Resume Writing And Formatting

The hardest part about writing a resume is probably the very start. Before you actually start your resume writing you should think about what you want to do, what image you want to project to the employer and how your past experiences relate to your current aspirations.

It is always a good idea to scribble some of your experiences onto a piece of paper. Remember, the recruitment consultant and employer is thinking “Why should I speak with this person, how is she/he different from all the other candidates?”

Don’t think you have any experience? Then think again. Brainstorm and think carefully about your

  • Education
  • Activities
  • Interests
  • Work experience
  • Honours and awards
  • Skills and Abilities

In each heading, think, “What did I do?” and write it down. Once you have all that on paper you should start focusing on bits that are important to the job at hand. Remember a resume's purpose is to show how well you fit a particular job andNOT to share your life story.

When writing your resume remember that you have about 30 seconds to impress. From the list you wrote above; write a short and concise sentence for each heading. Each sentence should be structured so that it is interesting and compelling with actions verbs at the beginning of each of you sentences.

Signs of a Great Resume

Below are some features of a great resume and something to look out for when writing your own resume. Never let poor resume writing affect your chance of getting a job.

Targeted: The more targeted a resume is the greater your chances of getting that interview. Recruitment Consultants want to know exactly what you can do for their client. It is important that you tailor each resume to each job (It will only take a few sentence to do this). Get rid of any information that is not required for a particular job. This will alleviate the tendency to over crowd your resume with irrelevant information.

Well Written: It is important that your resume makes an impression with the consultant and employer. Use action words, such as, established, implemented, created and streamlined. This will add that extra boost to your resume.

Consistent: Be sure that your resume is logical and easy to read. Be consistent with everything, such as the spacing, margins and borders. You should emphasise your important points with text styles such as fonts, italics or underlining.

Summarised Qualifications: This is perhaps the most important section in your resume here you will point out your top selling points. Many people will neglect this, missing the opportunity to be noticed.

Self-promoting: Don’t be shy; your accomplishments, skills and abilities. We want to see that you can indeed perform the job at hand. Show us by letting us know about your experiences and how others have benefited from your productivity.

Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be avoided. It is unprofessional and many are not universally accepted.

Grammatically Correct: Poor grammar is the quickest way for your resume to end up in the ‘rejection pile’. Do not trust your computer’s spell check. Read every word yourself and get someone to read it as well. Spelling mistakes and typos suggest that your standard of work will be of the same poor quality.

Resume Format

Resumes come in many different formats and are generally all accepted by Walker Technical and employers. It is most important a resume grab the decision maker’s attention within 30 seconds.

The two most popular resume formats are:

  1. The chronological resume format
  2. The functional resume format

Remember that it is crucial that you highlight your “selling points” regardless of which resume format you choose.

The traditional and most commonly used resume format is the chronological format- so named because the core component of the resume is a chronological review of your employment history. The advantage of this resume format is that it highlights your past work experience and details performed in those positions.

Personal information - What is your name and how can you be reached?

Job Objective - What do you want to do?

Experience - What can you do?

Education - What have you learned?

Chronological Resume Format

Personal Information

In this section you only need to include important details such as; Name, Address and Contact details (phone numbers and email address). Details such as Date of Birth, Marital Status or License status are irrelevant, unless any of these are directly related to the position you are applying for.

For example, a truck driver should include his or her license status on their resume, or a teacher of Japanese would want to note down that they are bilingual.

Your personal details will obviously remain the same in every version of your resume, however please remember to update your contact details if you change address or phone numbers.

Job Objective

This is optional. The job objective allows employers to review and analyse your resume and indicates the direction you wish to take.

Employment History

What you put in your employment section will depend on the position you are applying for. You should describe your experience in the most interesting and concise manner. For each job you have held, list the following information:

  1. Dates of employment
  2. Name of the company you worked for
  3. Position title
  4. Description of the duties you performed

Education

Include your degrees, where you graduated, certification and awards

Skills and Abilities

This is the place to put important and/or interesting information that does not fit elsewhere. Living in an age of technology, it is increasingly important to include a section on computer skills.

Referees

If you are going to include referees on your resume, you should only include referees that can comment on relevant information to the position you are applying for.

If you are currently employed, perhaps mention that referees are “available on request”. Or if confident with the relationship you have with your past referees, and you have asked their permission, list them.

It is also important that you ring your referees prior to providing their details to a recruiter – your referee may have changed their mind about being contacted, or they may be away overseas and you will need to find someone else to list on your resume.

 

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