It's the question on almost every job seeker's list: How to make a good resume? After all, if your resume is no good, it won't get past the Human Resources department and you won't get a chance to shine at the job interview.
So your resume is your first step to making sure that you get the job you deserve. Follow these top resume writing tips to give yourself the best possible chance of your CV making a good impression.
1. Don't be arty
Using too many fonts looks cluttered and awkward. Check your favorite newspaper or magazine. Chances are that you'll find they only use a couple fonts and these are the regular "boring" Times New Roman and Arial or their equivalents. Do the same or something close.
2. Bullet point your accomplishments
Unless you've just left school or have only ever flipped burgers for a living, chances are that you've done some things that can be counted as accomplishments. Sing your own praises here without sounding like you could make the president of the company relinquish command because you're so much better than them.
3. Write in the third person
Over-use of the word "I" is a common mistake in resumes. And only use the present tense if you're still doing the things you're writing about in your current job.
4. Cut out the irrelevant dead wood
Who cares what you did 30 years ago? Unless it really is relevant to the position you're applying for today and chances are that near enough every job has moved on in that kind of timescale. Sure, your school grades were important when you got your first job out of school. But are they still necessary?
5. Be careful what you give away that could stand against you
Equal opportunities employers are supposed to be everywhere. But we live in the real world. Even if your application has a separate section so that things like your ethnicity and sex, make sure other things don't give away too much if you think there's even a hint that your prospective employer is less "equal" than you might like. Sad that you may need to consider this, I know.
6. Show you're human
Unless you're applying to be a geek at the NSA then you need to have a life in the real world. Hobbies, interests, that kind of thing. Whether it's watching movies, being a member of your local cycle club or whatever. Make sure that you put down at least some hobbies and interests. Of course, your membership of the local peace activists society may not sit well with your application to join a producer of military hardware, so you may occasionally need to leave things unsaid.
7. Proofread. Then proofread again
Face it, spell checkers can't spell. They don't know their "no" from their "know". In fact, they're fairly clueless. And that grammar checker is a laugh. Don't rely on them. Start by printing off your resume and reading it out loud. Wherever you stumble is a place that needs improving. Ideally get a friend to read it out loud as well. They'll spot things you didn't. Correct these problems before sending off your resume.
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