Some simple resume tips for creating a professional application:
- Use bullet points, rather than large paragraphs of text that are hard to scan through.
- Use standard font types and minimal effects such as fancy borders or colours. As a maximum, use only 2 to 3 font type and size combinations throughout the whole document. This will minimise potential compatibility issues between different Word application versions and minimise reader distractions.
- Tailor each resume and cover letter to the position you are applying for. If possible, try to use similar terminology to that which was used in the advertisement or job description, but in doing so do not give misleading or false information.
- Set out your resume so that it does not appear cramped and ensure there is enough space between sections.
- Providing a skills section helps the person viewing your resume see at a glance your areas of expertise. You may wish to indicate your skill level for each skill listed (e.g. Advanced, Intermediate etc.), or indicate how many years of experience you have for each.
- If you were working on a particular project, provide details of the size and budget of the project, in terms of how many resources were involved and the dollar value of the project.
- If you were a manager, indicate how many people you managed.
- Personal attributes – you can either incorporate your key strengths in your personal profile, or list these separately. This gives the reader a more in-depth understanding of exactly what you as an individual can offer. If listing generic skills such as “communication” or “interpersonal skills”, briefly refer to past experience that provides evidence of these skills.
- Use the past tense and choose strong descriptive verbs – i.e. Managed a team of 8 Developers.
- Avoid speaking about yourself in the third person. i.e. “John Smith is an IT Professional “. Rather, it should read, “An IT Professional with 8 years’ experience …”
- SPELL CHECK your resume. Additionally, get another person to check that it reads correctly and that there are no other mistakes or grammatical errors.
By: Kimarie Meyers
Recruitment Coordinator – mbc Recruitment