It’s as simple as this: without an excellent résumé, your prospects of finding employment are slim to nil. Your résumé is your first impression on a recruiter, and with so many others like you also trying to make a distinctive first impression, it will need to be particularly strong to warrant further attention from the recruiter.
In that case, it’s well worth taking the time to analyze your résumé and make sure that it is word perfect before submitting it to a recruiter. That might seem insultingly obvious, but the stark truth is that a large number of applicants fail to do this. Recruiters are constantly sent applications with glaring errors such as spelling mistakes, sloppy layout, inconsistent or even false information and buzzwords which were clearly pulled from the Internet and slapped incoherently into the résumé.
Australian payroll and contractor management company Ayers has identified the main aspects of excellent résumé writing by honing in on three categories.
Spelling/Grammar: When you’re finished writing the résumé, proofread it carefully. Ensure that you use the correct spelling for the region in which you’re applying, e.g. if you’re applying for a job in California, use the American spelling of words such as ‘labor’ and ‘aluminum’. Then proofread it again. Only use capital letters at the start of sentences or in proper nouns. When all that’s done, it’s time for another proofread. In fact, get another person to proof it for you in case you’ve missed anything.
Layout: A résumé is a professional, formal document, so use black type throughout and adopt a neutral font such as Arial or Times New Roman. The snazzy fonts and colors belong elsewhere. Ensure that your résumé is consistent in its layout and favor the use of bullet points, as this will make it easier to read than chunks of text where the recruiter is straining to determine what are the most pertinent points.
Content: This is the most important aspect of the whole lot. This is your audition for the role being advertised, so make it count. Talk yourself and your achievements up as much as you can without delving into lying territory. If the job application asked for specific skills or qualifications, address these accordingly. Support any claims you make with concrete evidence.
Follow these rules and your résumé is all the more likely to grab a recruiter’s attention. Read the infographic below for further advice.