How to write a resume that will get you noticed
Let’s face it, no one enjoys writing a resume. It can be a lengthy and overwhelming process and there’s no guarantee of success for all of your efforts. On top of that, trends and expectations change, so a resume that was considered top-notch 10 years ago will look outdated and, at worse, irrelevant in today’s job market. It’s not always obvious what elements of a resume can hinder your chances of being considered for a role. Resume writing is a skill. To make it easier here are resume writing tips to help overcome the most common mistakes we find in resumes that come across our desks at Rubicor:
Should I attach a photo to my resume?
Many peopleinclude a photo with their resume in the mistaken belief that it will enhance their chances of securing an interview. This can also be due to cultural conditioning, as it is the norm in some countries to attach a photo to a job application. However, the truth is that unconscious bias does play a part in the recruitment process globally, which prompts people to make judgements about applicants’ character and even ability in the split second it takes to glance at their photo. It can be particularly problematic if your photo is deemed to be unprofessional or unflattering. A photo is only ever helpful if you’re applying for a role such as a brand ambassador, where you’ll be hitting the streets promoting and giving away products. Your skills and experience should always take centre stage on your resume.
What personal information should I include in my resume?
Keep personal information in your resume limited to your name, email address, mobile phone number and address. It is not necessary to include information about your family, gender, marital status and ethnicity as none of these things affect your ability to do the job. However, in some circumstances, providing additional information is necessary, For example, if you are on a working visa or have permanent residency but your work history does not clearly reflect this, it is worthwhile mentioning your status.
How should my resume look?
Clear fonts and formatting are crucial in resume writing. Stick to fonts like Arial and Times New Roman as they look professional and are simple to read. While French Script and Comic Sans might look unique and cool, they definitely won’t endear you to the recruiter or employer. The font colour is also important when trying to read a resume, so use dark grey or black. Keep your formatting simple and logical; it’s less likely to date and makes it a lot easier for the recruiter to get a sense of your work history and skill set. Your resume should be as simple to read as possible.
How long should my resume be?
As a rule, keep it brief. Three to four pages is the maximum length to aim for. An eight page thesis with a title page that spans 20 years of employment is unnecessary and will most likely be overlooked. Remember, recruiters read hundreds of resumes per day so getting your messages across clearly and economically is crucial. Bullet points are always a welcome sight as they save time for the reader.
Should I include interests and hobbies in my resume?
Only list your hobbies and interests in your resume if they relate directly to the role you are applying for and are likely to make your application more favourable. For example, if you’re applying for a role that involves socialising with clients, mentioning that you play golf will indicate to a potential employer that you’re comfortable interacting with clients in this environment.
Remember - a resume represents your personal brand in the job market and is one of the most important tools you have to convince potential employers that it’s worth time out of their busy schedules to interview you. To help you on your way we’ve created a resume template that you can download for free.
Written by Alisa Moore, Research & Community Manager