How to Write an Effective Resume

How to Write an Effective ResumeWriting an effective resume is your key to jobsearch success

Resumes are used to screen applicants. This is the first thing that you should keep in mind when creating your own. The hiring personnel who likely do the initial screening of applicants will look through the hundreds of resumes to choose the qualified candidates for the job are. It’s why it’s important you have your resume stand out from the rest.

So, if you’re in the process of creating your own resume or revamping your current one, here are some tips that will help you along the way.

Do your research. It’s important that you get a good idea of the industry that you want to join. Before crafting your resume familiarize yourself with industry publications and websites. If there are certain needs or requirements that are repeatedly mentioned, try to use them in your resume as keywords. Having the keywords in your resume will ensure that any hiring personnel who might simply scan your resume will see these words, which will up your chances of getting into an interview.

Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to read a novel when looking through a resume, so keep it to one or two pages. An effective resume will provide information to the hiring manager in a concise manner. This means that even if we want to provide all of our accomplishments, let’s limit it to those that will make the most impact. If your resume has reached more than two or three pages, whittle it down to make sure it makes the most impact with less words used.

For formatting the information, make sure to use headings and bullets to outline your experience so everything will be easy to read. You can use a chronological order of accomplishments with the latest ones at the top. Or you can do away with arranging accomplishments according to date and instead bullet them according to significance to the job. The latter would benefit those who have spent a bit of time away from their career to concentrate on other important things.

Keep fonts simple and readable. Aside from formatting using headings and bullet points, it’s also a must to have fonts limited to one or two and font colour kept to black. For fonts, it’s a good idea to choose Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, or Helvetica. Also keep underlining and bold fonts to a minimum. In addition, use paper that’s either white or pale beige to make your resume look formal.

Use numbers when at all possible. If you can quantify your accomplishments, do so, it will not only keep you in the forefront of possible candidates but it will help a lot when you get to the interview phase with the hiring manager. An example would be to use ‘Increased customer satisfaction rating by 20%…’ instead of saying ‘improved customer satisfaction through…’.

Criticize. Use the spell check feature to remove any misspelled words. Always strive to improve your resume and critic it before sending to your prospective employer or posting it to an online jobs board. A misspelled word or grammatical error can negatively impact your chances of getting the interview. To avoid this, be anal about grammar and spelling in your resume.

Customize. To make your resume stand out from the rest, try to customize it to the job that you’re applying for. The more tailored it is for the job requirements, the better your chances will be of being noticed by the HR team or the hiring manager.

Writing an effective resume is your one chance to get your foot in the door.  There will be plenty to do still if your resume does it’s job, but nothing if it doesn’t, so you need to get this right.  If you’re struggling or aren’t sure what makes a great resume, get your resume looked at by a professional.  We offer a FREE resume health check service ourselves, especially tailored towards working parents.  Check out the details via this link or email us for more details.


Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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