Writing a resume
Your resume is one of the most important documents you are ever going to put together, most importantly remember it is a document that markets you and its quality will directly affect whether on not you are considered for an interview.
There are plenty of free resume templates available on the internet with a simple google search, alternatively there are also professional resume writing services such as our partner RedStarResume who can help you put a resume together. These services are generally relatively inexpensive for their benefit and well worth it in getting your resume to look sharp and address its target. Click to go to the RedStarResume website, as our professional resume writing partner you are also eligible to receive a 10% discount on their services by using the code '2it' (Enter the discount code '2it' in the "Discount Code box").
A big mistake is just to append your resume with your current position, your career interests may be significanty different as your career progresses. Every time you are considering a next phase in your career consider re-writing your resume.
Fancy formating of a resume is usually a waste of time and a recruitment consultants nightmare. You should focus your efforts taking care to use a clear easily readable font as well as taking extreme care with spelling, punctuation and grammar. Spelling mistakes can be glaring on a resume and in some cases can be a cause of discounting an application, don't lose an opportunity because you didn't bother to spell check.
The best format for sending a resume to an agency is in MS Word or an open document format. Reputable agencies would never change a resumes content however agencies will remove your direct contact details and include a cover page to your resume identifying to their client how they screened your eligibility for the position and your expectations. They will then usually PDF the full document to present to the client.
Every resume should commence with core contact details. These should include you name, a mobile number, a residential street address as well as a personal email address that you check regularly. Including a residential street address is important for two reasons as without one your resume may get lost in a database and secondly it allows a consultant to target job opportunities that are locationaly convenient to you.
If you originate from overseas then it may be appropriate to also highlight here you eligibility to work.
Do not include your date of birth, religion, race, passport number, partner of childrens names as these are irrelevant to your application and could also be used for identify theft if your resume ever got into the wrong hands.
This is your opening statement, its an opportunity to get some of your personality across, to make a clear definitive statement on your career goals, how your skills make you eligible for the position and your passion to succeed.
If you are pursuing a role in a creative field then you can afford to add a little colour to your personality, for all else then its best to leave your quirkiness for an employers happy discovery after you have commenced in your new role.
A strong career objective is one of the most important areas of your resume, every candidate is measured on ther cultural fit to the opportunity as mutch as their skills base.
A career objective is not your life story, it should be a paragraph or two.
A skills profile is a summary of both your hard and soft skills as applicable to a position. If you are looking for a management position you may identify here previous management experience and team sizes. Other things to include would be if you have managed a budget or P/L.
This would also be a place to include technical (i.e CCIE, MCSE) or professional certifications (ITIL, PMBOK) that you have achieved. If you are seeking a technical position and you are not certified or if a certification program doesn't exist then it is usually appropriate to include a key skills matrix. A longer skills matrix encompassing all the technologies you have been exposed can be inserted at the end of the resume. These may takes the form of:-
||Self assessed competency (10 highest)|
If you are coming from a sales background, include any sales awards you have been recognised with or professional sales trainings (i.e Miller Heimann).
Generally the best way to present your employment history is in reverse chronological order. Your current position is far more relevant to your next role than the pizza delivery you did whilst at University, especially for a time poor hiring manager or consultant who has a large number of resumes to review.
Reverse chronological order is the best way to show how you have progressed in your career and your career trajectory and you should start with the company name, the time spent with the employer and your position title.
Give a brief description of what the company does to help a consultant or hiring manager understand if your experience is also relevant to specific market vertical (i.e finance, logistics, etc.).
Give a short summary of your positions responsibilities
Outline some points about how you achieved against your responsibilities or additional areas where you made a contribution outside of your core responsibilities.
Unless you are trying to realign yourself with a previous career direction your employment history should become increasingly more concise as you go back with each position, however it should reafirm key areas of your experience that are relevant to the role you are seeking.
Resume's ideally should be a maximum of four pages long to get your point across so use this guide to indicate how much detail you should go into.
You may have spent many years at University but your Education should still appear towards the end of you resume.
Hobbies and Interests
These are an elective to add to your resume although if you are active in social, community or sporting associations these can positively reflect on your consideration from a cultural fit to the employer.
Always gain permission from a referee before using their details within your resume. In most instances referees would not be contacted until there is an indication of an offer being made however you can never be sure. Whilst it can reflect positively on your application that there are people you are happy to act as referees for you, you also don't want to wear your referees out prior to you actually really needing them.