How-To

Top Ten Resume Tips

A resume tips list for new job seekers and seasoned professionals alike. The first point on the top ten list sums up it up, Keep It Simple, to maximize your chance of securing an interview, and the ninth on the list, Two Pairs of Eyes, for objectivity is a smart one.

1. Keep it Simple

A resume, your first and possibly only chance of securing an interview. It is therefore vitally important that it works for you and not against you. Use it to draw attention to your strengths, achievements and technical know-how.

2. Lead with Achievements

Make frequent use of active verbs, such as, achieved, set up, managed, responsible for, led. Don’t use bullet points to describe jobs or achievements, prose is easier to read and you can be more descriptive.

3. Work Reverse Chronologically

Start with your current employment and work back, remembering to include the name of your employer, start and end dates, your job title and a brief description, plus your accomplishments. If you are looking for your first job, list any relevant work experience first, paid or unpaid.

4. Be Honest

Lying on your resume is a waste of your time as well as for your prospective employer. Adding six months to your time in a job can seem like a good idea, but if you are caught out you will have lost the job for sure. But don’t sell yourself short. If you think the three summers you spent working for a charity in France show your knowledge of the country and its culture you should say so.

5. IT Skills

You must list all software packages, hardware platforms, operating systems, programming languages, databases, utilities etc, that you are currently familiar with. Don’t list packages that you haven’t used for years, because if you are asked about them at interview you will look foolish.

6. Education

Give equal attention to achievements while at University - but not if you have been in the job market for more than two years. Captain of the debating team, student union rep, set designer for the university play all show you to be enthusiastic, a self-starter and full of initiative.

7. Don’t Overcrowd Your resume

Don’t feel you need to keep your resume to one page. If it’s two pages then fine, as long as the content and layout is appropriate. If your potential employer has to work hard to read your resume, they will quickly lose interest.

8. Spelling

No employer will want to hire someone who can’t be bothered to check their own work and typos and grammatical errors mean your resume goes straight in the bin. Don’t rely on the spell check to pick up any mistakes, read it over thoroughly.

9. Two Pairs of Eyes

Ask someone else to proof read your resume for you as a fresh eye is useful to spot mistakes or offer suggestions. Once you’ve read your resume three or four times, it’s difficult to stand back and look at it objectively. Never try and finish your resume in one sitting, always go back to it after a couple of days.

10. References

Check with referees before you use their names. There’s nothing worse than using someone who has either moved on or holds a grudge against you. The best people to use for references are your current employer or a professor or teacher at your college/university.

This 10 Top Tips list is brought to you by TipTop Job for help when you are writing your resume.