• Claire Gray

How to write an on point resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? Are you deferring making that career change because of that mammoth task of getting your CV in check? We have pulled together the best tips to make that task a whole lot easier.

These are the things you need to include in your resume:

Career Summary - this should be around 4 sentences that demonstrates how you sparkle and what differentiates you from the other 30 resumes that the recruiter needs to sift through. The things you include should highlight your areas of expertise, experience, strengths, and the value you bring. Asking yourself these questions can help:

  • What are my strengths?

  • What am I known for?

  • What words would my colleague or best boss use to describe me?

  • What am I passionate about?

Key Skills - include a section specifically for your key skills, and then pepper them throughout your resume. This helps the Application Tracking Systems (ATS), those bots scanning your resume and increases the chances of shortlisting you. Make sure you tailor these depending on which role you are applying for. This means you need to scan the job ad to ensure you are using the same language that they are. If your resume says “stakeholder engagement” and the job ad says “stakeholder management”, do a quick replace to increase your chances of being found.

Style of resume - Your resume should be written in the third person; this means no personal pronouns like I and my. This can be an unnatural style to write in but can sometimes help when you feel uncomfortable about blowing your own trumpet; pretend you are writing it for someone else. Make sure your achievements and responsibilities for all roles (excluding your current position) are written in the past tense. Use strong action verbs to start your bullet points; these are doing words such as: delivered, facilitated, coordinated, and led.

Include your achievements - this is often what can set you apart from someone else. Often in the experience section, people only highlight their responsibilities. But you should also include a sub-heading with your key achievements. This is where you can demonstrate the impact that you had in each role. Quantify the impact of what you achieved where possible ($, efficiencies, cost, time etc).

Remove any unconscious bias - you don’t need to include any irrelevant information. For example, in the recruitment process, an employer doesn’t need to know where you live. In fact, they may have a view about a certain suburb and unconsciously judge you based on this. Likewise, you don’t need to include hobbies - we’d hate for you to get discounted because of your footy team. The only time where this can be included is if you are younger and have less work experience i.e. at school, leaving school, or university.

Length of resume - your resume should be between 2-4 pages, with 3 pages being the sweet spot. If it is longer than 4 pages, you have included too much, and haven’t been succinct in your message. If it is less than 2 pages then you may not have provided enough information. Always get someone else to read through your resume; if someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of your day to day work can understand it clearly, then you are on the money.

The hardest part is getting started, our tips will ensure your resume get's noticed.

Written by Claire Gray, Co-Founder Forte


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