Your resume and your cover letter are the most important documents you send to employers.
Along with your cover letter, your resume is important for the success of your job search efforts.
Results of your job search efforts depend on these two documents.
For this reason, it’s important that they are well-written and professional.
If your resume isn’t well written, it will go directly to trash. Hence, a badly written resume is useless.
It isn’t worth the paper it is written on.
Equally important is your cover letter.
Without a well-written cover letter that highlights your relevant work experience and skills, your resume most likely never gets read.
Here are a few tips to use for ensuring that your resume is well-written:
Formatting is important. Your resume should have a professional layout. This doesn’t mean it should be colorful or fancy. You only need a professional resume design.
It should be error-free. This means no spelling or grammar errors and absolutely no mistakes in details. Not even one. Just as your clothes shouldn’t have a single stain, likewise your resume should be flawless.
Brief is better. Having a brief resume, maximum two pages, is preferred, though it’s okay if it runs to three pages if you have many years of work experience.
It should be clear. Your resume should clearly outline your capabilities and experience. It should tell the recruiter quickly and in a simple manner that you are the right person for the job by listing the important details about your education, experience, skills, and accomplishments. It shouldn’t be cluttered with a lot of irrelevant information.
It should be tailored to the position you are applying for. While your cover letter should be tailored to nearly every job you apply to, your resume should be tailored to the position, not every job.
Never send a generic resume. Your resume should be tailored to the job position. It shouldn’t be a generic “one-type-fits-all” resume. Likewise, don’t send a resume for one job when applying to a different job, unless the two positions are related and one resume can be used for both. So if you’re a copywriter and a teacher, don’t send a copywriter’s resume when applying for a teaching job. But if you’re an accountant and an auditor, you can use one resume for both jobs.
In this case, make sure to use a cover letter tailored to the job you are applying for. Have separate cover letters for each job type you apply to. For example, you’d have separate cover letters for accounting and auditing jobs.
Include relevant jobs on your resume.
Don’t include jobs that are not related to the position you are applying for. For example, if you have worked as a waiter in the past, don’t include it on a resume for a receptionist’s job. If you don’t have relevant experience, see if you can use an aspect that is related to the job you are currently applying for. For example, you can say you had experience with customer service.
Most important information first. You know that recruiters spend only a few seconds looking over each resume. Make it easy for the recruiter to see the information you want them to see, information that tells them you are the right candidate for the job, how you qualify for the job, your relevant skills, etc. Don’t include superfluous information at the top, such as personal details, education, etc. Unless you are a fresher, you should list relevant experience first.
Make good use of accomplishments. If you’ve had major achievements, awards, commendations, etc. make sure to include them and in a manner that they are eye-catching.
Once again, because your career depends on your resume and cover letter, don’t overlook their importance. Make sure they are well-written. If you’re using a resume-writing service, make sure they are qualified. Ask about the resume writers’ credentials and sample work.
Note: The author is founder of Radeya Global, www.radeya.biz<http://www.radeya.biz/> which provides of career consultation and CV writing services. She has written articles and books on various topics. She also worked as editor of the IMA Dubai Chapter Newsletter.