
If this is the case, it's clear to see why a resume is clearly defined as a document that highlights your professional achievements and abilities to your employer on a page. While a CV is a comprehensive detail of your work, skill and education history along with your achievement.
Length of the page
The overwhelming difference between a resume and a CV starts with the length of the page content. A resume is usually shorter because it wants to highlight skills that are relevant to a job; therefore, it comes in just a page.
A CV, on the other hand, can be two to three pages long, depending on the work experience of the individual. Most jobs that involve research and academics require a CV. That way, they can pinpoint your history with the job.
Most people have always believed that a resume is only for people with little or no experience in the field. But that is wrong because people with much more experience can still draft resumes depending on the job they are aiming for.
The format of the document
The fact that the employers want to skim through the hundreds of applications for this job, makes it important for job seekers drafting resumes to put their skill first in the format. Those skills that are relevant to the job along with their achievements should be emboldened. That is the format a resume goes with, it doesn't stay the same.
CV on its own has a clearly defined format that must be followed and it is the reversed chronological order. Telling your employer you have the education, experience, to take on the job on its listing.
The purpose of using a CV or a resume
As earlier mentioned, a resume is geared to be directly tailored to the employers need. There is no time to start telling the employer your educational background or previous work histories that don't connect or relate to the current skill required.
When applying for positions abroad, the purpose of a CV matches what is required by employers there. In Europe, for example, they want to know where you schooled, your work history and how much you have been able to achieve in your years there.
Who needs a resume or a CV?
Young inexperienced graduate need a resume, most times to sell their skills because they have no experience to fall back on. Teaching positions are mostly preferred to build a work history. In the case of a CV, users with more experienced to use them for working abroad or higher teaching positions in the US.
In private enterprises, a resume is required for both an experienced and inexperienced job seeker.
Why you must utilize LinkedIn to climb the career ladder
The corporate career ladder is not an easy path to climb when you are just starting out. People who have had to distinguish themselves over the years have had to meet certain threshold and requirements before moving up the ladder.
As the times keep changing and the trend in the corporate world continues to remain dynamic, new ways of moving up the corporate ladder are emerging. One of such techniques is LinkedIn profile writing and resume writing.
LinkedIn is the world's number one job search platform. But it is so much more than searching for jobs if you know your way around it.
From the moment you set up your profile, a well written LinkedIn account becomes your marketing tool that would need constant tweaking to be able to attract both the type of client's you want and the variety of employers you seek. But how do you use this account to climb the corporate ladder like your resume?
A LinkedIn account is like a resume that allows employers and client to have a sneak peek into your world and see what you have to offer. It’s why you have to get it right, starting from;
Title or headline
On LinkedIn, when people type on search engines, they are not always looking for just names of people 96% of the time. They are looking for the people with the best headline and tag for the work they do. Add this to your current location, and you will be on top of the list of consultants.
LinkedIn profile writing is why you need to optimize your title to put you ahead of the food chain.
Make use of relevant keywords
Keywords are like gold on LinkedIn. Whether you are using software to generate them or going through other professional profiles in your field to get them, you can't be seen without the right keywords that relate to your skill description.
Keywords makes you rank higher as well on search engines in LinkedIn. As soon as someone types the right keywords in your location, your name pops up as a trusted name in the field.
There are over a million groups on LinkedIn posting relevant content regarding your skill, business, etc., making a useful contribution in the comment section can go a long way in helping you build new connections.
If you're aiming to build a sizeable number of followers, you have to use groups on LinkedIn more often than you use them on your WhatsApp for example. The reason is because; LinkedIn groups are full of employers looking to seize a budding talent.
In conclusion, we have mentioned the importance of maximising your account to be able to use LinkedIn and move up the career ladder, but it's essential to stay through to some keywords usually mentioned by job seekers.
Most profile on LinkedIn comes with this tag or keyword, and it is up to you to put it to good use when an employer on LinkedIn connects with you via a job.
If a client contacts you via LinkedIn, and he keeps quality service as a tag or keyword on your profile to his heart. It is essential to live up to that billing in other to facilitate movement in the corporate ladder.
There is so much your LinkedIn profile account can do for you in the corporate world.
5 COMMANDMENTS OF GOOD RESUME WRITING
Resume writing is an exciting part of writing most people don't want to admit or are too scared to pen down. It's always going to be a case of whose person's resume is scannable in the long run, so why not make yours stand out.
Maybe it's because most people who have tried drafting a resume have ended up disappointed after not landing their dream job. It happens to the most of us, even professionals, especially when you don't know what an employer seeks.
Today we will look at five commandments of resume writing that every employer is looking for;
Use a reverse chronological or combination template
Using a template while writing a resume not only makes your work organized, it also makes tailoring your most recent work experience or skill to what an employer wants to see.
Finding a template is where a reverse chronological template or a combination template comes in handy. Depending what you are trying to sell to your employer, you might have to pick one of both.
If you're going to use a reverse chronological resume, you must make sure your work experience is highlighted more. It must be placed immediately after your contact, very easy to read, and suits the type of candidate you're applying as.
Under a combination resume, the emphasis is on skills and relevant work experience aligned with the job. There isn't any time for lengthy stuff that is boring to an employer.
It also carries skill validation, achievements on relevant skills associated with the job. Candidates who use this type of resume are experienced professionals and people who change jobs often.
Limit to one page for most jobs
Has anybody ever told you brevity is vital? Yes, it is. If you're looking to stand out in a pile of resume an employer is going through, you have about 6 seconds to capture his attention and not waste his time.
In those moments, he would have scanned your resume and concluded on if you are the candidate to jump to the next stage.
Stick to the basics
When you write your resume, don't be too quick to assume or impress with ambiguous words. Keep it simple and understandable so that your employer can quickly assimilate the type of candidate you are.
Use bullet points
A bullet point is as essential as highlighting your skills or achievements. How are you going to present them to capture the reviewer's attention if not with bullet points?
The bullet point is the best way to portray those qualities and skills you have to your employer.
Make your name and information visible
This commandment highlights how important the type of font you use matters to your employer. You don't want to be writing your name, and contact number in a lethargic font don't you? Place high significance on the type of font you use next time you are drafting your resume.
The font size is also essential as well. Make it bold enough that a man having difficulty with sight could easily see that your name and contact is present on your resume.