The average employer or recruiter takes only 8-10 seconds to screen a resume and job application cover letter before making a decision on whether a candidate should be shortlisted for the position or not. This is according “The importance of a well written professional resume” written by Judi Roo, a certified resume writing consultant.
This statement highlights how imperative it is for a resume to be well written, tips for writing an effective resume are:
Spell check is your friend!
Grammatical and spelling errors are a common theme when looking at resume mistakes, according to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 58% of employers identified résumés with typos as one of the top mistakes.
Customise, don’t standardise
Recruiters can tell the difference between a resume that has been produced for mass consumption, versus a resume that has been formulated for a specific purpose and position. Tailoring a resume to align to a specific job shows a level of interest and understanding that recruiters take note of.
One way of doing this is through the use of the key words utilised in the job description. According to livecareer.com most resumes are reviewed electronically and the first round of culling happens through keyword spotting in hiring software. Should a resume not contain the keywords, it may not make it past the first round of screening.
Keep it relevant
In connection with unrelated work experience, it is best to keep the information concise, according to Abuntu Staffing solutions, in their blog “17 things you should never include in your CV”. They go on to say that whilst it is important to state all your experience, if it is not related the job application, it should be shortened. Too much irrelevant work history could obscure the parts of a resume that demonstrate worth.
This principle applies to achievements too, unless an achievement is relevant and can be validated, such as community service and leadership, it should not be included in the resume.
Other resume tips include; write the resume in a way that exudes authenticity and personality, do not omit exact dates of employment, avoid vague statements and be specific when detailing what you accomplished.
Formatting is very important too, elaborate formatting and fonts can detract from the entire purpose of the resume – showcasing the applicant’s suitability for the job.