Sun | May 26, 2019

Caren Waugh | How to write a winning resume

Published:Sunday | September 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Caren Waugh

Writing a rÈsumÈ can be a daunting task, especially for first-time jobseekers in this competitive market.

Many jobseekers reported that they possess the skills and abilities to land jobs they apply for but never get invited for an interview.

Based on research, this situation is due to one simple fact. Potential employees lack the skills required to compose their rÈsumÈs in a professional and polished manner that is satisfactory to job recruiters.

In this technological age where organisations are operating at global standards, the education system should implement courses in the school curriculum to address rÈsumÈ writing and preparation for the job market in general.

A rÈsumÈ is a personal marketing tool that should be crafted to sell a potential employee's skills, academic qualifications, work experiences, and other achievements. The document should give job recruiters a good idea why the candidate is the best fit for the job.

It should be noted that due to technological advancement, rÈsumÈ formats have evolved over the years. Therefore, jobseekers should keep abreast of current formats based on the standards of the organisation they are applying to for the job.

Marketing Tool

Jobseekers should think of themselves as marketing tools and use their rÈsumÈs to sell themselves to the potential employers. What skills and abilities they possess? What makes them unique?

A rÈsumÈ should be used to obtain an interview and not the job. Therefore, it is important to make the rÈsumÈ concise and clear, there is no need to go into the details of all accomplishments. Once an interview is obtained, the candidate can use that opportunity to give a detailed account of his or her accomplishments and convince the recruiter that he or she is the best fit for the job.

The four main sections of any rÈsumÈ consist of name and contact information, skills, professional experiences, and education.

A fifth section, an objective statement, can be added to most entry-level rÈsumÈs, while more experienced professionals can replace this with a branding statement or professional summary. This should be tailored to the job the candidate is applying for in approximately two to four sentences. Highlighting up front the value the applicant brings to the job skills and experiences and a few outstanding accomplishments.

This section does not have to carry the heading 'summary' but a title that encapsulates the applicant's credentials, such as professional profile.

Every rÈsumÈ should have a skills section which should appear beneath the summary or professional profile. This should be focused on the job being applied for, using the right key words, giving recruiters a quick glance to see if the applicant has the expertise they are looking for.

Professional Experience

This is the most critical area of any rÈsumÈ. Jobseekers should not just list their day-to-day duties but focus on their accomplishments. List duties performed and brief descriptions of what they entail, citing quantifiable results.

Education credentials should be written at the bottom of the rÈsumÈ, stating where the applicant went to high school or college with the most recent listed first, and the degree(s) obtained. If the candidate graduated with honours this should also be highlighted.

There are other information that could be added to a rÈsumÈ that may not fit in the other sections, such as awards, publications, course work, grade point average, or GPA, and volunteerism. However, before this is added the applicant should decide if such information would make him or her more attractive to the potential employer.

Get Your RÈsumÈ Reviewed

It is not only important to list skills and experiences but also to present a rÈsumÈ that places the applicant ahead of the competition. Therefore, if a job candidate is in doubt, he or she should not hesitate to get his or her rÈsumÈ approved by a professional organisation, or individuals that provide rÈsumÈ writing service. Free rÈsumÈ evaluation are also available online with detailed feedback in as little as two business days.

It is critical for job candidates to ensure that their rÈsumÈs are professionally done in order to stand out in the competition and land that new job.

Best wishes at your next attempt to write that winning rÈsumÈ.

n Caren A. Waugh is a communication specialist and social media blogger.