Sitting down to write (or rewrite) your resume can be a painstaking task. We have developed a checklist of 20 simple, yet highly effective, tips to make your resume a quality one that gets you interviews!
Use a professional resume template - there are so many resume templates on the net and it is hard to know what is a good one. A strong resume template is so important to make a positive first impression.
Make sure your contact details are up to date - ensure your details are clear and accessible on the top of your first page (and subsequent pages if you want). Check they are correct!
Use a professional email address - if you are still using the first email account you ever set up, make sure it is professional. A professional address could be your first and last name, for example, Julie.Jeffers@gmail.com.
Add your LinkedIn URL - if you have one. Customise it to make it look more professional and insert it into your resume so your LInkedIn profile is easily accessible.
Choose an appropriate font size - typically size 10 is a good size for your body text complimented with size 12 font for headings.
Choose an appropriate font type - leave creative fonts off your resume. Consider using easy to read fonts, like Arial, Helvetica, and Calibri.
Use "bold" strategically - draw the reader's attention to things you want them to see by using bolded words to manipulate their eyes to the content.
Align your text to the left - this will make it easier to scan your document quickly. Typically the first screen of your resume will take 6 seconds, so presenting it aligned to the left will make it easy to read.
Limit the length of your resume to 4 pages (maximum) - it should be less if you are starting out in your career, but never over four pages!
Add a profile section at the top of your page - put your best foot forward with a strong profile section highlighting your strengths, attributes and skills.
Make your first page a summary page - make those first six seconds count and summarise all of your key information onto the first page.
Only add details of the last 10-15 years of your experience - anything older than 10-15 years will be outdated and details can be given during an interview if relevant.
Present your professional experience in reverse chronological order - showcase your most recent experience first and then the older stuff later.
Tailor your resume to the job - go through the job advertisement and replicate key words they use in your resume.
Name your resume document with a professional title - consider what the name of your file is and make sure it is professional. Like your email address, consider putting your first name and surname as the document title.
Fill in any career gaps - career gaps are a fact of life. You may have gone travelling, had a baby, had time off whilst you consider your career options, or another reason. Ensure you put the dates for your career break and label it appropriately.
Use power words (or action verbs) throughout - power words will give your resume a confident tone and help your short descriptions resonate with the reader.
Add achievements to your professional experience section - to illustrate your responsibilities in action and showcase the impact you have in your job.
Make your achievements tangible - use numbers, increases, dollar amounts, percentages, and so on, to represent your achievements to make them tangible and give them a 'wow' factor.
Proofread your resume - an obvious one is to do a spell check. Reading your resume backwards will force your eyes to read the words and not scan the information to highlight any errors. Getting someone else to read your resume will also help to ensure there are no mistakes.
And there you have it. This checklist is a sure-fire way to set you on the right path to having a winning resume and landing your dream job.