Having worked across the the recruitment industry for many years, there is one question that I get asked all the time - how do I create a great résumé? How long should it be, what should I include, what shouldn’t I include and so it goes on. So today, I would like to share with you 5 tips on how to create a résumé that will hopefully not only get you noticed, but get you hired!
1. Firstly, let’s talk about the length of your résumé
I suggest 2-3 pages max. Remember, hiring managers and recruiters are generally time poor. They don’t have time to wade through long winded documents that go on page after page.
They are looking for a short, sharp, digestible reflection of your skills, experience and achievements.
2. Next up, what’s the best format for your résumé?
A Microsoft Word doc, Indesign or a pdf is always considered best. Steer clear from creating fancy looking image files, they play havoc with résumé parsing technologies, meaning that the information on your résumé cannot be automatically screened for relevance.
I personally prefer bullet points over long winded paragraphs. They are easier to read and digest. For each role, listing key responsibilities, followed by key achievements.
I don’t tend to focus too much on executive summaries. My preference is to head straight to employment history, looking for relevance in skills, experience and achievements.
And only include your last 10 years work history, starting with your current role and laying out in reverse date order. Generally speaking, what you did 15-20 years ago, probably doesn’t have much relevance to roles you are applying for today.
3. Thirdly, what “personal information” should you include?
A great question.
Hobbies, Personal Interests, Date of Birth, Photo, Marital status etc
When applying for a job, all of these are generally irrelevant. So my suggestion - get rid of them.
4. My 4th tip is understanding the role ‘technology’ plays in your job search
More often than not, technology manages the initial pre-screening of applications. Technologies will be looking for certain words or phrases that match up to the job description. So whilst I am certainly not suggesting fabricating your résumé, it is important to write your résumé in the terminology that is used in the job description or advertisement. This will maximise your chances of the technology including you in the initial shortlist. This may require you to tweak your résumé for each role that you are applying for. However, the time and effort is definitely worth it.
5. And finally, understanding the importance of your online presence.
Now that you have done all this great work on your résumé, how does your résumé match your LinkedIn presence?
Think about this, the future of work is that you will no longer apply for jobs, jobs will find you - that’s based on the proviso that you can be found.
With that in mind, how optimised is your social media presence? Think about social media channels that are relevant to your area of expertise. LinkedIn would be the largest social media chanel for working professionals.
Every day thousands of searches are conducted by hiring managers and recruiters trying to find great talent. If your online profile is not optimised appropriately with all your skills, experience and achievements - you run the risk of not being found and possibly missing out on a great opportunity.
So there you have it. 5 tips on how to create a résumé that will hopefully get you noticed… and hired!