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How to Write a Great Resume

Advice for Preparing a Great Resume

A well-presented resume is vital in your search for a new job. It won't get you the job on its own (your talents and abilities will hopefully do that), but a good resume can make the difference between receiving an invitation for an interview or not. Your resume will be one of many, and because of this, employers will only grant it a little of their time, making it essential to layout your key selling points in the most accessible places. 

Everybody writes and presents their resume in their way, and while there is no right or wrong way, these words of advice will help you produce a clear and concise resume, increasing your chances of being invited for an interview.

Good resumes are clear, concise and straightforward, with short, to the point sentences. It's best to leave out words, such as, 'and' and 'I' as much as you can, making each sentence as meaningful as possible. An effective resume needs to focus the readers' attention on the criteria that they are looking for, highlighting important information that can be accessed and interpreted easily. Try to visualise what the hirer is looking for and produce evidence showing you're a match. 

You may also be asked to justify and elaborate on certain statements that you have made in your resume. If you're invited to an interview always be honest, accurate and be careful not to exaggerate. Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar are vital, as well as the overall layout and format of the resume.

Structure & Presentation
First impressions are crucial. Each section of your resume needs to have a clear heading for each section, ensuring a clear and organised document that is pleasant to read, lessening the risk of an employer giving up on it. 

Your skills, experience and achievements must be set out logically, detailing all key points. Dates should be included where applicable and placed in reverse chronological order, i.e. latest job first, working backwards to your first job. Two or three pages is the standard length of a good resume. Resume's over four pages are almost always viewed as wasteful and instantly discarded.

For your resume, use a standard font size and type such as Verdana or Arial. The use of bold or different size fonts can highlight important information and point the reader to the relevant areas. All text should be fully adjusted, so the paragraphs look neat and tidy, and there should be a balance between text and space.

Personal Details to Include

Name

Date of Birth

Address

Home telephone

Mobile telephone

Email address

Nationality
 

Education, Qualifications & Courses
Include all your education on your resume; ensure you include the dates for each result. You also need to include all relevant qualifications and any courses that you have completed. Be careful not to include anything that doesn't relate directly to the role. 

Work Experience
For your work experience section, include the dates you spent at the company, with the specific months you started and finished. Include your job title, your responsibilities and anything else related to that role you consider relevant to the one you're applying for. 

Here's an example of how to set out your role responsibilities: 

Formulate and ensure HR policy system is implemented in line with corporate policies, market practices and compliance with local municipal and state labour regulations. Advise management of the changes and revise HR policy when necessary.

Work on organisational and workforce development plan to support high growth and dynamic business.

Responsible for recruiting high calibre candidates to support the business's staffing plan and growth agenda.

It’s essential that what you say is relevant and detailed in short, bullet-pointed statements. Make clear what your contribution was using positive language and include your responsibilities and achievements. Back everything up with quantifiable facts, such as the size of budgets and results achieved, to make your skills tangible.

Achievements
Under each job, you should then list your accomplishments. Think carefully about which examples you include in this section, as employers may deduce a lot from your choice about your motivations and what you regard as important.

Extra-Curricular Activities
This section on hobbies and interests should be kept short and include information, such as memberships and positions of responsibility in sports teams, drama societies etc. Any information should have a purpose, showing skills relevant to the role you are applying for and saying something of interest about you.

References
Unless requested, references need not be given at the initial application stage and a simple "references available on request" should suffice. Employers will ask for recommendations when they need them.

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