Write a strong opening
The first few sentences that appear on your resume are the most important part of the whole document. This is your opportunity to really pitch yourself – why do they need you and what makes you so employable? You need to capture the employer’s attention straight away, intrigue them and motivate them to continue reading on. In these first few sentences, make it absolutely clear that you are the person they need to get the job done.
Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for
If you’re going to be applying for a few different positions in various fields, alter your resume to suit each specific job. Don’t make the mistake of handing out the same CV to all of your employers, this will lower your chance of getting hired as you’ll come across as unmotivated. The trick here is to tweak your document so that its completely relevant to the job you’re applying for. This demonstrates to the employer that you’re familiar with the industry, you’ve done your research about the position and you know what is expected of you.
Only include relevant past jobs
For some of us, this list can go on and on, so make sure you edit it down to the jobs that are relevant to the position you’re going for. Your employer doesn’t need to know about the waitressing job you had while you were at university (unless of course its necessary to the industry you’re going into). You only need to list the roles that are relevant to the one you want!
List accomplishments, not responsibilities
This is a common mistake that many people make when writing their resume. Your employer wants to know what you can bring to the job and why they should hire you over everybody else. An extensive list of your past responsibilities doesn’t mean much to them. They want to know about your accomplishments, how well you succeeded and what you achieved in your previous positions. For example, instead of just saying ‘I managed a team of 10 people’, tell the employer how successfully you managed your team by saying things like, ‘I managed a team of 10 people who always met their targets’. This will give the employer a sense of your management style and how well you work. So, be sure to include tangible, concrete examples in your resume to make you sound as appealing as possible.
Make the document aesthetically pleasing
By all means, don’t go overboard with fancy fonts and borders but don’t just print off a word document, either. The layout of your resume should be neat, tidy and easy for your employer to read. Your resume is a reflection of who you are and what you’re capable of, so make sure it looks the part. And if design isn’t exactly your area of expertise, let someone else do the work for you – send your document off to a graphic designer and let them do the work for you. It will cost next to nothing and will be well worth it. You want to feel confident when handing out your resume, and knowing that you’ve done all you can to make it look as sophisticated as possible will help you to achieve this.
Proof read the document before handing it out
The last thing you want on your resume is misspelt words and grammatical errors. So make sure you double check the document and give it to others to proof read before you start handing it out to employers.
Provide a link to your social media accounts
This is particularly important for creative industries as it allows them to get a sense of your personal style. Provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, Instagram page, Twitter account or whatever platform is the most relevant to the field.