What your resume should look like in 2017

  1. Pay attention to the format: Modern day cover letters and resumes should look professional but also simple and easy to read.  Your resume should be no more than 2 pages and utilise both dot points, paragraphs and columns.  Ideally, you want to maximise your use of the two pages such that your not wasting any space and capturing all the important aspects of your professional career.  Remember to keep it simple and avoid and unnecessary pictures or words.
  2. Career Summary: The first paragraph you write should be a quick recap of your current career pathway to date.  Touch on some of your strengths, key skills and even what you are passionate about.  The second sentence should answer this question:  Where you would like to go? – i.e. your future plans, and what contributions you can bring to the business you are applying for.  Just a quick 3-4 sentence summary, don’t leave it too long
  3. Contact details: Email, phone and mobile number.  Sometimes I also have recommendations to put your twitter account and/or LinkedIn profile web link only if its relevant and only if both social media platforms are professional and demonstrates some of your work projects for example.  A self portrait at the very top also goes well with the resume, a small professional head shot tucked away in the left hand corner is the best position.
  4. Key skills, so have a section where you can list a few “areas of expertise and/or relevant skill-sets” to the job you are applying for, make sure these are specific for the job and not just listing down broad skills.  For example, if you are applying for a marketing job you may list things such as , Sales and Negotiation, Market research etc.  Try searching other job of similar title on job websites and see what other companies are looking for in terms of skillets and its also a good way to pinch words from else where.
  5. Education: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT list down every single one of your education from primary school to University.  After University, all your primary school and high school records become redundant and irrelevant.  Here is where you might also include any University activities or clubs you were part of, if you had good grades you can also showcase it here, even if you didn’t average HD’s you can still put an indication on your average grade (i.e. Credit or Distinction average) for example.  Employers are not always just looking for the candidate with the right skills but also his or her character.  It’s important to also tailor the resume to reflect your personal character paint a picture for them.
  6. Work experience – in chronological order list the 3-4 most recent roles you held, make sure it is clear what companies you worked for and for how long you worked in those roles.  Underneath each, include a quick summary on the types of duties and responsibilities you were accountable for in those roles, use dot points and if there are any particular and relevant projects or achievements, you can either highlight them here or capture them in a separate section (see below)
  7. Relevant Projects:  You may worked on some relevant projects you were part of or lead during your previous experiences, as long as these projects are relevant to the role you are applying for and demonstrate your experience in particular area you should indicate these on your resume.  *One thing to remember*, you may not want to give out too much detail as sometimes projects are confidential for internal businesses only so you just want to give them a taste of what you worked on in the past and show the experiences you were exposed to.
  8. Training and/or certificates: – a bit different to professional education, this section is for any industry training or courses you have completed which can be relevant to the job you are applying for.  These can be short courses or even online courses, listing them here will capture other types of formal training you may have completed in your previous job.
  9. Language: only applies if you speak another language, also provide an indication on the level of proficiency i.e. are you are native or second language or professional level.  In this day and age, having a second language is very attractive especially when looking for jobs in global companies.
  10. Activities and achievements: wrapping things up this section is where you can list down any achievements both work and non-work related i.e. sporting achievements, volunteering, clubs and associations etc.  As I mentioned earlier (above) as much as it is important to showcase your professional skills its important to demonstrate that you are more than just a employee and you are interesting as well! often during interviews these can stir up a bit of talking point for the interviewer as they become curious and want to know more about what you do outside of work.  Again, use dot points here and keep you list short and sweet.  Sometimes people might want to put this all under another section called “Interests and Hobbies” this too is acceptable.

Good luck with your resume!, and if you ever need a second pair of eyes or some feedback feel free to send it to Toppedupblog and we will be happy to help!

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