1. Don’t Make It Fussy
The font should be easy on the eyes. Try 11 point Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. It’s one of the easiest changes to make and it should take you less than twenty seconds.
2. Avoid Clutter
A jam-packed table or a luminous green background won’t do you any favours. Keep it simple, and keep headers, footers or other unnecessary items at bay. Remember, less is more.
3. Resume Etiquette
Don’t use “I”. If possible, try to steer clear from using first of third person, as it runs the risk of sounding unprofessional.
4. Be Concise
When detailing your previous employment history, make sure you keep it relevant to the role you are applying for. Dedicating an entire page to the Saturday job you had when you were sixteen probably isn’t necessary.
5. Listing Your Education
List the names of the institutions you have attended in reverse order; PhD, Masters, Graduate and so on. There’s no need to tell us the primary school you attended, and if you’d like to list your high school achievements, keep it brief.
Correct spelling is an absolute must. Spelling errors will automatically give the employer a reason to disregard you. Turn spell check on and get a friend or family member to proof read it when you’re finished.
7. The First Page
This should include all of your best bits. There’s a number of ways to lay out your resume, but listing your jobs in reverse chronological order so your current position is first is the best way to go. It’s also a good idea to list your strengths, certificates and/or licences nearer the beginning than the end.
If possible, don’t be vague when it comes to putting dates against your employment. The month and year you started and finished should be visible. It’s likely you’ll be asked about dates in an interview, so this is a good way to prepare.
9. Personal Interests
Tread carefully when it comes to listing hobbies. It’s great that you enjoy soccer and reading, but it’s pretty pointless information to the employer, and let’s face it, most people can read. Instead, list interests that may reveal relevant or impressive personality traits.
10. This is NOT an Autobiography
Your resume should not be the story of your life. Ever head of the 30 second test? Research shows that an employer will spend approximately 30 seconds browsing your resume before deciding whether it’s worth a read.
A short list of other things we definitely don’t need to see:
- The reason why you were sacked from your last position
- Where you went on holiday in 2006
- A desperate plea