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How to write a successful resume

Updated on May 8, 2011

tips on how to write a good resume

How many times you have been told to write a catchy resume in order to impress your future employer with your unique transferable skills and abilities? It seems very easy at first. After all it’s you, no one else, easy! However after having sent your resume to dozen maybe hundreds of employers you have found yourself still at home or stuck in the old, everyday job that you are desperately trying to leave. If you are still stuck in the old job because no one calls you for an interview maybe it is time to refresh your resume.

In this situation many of us will then look in the internet to find the perfect method on how to write a resume that would be chosen from employers. First of all there is no such a thing like the perfect resume. You have probably tried your best, maybe have also downloaded those pre -format C V or have searched for the perfect resume template or even hired a someone to write it but let’s face it: there will always be someone out there for whom your C.V is not up to his/her standard . So don’t believe anyone who tells you that there is one right standard format or style that will guarantee to win. The reality is that some employers will love your C.V some others won't. It is still a gamble and no one would be able to tell you if your resume would get the job you are dreaming of. There are indeed some basic principles to follow. Clarity, completeness and neatness are still very essential to guarantee that your potential selector will read your resume without leaving it half way through because it is hard to understand. The only thing I would strongly suggest is that whatever you decide to write on your C.V, make sure you shine through it all. This is the secret of the perfect C.V.

To shine through your C.V you need not only to highlight and present your skills, talents, abilities very clearly lay out on your resume but also you need to establish how to apply them to the job or organisation you want to approach. If you want a job as marketing sales representative highlight skills relating to your ability in communication, presentation skills, customer service satisfaction. If you aim to get a position in the financial sector you want probably to say that you have excellent numeracy skills, attention to details, analytical skills. Research the right expressions/terminology for your chosen skills in relation to the job that you want and craft them into your resume.

In describing past work experiences use action words like developed, performed, planned, organise. Example: planned, organised and executed large scale equipment purchases . For instance, if you have worked as barman, you would describe yourself as someone that work well in a team environment and provide excellent quality service. I have been always working within a team focus environment. A very effective way to present your current role or your past jobs is to show how you have resolved problems or improved some aspects of the organisation and the actions you have taken to achieve those results. Remember also to relate those positive actions and results to the overall performance of the organisation/department/office. For example you can describe how you found an obsolete file system and how you have improved this system while integrating different offices and in doing so you have speeded up and simplified the communications and circulation of information among all those departments.

When you send your C.V around to different companies, consider that many other people are doing the same. Therefore, generally speaking, employers hate reading C.Vs, because, especially in case of large organisations, they receive tons of them every day. Very often they read those C.V. outside working hours or during breaks, when they are very tired or would rather be somewhere else. Your C.V needs to be clearly organised and easy to read. Use bullets, short paragraphs and notes, divide it into easy sectors with a clear and logical layout.

Put essential information starting from your name surname and telephone details follow by your education, work experience, and hobbies. Be careful with the latest one. This section must be short and avoid too many passive, solitary hobbies like watching TV and reading. Try to highlight a range of interests instead, or unusual interests like scuba diving or flying airplane or anything out of the ordinary that you might do. Don’t talk about just one hobby for instance sports, because you might be perceived as someone who cannot hold any conversation outside sport. Any activity that shows some sort of leadership is worth to be mentioned (team leader or captain ). As a captain of a rugby team I had to motivate players and set a positive example... Look for employability skills that you might have in these spare time activities like planning, organising, team leader, manual abilities.

Always mention in your C.V. skills that you might have, for instance language skills, computer skills or general skills like a full driving licence.

Writing a successful C.V requires a labour of love. Craft and trim your C.V over and over again till you find the best way to present yourself in relation to the organisation you want to work for. Would it work? No one knows really!! Think about your resume as the best marketing tool you have and act accordingly.


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