Top Ten Tips to resume writing for
Unless you are
going for a job through a contact, you are likely to
require a resume. Of course, the prospective employer
will receive many resumes for each job vacancy and
towards the end of each school year.
The job of a
resume is to get you into an interview; it will not get
you the position, so you don’t need to include every
detail as you will be able to expand on the resume in
So, you need
your resume to say all the right things about you.
else, consider the basics: it must be typed, on
decent paper, in order, spelt correctly and
up-to-date. This all applies to the cover letter as
well. Avoid anything that may be offensive or
considered unprofessional or tacky; this is not the
time to showcase your sense of humour or talent at
Ensure your contact details are
permanent and present professionally; for instance,
choose an email address that is simple rather than cute
or funny. Use the address of your parents or friends if
you don’t have a stable home for the next few weeks.
Set it out
clearly and logically.
Let each section lead onto the next and have headings
to separate sections. Have space around and between
the sections so it is easy to read and scan.
assume knowledge in the reader,
so include the details. Instead of writing “worked as
an engineer for 6 months” write “worked at XYZ Company
as an electrical engineer between 1/1/03 and 30/6/03.”
Make it easy to understand and trust your information.
relevant.Sure you may
have worked as a supermarket cleaner as a teenager,
but that won’t help you win a job as Accounting
Supervisor as a thirty year old. Of course, new
graduates may need to list such part time jobs until
they gain more relevant experience.
If all qualified widget makers belong
automatically to the widget guild, you needn’t mention
it. However, if only selected widget makers are
admitted, then it is worth mentioning – assuming widget
making is related to the position you are applying for!
Make it as
short as possible –
nobody wants to, or is likely to, read a long resume.
If you can’t shorten it, consider a summary page with
all contact details and a timeline of experience and
qualifications. Alternatively or jointly, make sure
the resume has clear sub headings so that the overall
pattern can be seen and the detailed bits can be read
the resume professionally.
That is, avoid the use of:
fancy fonts that are
hard to read
a mixture of fonts
underlining, except for document titles
pretty graphics –
unless you are a graphic artist after a graphics
chatty and casual
the major tasks from
each work experience listed, but do so briefly and in
formal tones. For instance, “Assisted in research and
analytical reports for mechanical engineering
department” or “Lead a team of eight in a two year
project to develop a new in-house software program.”
headings and job titles tell a story
and then you’ll need less description. Describe your
past experience as “Computerised Account Recorder” or
“Sales and Service Manager for State X”, rather than
“account clerk” or “Sales representative.”
your tasks where this
enhances your appeal. National Coordinator tells more
than coordinator, as does “managed accounts for 1,000
suppliers” compared to “managed supplier accounts.”
skills in terms of the benefit to an employer.
Would you choose the person who has “worked on quality
assurance issues” or who has “reduced costs by 20% in
the human relations department”? Think about how your
skills can benefit the employer and tell him or her!
resume should be rewritten for each position you
apply for. Thus, you can highlight the relevant
parts for that employer – reorganise points so the most
important is first and bold certain elements to stand
Analyse each ad
or company and tailor the resume and cover letter
accordingly. Each employer has specific wants and needs
for the position, so your resume must assure them that
you can fill their criteria, and more.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of
Word Constructions and is available to solve all
your business writing problems! From letters to
policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions
writes all business documents to your style and