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Tips For Successful Resume Writing

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successful resume writing

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.

A good resume will grab a reader’s attention.

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:

  • duties 
  • experience required
  • responsibilities

Page 1 is the most important

This means your resume must hit those targets clearly, succinctly, and immediately. Not on at the end of page 2, 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.

Transferable skills

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.

Should you pay someone to write your resume?

Like every other paid service, there are fantastic resume writers and some who aren’t so good. If you are going to get someone to write the resume for you then choose carefully.  Ask to see some testimonials or other evidence of successful resume writing. If they are advertising on a site like Gumtree or Airtasker and are charging a very low price…buyer beware! 
 
The level of work that you are applying for should dictate what you are prepared to spend on your resume.  If you are really serious about getting the job you want, and if you are looking at a position that is professional or semi-professional then you would be doing yourself a disservice not to pay for the best professional resume writer you can afford. 

What about getting a friend to write your resume? 

If they have the writing skills that are required, and they really know how to write a good resume, then that’s a great solution. However if the resume they produce is not good enough for you to use, will that cause tension between you?  

Successful resume writing summarised

  • You need a resume that arouses the interest of the reader.
  • It must respond to the specific position description. 
  • Page 1 should convince them that they want you. 
  • Your achievements and transferable skills are very important. 
  • Target the specific job. 
  • Be very choosy about who writes your resume. 

[Updated 20 July 2020]

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