A Properly Crafted Resume is Key to Winning That Important Interview

Job seekers who think that creating a resume is an easy task are doing themselves a disservice. Although the inclusion of important information such as education, specific qualifications and work experience is technically a resume, in today’s challenging job market it has now become necessary to have a different approach to this essential document. 

Before trying to win that perfect interview, think about how you can create a good impression, the type of questions you would like to be asked and topics you would like to highlight, while avoiding others. Let’s presume that apart from the information contained in a resume, an interviewer has no other details about you. Is that document going to evoke sufficient interest in order for them to take further action?

Don’t be too wordy. Regardless of how impressive you may be, using too many words in your description can be confusing and long-winded, instead of getting straight to the point. A candidate can miss out and have their application rejected with someone else being considered for the job. Remedy this by eliminating everything except the essentials. Be ruthless with regard to the type of information and sections that you include, as well as the use of phrases and actual wording. Be critical and ask yourself whether what you have written will improve how a company sees you.

Being clear and concise is very important. All your details should occupy one page. The layout should include no more than three to four sub-sections under a specific section heading and no more than three bullets per sub-section, preferably just two. Keep each bullet to one line as this helps to emphasize the main point that you want to communicate.

Focus first on achievements, followed by skills. Instead of just saying that you occupied a managerial role in a large company, be more specific and mention that under your management in a particular firm, productivity increased by more than 50 percent. If possible, give figures to confirm this. Companies that are interested will hire candidates that have a proven track record of producing results.

Include a section on any projects that you have successfully completed. If you have created a good impression outside your work environment, whether in a special group or on a personal blog, make sure that you share that. Fitting everything about you onto one page is impossible. If an employer would like to know more, where possible, provide leads such as links to a personal website, LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle. Ensure that this is relevant to your specific work sector.

If you have been employed by more than three firms, consider doing some sifting and omitting one or two of the oldest. Opt instead to include only the ones that will add value to the resume and exclude those that are less impressive. After all, this is an outline for that perfect interview. Even including something quirky can make you a memorable candidate. Activities not specifically related to your qualifications, such as an interest in cooking or having a competitive streak in various sports, can demonstrate positive traits like creativity, imagination, entrepreneurship, or having an ability to thrive under pressure.

Take the time to tailor your resume to each prospective employer. This can be done by keeping a document with optional sections and bullet points that can be swapped out. In this way, if you are applying for a more technical role or administrative position, you already have the material on file to swap out. This is particularly handy when applying for more than one type of job or roles in several categories. 

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