Resume Tips

ERA Personnel is aware that finding a job can be an intimidating and frustrating process. How often have you found yourself thinking that you were the best candidate for a position but let yourself down by submitting a sub standard resume

While we can’t magically give you skills, knowledge or competencies that you don’t possess, we can provide you with advice that will assist you to ‘sell’ the talent that you have. To that end we have developed some simple but effective tips and information on writing your Resume. While these tips will assist you, always remember that like most things in life there is no substitute for experience and practice. In other words regularly review and improve your Resume.

Resume Tips

Contrary to popular opinion it is the substance, not the presentation, which interviewers focus on when reviewing a Resume. Having sat on literally hundreds of interview panels I have never selected an applicant on the basis of how his or her Resume looks, even though I have often marvelled at the skill and creativity that has gone into its production. Nonetheless a poorly organised or presented resume can be a major turn off, particularly when you receive lots of them, so by all means take the time to develop a professional looking document – just don’t waste time trying to make it look like art! Always keep in mind that the primary purpose of your resume is to secure an interview.

Your resume, as with any business document, needs to be logically organised and easy to read. Furthermore it should be succinct and contain information that the prospective employer needs to make a decision as to whether to interview you or not. When developing your Resume or completing an application for a position it is essential to keep the following in mind:

  1. Use a template that clearly identifies each separate category of information you wish to convey. As a minimum you should address the following:
    • Name and contact details;
    • Qualifications;
    • Professional affiliations;
    • Career objectives;
    • Skills and training;
    • Employment history;
    • References;
    • Other interests.
  2. If there are predefined selection criteria associated with the position ensure that you address each of them in a separate section of the document. If there isn’t any selection criteria make sure you include a section on why you think you can do the job and why the prospective employer should hire you. This is often included in a covering letter rather than the body of the Resume.
  3. Keep the length of your Resume to five pages or less. Remember the interviewers are likely to receive a lot of Resumes to review and in these circumstances no one is impressed with a novella and they may not take the time to fully read it.
  4. Always revise your Resume for the specific job you are applying for. There is no bigger turn off for interviewers than receiving a Resume which has obviously been developed for another job or that is clearly out of date.
  5. List your work history from current day back through previous positions. Ensure that you include the start and finish dates for each job that you have had. Don’t leave gaps in your employment history – if you have been unemployed, had a long holiday, been ill for a protracted period or have return to full time education, say so!
  6. Check the spelling and grammar.
  7. Be honest – don’t misrepresent what you have done, your qualifications or skills.
  8. Focus on what you have achieved in past or present roles, not just the tasks that were involved in the role. Employers are interested in how well you have done in past employment not simply the activities that you undertook. In other words how did you manage your workload, meet deadlines, handle pressure, manage staff etc.
  9. Keep your Resume concise by limiting each paragraph to between seven and ten lines. Avoid jargon and acronyms and under no circumstances use words that you don’t really understand. Remember the first sentence of every paragraph should firmly establish the issue or point you are trying to make, whilst the remainder of the paragraph should provide the supporting detail. In other words the reader should be able to get the gist of what you are saying from reading the first sentence of each paragraph.
  10. Get someone else to review your Resume before you submit it – they will often pick up errors or omissions that you will miss.