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How to Write a great Résumé

By Gabrielle Serfontein

Most recruiters or hiring managers will look at your resume for an average of only 6 seconds before making a decision. While that may not seem like enough time to make any real impact with prospective employers, there are plenty of things you can do to make those most out of those 6 seconds and land that job!

Tailor your resume for each job application

Sending off hundreds of resumes and then waiting to see who responds is not a proactive way to find employment. Applying for a job should be about quality and not quantity, so do some research on your prospective employer/company. Have a look at the job description, check out their social media pages and then tailor your resume to suit their company ethos and image. While you cannot change your experiences at previous employers (ie where you worked or what your title was) you can change which of your skills, achievements and duties you choose to include in a particular resume.

There is no such thing as the right resume length

There are no hard and fast rules about resume length, but be sure to take note of any restrictions mentioned in adverts for the position. Average resumes are around 2 pages, but for entry level employees a single page resume will suffice. On the other hand, someone with a 25-year career who has held positions at multiple companies, a 3 page resume would be more appropriate.

Make your resume information easy to absorb

A good strategy for a resume is as follows:

  1. At the top, put a small summary that outlines your work experience and what stage you’re at in your career. This should be in line with the description of the job

you’re applying for.

  1. Make an attention-grabbing list of your skills. While resumes are generally written for a human audience, some parts of recruitment processes are automated with a tracking system to tell them which resumes fit the job description. If any applications are not ranked at a certain percentage, they do not go through to the next selection phase.

  2. Put specific keywords in your skill list to ensure that tracking systems will pick your resume up. To identify potential keywords you could use, simply think of the specific way the roles within the job would be described as in a database. For example, if you work in Social Media Management and use software such as buffer, list that as something you have worked with. Include any phrases/words that appear in the job description as well as these might contain keywords that recruiters might use.

List any accomplishments

Always remember to list any awards and accomplishments on your resume. There is always something you personally may have done that helped your previous company in some way, and is a reason why companies should hire you now. If for instance you are a remote sales-person, your accomplishments could be strong lead generation or closing deals. With there being so many people with the same skills as you after the same jobs, you need to ask yourself “What sets me apart? What makes me a great candidate for this position?” and then be sure to include that in your resume.

Keep your social media accounts current (especially LinkedIn)

Your online presence should reflect the job you are really passionate about. But that is not all it should do. It should serve as an extension of your resume. Your social media profile is a great way to show more of your personality or to be more specific about certain things that you don’t have space for in your resume.

Some employers might compare your resume to your LinkedIn profile for instance, so always make sure that any dates or job details match. You should also have a recent and professional looking profile photo, as employers are often wary of profiles without photos.

Another way you can make yourself stand out is to make a personal website for

yourself and add the link to your resume or create a business card to give to people when you meet them. These little gestures show your personality and make you more memorable and simple touches like that are refreshing for prospective employers.

Network! Network! Network!

Your resume will mean nothing if it's not getting in front of the right people. Recruiters might call if you have a great resume, but what is ultimately going to get you the job is taking it a step further. This is where networking plays a huge role. Getting known in the industry you want to work in will build trust as well as open up loads of employment opportunities within that specific industry.

Good luck, we hope this blog helped you to improve your resume.

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