What to consider when writing a resume
A résumé is a document for you to present your career background and professional skills. It is often spelt as “resume” and sometimes also known as a curriculum vitae (CV) in common parlance (though there is technically a slight difference in some countries). The purpose of the resume is to land an interview (and the purpose of the interview is to land the job). What are some of the things you should consider when writing a resume? Here are 7 quick tips:
1) Present your most relevant experience, skills or education first in your resume.
Presenting what is most relevant to the potential employer helps them to see upfront what you can bring to the table, so that there is a higher chance they will continue to read your resume. For example, if you are switching fields from an engineering background to a finance field, the most recent finance-related experience or education (e.g. an MBA or CFA) should be presented first.
2) Tailor your resume to each employer
While tailoring your resume to each employer is time-consuming, it is beneficial as it helps you to target each employer specifically. If you do not think this is practical all the time, you could tailor your resume for those high priority jobs that you really want, and send a more general one for the other jobs. You could also prepare one resume for each category of jobs, for example one for Sales and another for Marketing.
3) Use a Clean Design for your resume
Using a clean design helps the potential employer read and scan the resume quickly, so that he is not distracted by any jarring elements. Do not clutter your resume with unnecessary design elements (such as cute-looking bullets) and use lines or headers appropriately to separate the sections of your resume.
4) Use Action Words or Power Words in your role descriptions
In the description of each role, you should use action words or power words to more fully describe what you did at the role. For example, instead of saying “Involved in restructuring exercise”, you should say “Restructured company operations”.
5) Quantify your Achievements
When listing your achievements, where practicable, you should use numbers to quantify them. For example, instead of saying “Led restructuring exercise to cut costs”, you can say “Restructured company operations to cut costs by $5million”.
6) Drop the Objective Statement in the resume
Many resume templates or guides advise people to include at the beginning of the resume an objective statement, for example “Objective: To secure a Human Resources management position at a leading firm”. However, there is no good reason to include the objective statement on the resume, as the recruiting manager on the other end will usually not care too much about what your objective is, but rather how your skills or background can match the role they are trying to fill. If you decide to include it, the objective could be better covered in the cover letter.
7) Proofread and proofread again
This is very important as any mistake, large or small, spelling or grammar or formatting, will leave the potential employer with the impression that you are not meticulous or detail-oriented. This can kill your chances quite quickly. Hence, you should proofread a few times to ensure that there are no mistakes.