FOR most jobseekers, their resume is an employer’s first impression so it is important the document dazzles.
Workskil Australia chief executive Nicole Dwyer says resumes need to be effective and capture the attention of the employer, making them want to learn more.
“Jobseekers need to ensure their resume is well presented, easy to read, is succinct with no errors, and includes current referees who can speak positively,” she says.
“If jobseekers don’t have lots of work experience to put on their resume, they may like to focus on education, courses, work experience, skills and attributes.
“This could include proficiency with computers and technology, or (their) ability to work autonomously.
“Even consider the skills and experience learnt from hobbies or managing a household, such as organisational skills.”
Dwyer advises jobseekers to focus on showing they are reliable, mature, loyal, hardworking and enthusiastic.
Hays senior regional director Lisa Morris says modern resumes should include not only contact details, work experience, education history and referees, but also a professional summary.
“Ensure the first area at the top of your resume is a summary of experience and includes specific applicable experience as opposed to generalities,” she says.
“Consider using words from the job description or posting so that applicant tracking systems can recognise them and make a match.
“This area of your resume should be designed to prove your value proposition and differentiate you from your competition.”
Morris advises tailoring the resume for the job by focusing on relevant experience and cutting down the space dedicated to less relevant information.
She also advises highlighting achievements rather than using subjective phrases that only show what jobseekers think of themselves.
“Rather than writing ‘I work well independently’, write ‘I independently designed and implemented a new strategy that increased sales by 25 per cent’,” she says.
Resume formats should be simplistic without graphics, tables, images or headers and footers as this ensures all information can be processed by applicant tracking systems.
Carol Walker, 64, was unemployed for nine months before Workskil helped overhaul her resume, leading to her landing a job in child care.
“My resume was very dated,” she says. “I didn’t need to use it for 16 years (so) it was no longer an accurate reflection of my work experience or my skills.
“My support worker gave me one-on-one support to help me write a suitable resume. (It) made me a much more favourable candidate when it came time to apply for a new job and gave me confidence in myself.”
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Originally published as How to nail your next resume