Discovering People


What does your resume say about you?


 Indeed, do you have one? If the answer is no, even if you already have a job, it’s about time you did. In today’s economic climate, arming yourself with a concise, up-to-date resume is one of the smartest career moves you will ever make. Employed or not, before you know it, someone, somewhere will want to see your resume and will not wait around until you get one.
So what exactly is it that employers look for in a resume? Is there really such a thing as a good or bad example? Many in the recruitment industry believe so, and are constantly baffled by applications that seem to consistently miss the point. It never ceases to amaze them when the same resume comes through over and over again for different roles and yet it remains identical each time.
Your resume, along with a brief cover letter, is the backbone to every job search you do. So it is important to write both documents with the particular job you’re applying for in mind. It is simply not enough to have a document that is printed off and sent out without any kind of review or amendment. A few straightforward changes can mean the difference between getting a job and missing out
The clue to writing the perfect resume for the job you are pursuing are in the advertisement or job criteria. By carefully digesting all these desired attributes, experience and skills required and comparing them with those you have, a potential frame or template for a resume should begin to emerge. Try to consider the possible competition. Bear in mind the individual responsible for culling every application received.
The standard rule is to keep resume's short and to the point, but of course every industry is different so the details you add should be geared for that specific job. So, if a secretarial role requires shorthand, the employment history must prove working knowledge of shorthand, by outlining what it was used for and when. Aim to keep this information in bullet points, that way it remains easy on the reader’s eye.
Think about how you intend to send your resume. Use e-mail if you can when asked for in the advertisement, but make sure you send a 'clean' looking format that doesn't use gimmicks or unusual fonts.
Make the most of your covering letter, keep it brief and direct. Explain why you are interested in the role or company. This is where prior industry experience will help. Always remember that this is the point where you can market yourself by highlighting your achievements or specific knowledge.
Sending a stream of certificates, reports and references really isn’t necessary at the first stage and can often give the impression that you haven’t taken the time to specifically gear your application to the role in question. The whole focus is to place yourself in the best position to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, while staying realistic and honest. The best way to do that is check and check again.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald Employment Section. Sat Ed. 19/9/98

Author: Lesley Horsburgh