Your resume is a personal introduction to a prospective employer. It needs to be clear and unambiguous, outlining your work history and experience, along with other relevant information. It may prove beneficial to customize your resume to meet the requirements of the job.
At Zenith we normally present our clients with the resume you have given us. There are two reasons for this. Firstly you can be assured that no misinterpretation of your resume has occurred. Secondly, and most importantly, it helps our client to assess your written presentation ability. Presentation is often important to an employer.
Your resume is your personal brochure, used to sell your skills and background to prospective employers. It needs to be clear and unambiguous, outlining your work history and experience, along with other relevant information.
The layout is important – use a layout that is consistent, as well as adequate spacing so that your resume is easy to read. It is essential to proof-read and check spelling. List the most recently held position first (reverse chronological order). List most recently attained qualifications first. Try and limit your resume to 3 pages. Use bullet points and short sentences to make it easy to read.
Planning your resume
Careful planning and thought should be put into preparing your resume, which can often mean a significant investment of your time and energy. As you construct your resume, you are building a portrait of yourself. By focusing on the task, you will attain an increased self-awareness and confidence in your abilities.
Review your resume carefully and where possible ask somebody to critique it to obtain some constructive feedback. Treat your first resume as a draft. The final product may take three or four redrafts before you create a resume you are happy with.
- Personal Details – include name, address and contact details – email address, phone and fax numbers.
- Career History – Include job title, duration of employment, employer details and a description of the job held (major duties and responsibilities).
- Achievements – Include brief statements detailing work experience, education, training, etc. Major personal work achievements, relevant to the position, should be included.
- Education/Qualifications – Include formal qualifications and relevant professional training and education. Include professional memberships.
- Referees – Always seek permission to list a referee. Choose someone to whom you have previously reported (ideally in the past 2 years) and who is familiar with your previous responsibilities and with your skill levels. Whether or not to include referees on your resume is discretionary. When asked to do so, you will need to detail the referee’s name, title, company name, contact phone number/s and your reporting relationship.
Writing a cover letter
When forwarding your resume to an employer it is beneficial to include a covering letter. A covering letter outlines your interest in that specific job or company/organization and the particular experiences/skills you have which you believe would benefit the organisation or the position.
Always ensure you have the correct spelling of the person and company you are forwarding your resume to.
Ten golden rules for resume preparation
- Layout is important – use adequate spacing so your resume is easy to read.
- Minimise the use of tabs and indentations to avoid layout mistakes.
- Avoid excessive personal or educational details.
- Always proof read and spell check your resume.
- Type or print on one side of the page only (A4 usually).
- Do not date your resume.
- List the most recently held position first (reverse chronological order).
- Avoid excessive use of different fonts and graphics throughout the resume.
- Short statements, set out in bullet point form are quicker and easier to read. Too much information and your reader will lose interest.
- Along with duties performed, include significant achievements.
To help you with your preparation, please ask us for an example which can be used as a guide and tailored to suit your individual needs. If you would like any further information or require some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a Zenith personnel consultant.