Check out these insights from recruiters on what we really look for in a resume.
Does yours stack up?
With unemployment spiralling due to COVID, the increased number of applicants per job means that your resume, which is your first and only chance at a job, needs to be what an employer or recruiter is looking for, which may not be what YOU think they’re looking for.
Recruiters only spend 30 seconds scanning the first page of a resume to evaluate you and decide if your resume is worth looking at any further. Now, more than ever, the first page of your resume is the most important tool you have, so it needs to demonstrate very quickly who you are, what you want, what you know, and what you can do. You could be the perfect candidate for a job, but if your resume lets you down you will be overlooked. Get it right and a reader might turn the page to find out more. Get it wrong and it will go into the reject pile, it is as simple as that!
Recruiters and employers do not have the time or the inclination to trawl through shabby resumes to find what they need to know to evaluate you. You need to give them that information on the first page to capture their attention, and here is how you do that…
- The first page of a resume should have the type of information they need, in a logical sequence that’s easy to read and makes logical sense. It should summarise a person quickly.
- Who you are = Personal, details, education, training, personal attributes
- What you want = A career objective– type of work you are seeking
- What you know = A career summary. Types of roles, industries, experience
- What you can do = A skills/tasks/roles summary
- A resume is a business document and should be an appropriate presentation for that purpose. Photos, images, tables, graphs, over the top font sizes, bold headings, and colours are unnecessary and can signify that a person’s appearance is more important to them than their ability. Avoid technical design layouts, as a lot of company databases are unable to support these designs, and your flash resume may translate into an unreadable font. Unnecessaryfluff will detract from your professionalism.
- Increase your chances of being found amongst the white noise by including keywords like Customer Service and Project Management. Don’t forget to list software programs too- XERO, MYOB, Prince2 etc. Check out job ads on SEEK for the terms and search words that apply to you and use them in your resume.
- If your email is inspired from your teenage years and consists of something like email@example.com. Time for an upgrade, you need to look professional.
- A master resume should be customised to suit every unique job you apply for. Align your skills, personal attributes, task terms, and experience with the specifications of the job you are applying for.
- Avoid writing across a page like a book. It should read easily by scrolling down through the information, in bullet points where appropriate. And, following on from the first page, the remainder should follow the same format and be a record of your work history commencing with your most recent job.
- If you are further along in your career, consider a career highlights section or include a testimonial from one of your referees. This focuses on your achievements and adds value to prospective employers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues, friends, family or a referee about their observations of your strengths and skills. You may take yourself for granted and don’t realise that you have an acute attention to detail, or that you’re a great problem solver, or perhaps that you always go-the-extra-mile or that you enjoy helping people. These are personal traits unique to you and are important indicators as to your suitability to their job vacancy. You could include these traits in your personal details or skills summary.
- Have a strong career summary, one that simplifies succinctly your experience in types of roles, skills, software and industries. Don’t make it too long 2-3 sentences will cover it, ie: HR degree qualified. 5 years as a generalist HR assistant in a corporate organisation. 5 years as a recruiter in commercial recruitment specialising in office support staffing. 2 years as Manager -Temporary Division (3 staff) Finance and Accounting. 1 year as Manager – Permanent Division(6 staff) Finance and Accounting etc….
- Avoid writing your resume in the 3rd person, either by yourself or a resume service as it lacks personal authenticity and can be perceived as subjective and suspicious. Its language should be authentic to the person, factual and not full of cliché’s or adjectives that are subjective and only the writer’s opinion of themselves.
- Explain any gaps where possible – if not on your resume, then be sure to address on your cover letter. Gaps are normal. Career breaks for travel, study and family commitments are all completely relevant reasons.
- Lastly, avoid listing referees and only provide them after an interview. Put forward the most appropriate referees and make sure they’re adequately briefed and expecting a phone call!
SEEK have some wonderful free templates, download a template and start putting your professional resume! https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/article/free-resume-template
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like me to have your details to contact you for any suitable job opportunities that may arise. I’m here to help in any way I can. E:firstname.lastname@example.org
Chloe Rowarth – Recruitment Consultant
Qudos Recruitment Pty Ltd
03 98214144 – https://qudos.com.au/
Or get in touch with our recruitment consultants today, send us a message and we’ll be in touch with you immediately.
You can also visit us for recruitment agency in Melbourne: pop into our office at Level 5, 437 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004, if you prefer a more hands-on approach.