Successful resume writing, whether it is written by you or someone else, is the first step to getting the job you want.
A well written resume will inform the reader how well suited you are to the particular job for which you are applying, and give you the best chance of an interview.
Think of the first page of your resume as being like the home page of a website or a billboard on the roadside.
- Is it eye-catching?
- Does it provide you will all the information you want to know?
- What skills, experience, and type of person is the employer looking for?
- Is there a statement that shows how you match their requirements?
- Does it comply with contemporary expectations of a resume?
Respond directly to the position description
Be sure of one thing. If your resume does not specifically target the job being advertised, someone else’s will and your application probably won’t pass the first cut. Your resume has to be special and specific. So let’s take this a step at a time. Let’s assume the job requirements mention the following items:
- experience required
Page 1 is the most important
This means your resume must hit those targets clearly, succinctly, and immediately. Not on page 3, not in verbose language and not in a layout that makes it hard to read. Your targets must be hit from Page 1, with the rest of the resume acting as backup!
Your resume will consist of more than one page but work on a strategy that the first page will be sufficient in itself. Try and put enough information on the first page that will tell the reader all they need to know to offer you an interview. It’s an exercise in being concise. Look upon it as a work of art. Re-work it several times so that your first page is a business card, your entree into the interview room.
Successful resume writing does not mean including everything you have ever done! When you are unsure of the relevance of some of your experience, first tell them about all your achievements and competencies directly related to the job for which you are applying. Then tell them about your other experiences which would help you perform the task. These are called transferable skills, skills you have acquired over the years, which have value and which you can transfer to your new job when you land it.
Target the specific job
One recent survey carried out by resume experts found that over 90% of resumes often use general terms and do not ‘fit’ the job in question. Let the applicant beware.
Always tailor your response precisely to the job being advertised and review it many times before sending it to a prospective employer.
[Updated 20 July 2020]