Whilst recruitment is at the core of everything, we do here at Work Wales, you are too. We understand how exciting it is to begin a new career journey, but we're also aware of how competitive the job market is at the moment, particularly since the pandemic has unfortunately rendered many people jobless.
So, how do you ensure that you stand out from the crowd? With every job vacancy receiving a huge amount of applicants, it can feel incredibly daunting, and even a waste of time, to go through the application process. Don't give up! Our mission is your success, and we are here to help you with every stage of the job search process, including preparing the all-important resume.
First impressions count, and this document is your window of opportunity. Think of it as auditioning for a role in a musical; your resume is your stage – own it!
We have made a handy list of Ten Top Tips which will result in an outstanding resume! Read on to uncover these little-known secrets to success:
1. Tailor your resume to the specific role you’re applying for.
The 'one size fits all' approach doesn’t work anymore! You need to demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched the role and the skills required and apply your experience to these requirements with detailed examples. This is your chance to prove why you are the best candidate for the role, so don't waste it!
2. Be humble and truthful!
While it can be tempting to over-exaggerate your accomplishments and tell a white lie or two, don't! If you are successful in securing the position, your employer will quickly find out if you haven't been truthful in your application. If you don't meet all of the criteria, focus on the skills that you do possess and inject some passion!
3. Don’t include everything.
Your potential employer doesn't need to know where you went to primary school. As with the first point, keep your achievements in line with the role you are applying for. When it comes to personal information such as religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation, omit this from your resume. It's illegal for employers to ask for this information, and it's completely irrelevant.
4. Keep it to one page.
Employers don't want to leaf through a five-page document including every detail about you, and frankly, they just don't have the time! That’s what the interview is for; to expand on what's in your resume and find out more about you as an individual. The general rule for a resume is to keep it to one page, two at an absolute maximum.
5. Recent and Relevant.
Two words that should always be at the forefront of your mind when writing your resume! If you have, say, 20+ years of experience, narrow it down to the last five years. Only recent work experiences are relevant – employers don’t need to know about your first job as a part-time waiter unless it's very much relatable to the role you are applying for! Keep it very specific and keep referring back to the language used in the job description and you won’t go far wrong!
6. Highlight your achievements.
It can feel unnatural to 'brag' about yourself in your resume, but that's exactly what you need to do! You need to show the employer that you are the right person for the job, with evidence to back these claims up. Highlight your impact on the business you’re working for/have previously worked for.
For example, it’s not enough to say, "I did X and Y while I was in this role". You need to be saying: "In this role, I was responsible for X, which increased revenue by X%". Always support your claims with real data and results wherever possible.
7. Include a professional summary.
While it's vital to showcase your relevant experience, skills, and achievements, employers also want to learn about you as a person. This summary needn’t be long, but it's a nice way of reminding the employer that there is a person behind the application. This is a space where you can tell them a little bit about yourself and highlight your proudest achievements, before moving along to the more job-specific information in the body of the resume.
8. Don’t be put off by ‘creative’ resumes.
Really design-heavy and creative resumes have been circulated on professional platforms such as LinkedIn recently, and while they’re a brilliant way to showcase your achievements, they're not an ideal format for every role. For example, if you're applying for a creative job in Graphic Design, then this kind of CV would impress the employer! However, some employers are after something simple, professional, and to the point. Also, if you have to upload your resume to an online platform, then the more design-heavy it is, the higher the chances are that something won't carry over properly.
9. Read, Read and Read Again!
You can never proof your resume too many times! Look through it for any spelling mistakes and formatting errors, and make sure to triple check all of your personal details; there’s nothing worse than accidentally missing a digit off your phone number and wondering why you haven’t had the call for that all-important role! If you think you've finished proofing, read it one more time to be sure.
10. Find another pair of eyes.
Two heads are better than one! As a final stage before submitting your resume, ask a friend or a family member to cast their eyes over it. It may be that you’ve read it too many times and become blind to a mistake, or they may even remember a crucial piece of information that you have forgotten to include!
Those are our Top Ten Tips for writing a killer resume! We hope that this has helped those of you who are in the throes of job searching right now. If you need any further advice around applying for a job, or have no idea where to start, Work Wales can help. Contact us today and revolutionise your job search!