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How to Write a Great Résumé

You only get one shot at making a first impression, and oftentimes, your résumé is that chance. Knowing how to write a great résumé is the first obstacle between you and any job you want, and perfecting it is time well spent. A better résumé portrays a better image, and by taking the time to improve it now, you could be making the first steps into an infinitely more successful career.

Steps to writing a great resume:

1. Research

Luckily, research is not as time-consuming as it sounds, as most of the information you need is in the description of the job you’re applying for. Read the bullet points of attributes and experience they’re after, and ensure you tailor your résumé to reflect each one.

Always tell the truth. Lying about your employment history or experience will ultimately not help your cause. Find evidence from your work history which proves you possess the skills and attributes they’re looking for.

2. Layout

The layout of a great résumé impacts more than just how it looks on the surface. A well-constructed résumé can emphasise your competencies and minimise your deficiencies. Employers skim the top half of the document to decide whether to read on, so put your most impressive and salient information where it can be read quickly and easily.

If you’re lacking in academic qualifications, give priority to your employment history. Alternatively, place your qualifications higher if you don’t have much real-job experience.

3. Clarity

The average vacancy receives hundreds of applications, so it is crucial that your résumé is easy and convenient for the employer to read. Logically, if each vacancy receives hundreds of applications, and only one or two people are working through that pile, each résumé will be given a precious few seconds upon which it is read and judged.

Make yours stand out by making it easy for the employer; let your résumé do the hard work so they don’t have to. Keep the font simple, the spacing regular and the length to a maximum of two pages. List your main strengths and experience in bullets points at the top of the document.

4. Proofread

After putting so much effort into your résumé, it would be incredibly frustrating for it to be tossed aside due to a simple spelling or grammar error. Yet, the No. 1 reason for a discarded résumé is basic errors in the text. If you can’t pay close attention to your own résumé, how can the employer trust you to not make mistakes in the role you’re applying for?

Read through the whole document several times, wait an hour, then check it again. Errors in your résumé are the ultimate sin and doesn’t contribute to being a great resume no matter how great your experience is.

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, make sure to log in to your Island Jobs dashboard and upload your resume so recruiters and employers can find it.

The résumé is the only first impression you get the chance to work on over time, so there is no excuse to not get it right. Take your time to craft your résumé. Emphasise your strengths, minimise your faults. Tailor it completely to the job you’re applying for. The perfect résumé opens doors, and with diligence and preparation, you can open the door to that job you’ve always wanted.

How to, Resume Writing