Resumé tips & suggestions

The tips and suggestions below are intended to aid you in constructing your CV and application in a way that presents your skills ‘front and center’, whilst also making it focused on the position.

The broad aim with a resume is often assumed to be to provide and overview of everything that you have done.  In fact, its primary purpose is to gain you an interview.  In light of this, you must make it as focused on the specifics of the position you are applying for as possible.

Whilst some points may seem to contradict this, each is intended to be applied in context; using a bullet-point format will help you to be concise, whilst also keeping your focus on relevance.

With each of the suggestions below, remember to ask yourself the following question:

“Does including this skill help me address the specific requirements
of the position I am applying for?”

  1. Consider mentioning the range of relevant experience you have, to show that you are versatile and adaptable within the context of the position advertised.
  2. Marketing activities are involved in many positions, so think about mentioning experience related to this.  If you have delivered an email newsletter, for instance, you have been involved in marketing and promotion of an organisation’s agenda.
  3. Make mention of instances where you have aided, assisted or supported others, so that a recruiter is reminded that you are a team player.
  4. Similarly to point 2, records management may be something you have developed a knowledge of, but have not considered as an explicit skill.
  5. Consider using the final ‘additional information’ section to mention related skills, to capture the attention of a recruiter who only skim-reads your application and who may check this section out of interest.
  6. Use bullet points.  These help to keep your CV shorter and more focused, whilst also catering to the time a recruiter gives to reading each application – usually not very much.
  7. Where possible, balance responsibilities or duties with achievements.  This demonstrates that you are focused on results as well as requirements.
  8. Where possible, provide succinct detail rather than general statements.  ‘Computer skills’ may be essential to the role, but ‘Database skills, using MS Excel’ provides more information.
  9. Use a spellchecker and, ideally, ask a friend to review your application.  Spellcheck is obviously built into MS Word and similar programs, but it can also be found in most email systems now, including GMail.  It is very easy to miss typos when reading your own writing.
  10. Broadly speaking, aim for a CV length of no more than 4 pages.  Some positions may require more detail, but 4 pages is generally the limit that any recruiter will look at, and more than this will often work against you.
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