Writing a resume is actually quite hard. For most people they can have some fantastic skills but they find it really hard to put them down in writing, or they feel like they are bragging about themselves and that stops them from giving potential employers a good snapshot of what they can really do.
If you are trying to get your resume to reach your target employer then please read the below closely, and feel free to give us a call if you would like further advice. We are always happy to help, and we don’t expect you to list solely with us. At APEX BRS we believe in finding people a job that will become their career, and helping companies find the right people not just for their open roles but for their company culture and strategic direction. So we are happy to keep your resume on file and will encourage you to apply for jobs that are not listed with us.
1- Appearance is Important– not just for the interview. No matter what level of role you are applying for your resume needs to look professional. So firstly find a formatting style you are comfortable with, preferably one that is easy to read and clearly defines areas in your experience, qualifications, interests etc. Like a first date, first impressions are important, if your resume is too chaotic, the font to small, full of typos, or full of rambling information many potential employers will not read past the first page or two, and you won’t even get a phone call let alone an interview.
2- You first page needs to sell you– Think in terms of a short speech where you would cover what you have done, what you are doing now, and what you could do in the future (what you can offer your future employer). This really needs to be captured in the first page of two. You can do this by including a snap shot of your recent career history, just dates title and employer followed by a couple of sentences about what you can offer and what you are looking for.
3- Are you easy to contact? Make sure your details are very easy to find. Have your full personal contact details in the opening, but then put your name, mobile and email in the header or footer, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you.
4- Have someone else read your resume– You want to make sure that what you have said can be easily understood, and that you don’t have spelling and grammatical errors hiding in the document. Plus if some else can’t understand some of your points then your potential employer is probably confused too.
5- Referees– Include them at the end, it shows you have nothing to hide and makes it easier for everyone.
6- Salary expectations– This is something an interested employer will discuss with you, so you really do not need to put it on your resume. It could also rule you out of your dream job without even the chance of a discussion.
7- Employment Gaps– If you have gaps in your employment history, or you have had several jobs in a short period of time please put an explanation in. Many people will make assumptions in this area, and most will not do you any justice and may even cost you a phone call.
8- Colour– People often try to stand out with colourful resumes. A bit of colour is fine, making your resume look like the rainbow will make people question your judgement.
9- Responsibilities and Achievements– are always good categories to work with when defining your past job roles. However, they need to be clear and concise, not a whole page. You also need to use to words that explain what you have done, ie led, directed, achieved, resulted in, etc…
10- Always put in job titles- Potential employers like to have a snapshot of your past experience, so dont make it hard for them to find it.
11- Geographically challenged?- If you are applying for a role that is in a different state or country than where you live, include a cover letter outlining why you are moving, or willing to move, if you will be accepted for a visa or citizenship, and what time frame you are looking at.
12- Answering your phone– Regardless of how junior or senior the role is you are applying for, it gives a really bad impression if you get a phone call from a potential employer and you answer in an unprofessional manner. If you are applying for jobs expect to get a few phone calls, so if you see a number you don’t know answer professionally and politely, preferably with your name. Also have a copy of the roles you are applying for handy, there is nothing worse than speaking to a candidate and they can’t even remember the role you are talking about with them