How to write a resume? CV templates included
Your resume is the first impression you offer to a potential new employer or recruiter, so it’s important to get it right. Apart from your resume, creating an effective LinkedIn profile is another way to ensure your CV gets in front of the right hiring managers. Both your resume and LinkedIn profile are the first points of contact with your next employer – so how do we write an attractive resume?
Below are some tips on how to write your resume:
1. Start with key information
Your name and contact details are the most important. List them down at the start of your resume so that prospective employers or recruiters can reach you easily. Ensure they are prominently presented at the top of your resume. You might even want to include a link to your updated Linkedin profile. For tips on building an effective LinkedIn profile, click here.
Your introduction or personal statement can be listed in your cover letter.
2. Tailor your resume for the job you want
For most jobs, a generic CV isn’t sufficient. It’s really important you’re amending your CV for each job you apply for so that you are able to highlight relevant experience for this new job. Your skills and experience should try to match those in the job description.
You can also use this opportunity to show off some of your achievements that may be relevant to the company. For example, you could have led a project within diversity which is a value that the organisation looks at. You can find out more from their company’s website and social media channels to understand how you have matching values or even how you may culturally be a great fit for the company.
Remember – you want to write your resume specifically for the job advertised because no two jobs ask for the exact same requirements.
3. Put your latest work experience at the top of your resume in a chronological order
It’s standard practice to list your work experience in chronological order on your CV. They should be listed in the following order: period of employment, company name, city, designation, its duties, and your achievements (projects and results). In this way, your most relevant projects are usually the first thing your hiring manager or recruiter sees. There’s no point in filling up your first page with work experience that isn’t relevant to your next job.
4. Be concise – summarise your skills and achievements
It’s important to keep your resume short and to the point. Recruiters and hiring managers often have to go through countless resumes. You want to make sure your resume stands out not tire out your hiring manager. In fact, you might risk hiring managers missing out on important details of your achievements or skill sets. So get straight into your key achievements and skills. This actually demonstrates that you’ve taken the time and effort to think about which skills are most relevant and necessary for this job you’re applying to.
Your resume should be approximately two to three pages.
5. Mirror the language used in the job advert
A bit of subliminal messaging can work a treat; if you adopt the language you see in the advert, you’re already showing that you’re a great fit for this role. This instantly offers the impression that you’ll fit in with the culture you’re applying for.
6. Focus on the value you added whilst listing your responsibilities
Listing technical skills and experience is obviously crucial, but it’s equally important to make sure you explain the benefit your work has had on the company. Listing skills is great, but if you can contextualise your value and demonstrate just how your technical ability made an impact, then this is more powerful. You’re then offering more than just a shopping list of your abilities; you’re highlighting how your skills directly benefited your past employer and potentially your new employer.
7. List your qualifications, education or any other training courses
You may list some of your education details, especially if they are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you did Engineering in university and is currently applying to be an Engineer. You may also want to include courses which you may have done to upskill or improve yourself as this will reflect positively on your ambitions.
8. Don’t be afraid to mention your hobbies and interests
As long as you don’t go overboard on the detail, mentioning personal interests and hobbies isn’t a bad thing. A lot of people seem scared to do this, but if it’s relevant, and you want to mention it, then go for it! Especially if your hobby or interest is directly relevant to the company or job you’re applying for.
If you’re struggling to keep your resume concise, this should probably be the first thing to cut. The golden rule is to think about the job you’re applying for; will putting your hobbies in make you more attractive to the hiring manager? If so, then pop them in.
9. Keep a neat layout in your CV template
A tidy CV gives off a great impression… but a messy one? Not so much. Keep your font size consistent and try not to use three different typefaces in one document. A messy CV makes it look like you’ve put minimal effort in. You may even want to try working with CV templates to help you keep your resume concise and neat.
10. Make sure you explain any employment gaps
Gaps in your CV are fine – life happens. But you need to be able to contextualise it; don’t just leave an unexplained five year career break in your CV. You need to provide reasons for time away from work; if there was a personal circumstance that led to a time out, explain it. Don’t be afraid to include this.
11. Use the right keywords in your resume
To ensure that your resume gets picked up or found by the right recruiter or hiring manager, use relevant keywords in it. For example, if you’re applying for a Engineering role, you want to make sure you’ve highlighted your Engineering background, Engineering experience and Engineering companies you’ve worked for. This should also be reflected in your LinkedIn profile as that is one way you can be found by recruiters.
You don’t have to include references in your resume, depending on the CV template you choose. However, it may be good to list that “References are available upon request” as it reflects your confidence in your skills and work experience.
13. Don’t use acronyms & remember to spell check
In order to ensure that your CV can be found by recruiters, try to avoid acronyms unless it’s a term commonly used in the industry. For example, RPA. You also want to ensure you have conducted a spell check so you don’t make unnecessary mistakes in your resume.
14. Get someone to check your CV
After reading your own words over and over again, there may be blind spots to your own mistakes. It’s always a good idea to get a friend or colleague to look over your CV; you’ll probably be surprised by the number of errors they manage to find.