I???ve been approached from time to time for job leads. Understandable, given my position. I???ve also been asked to review resumes and give feedback on resumes. I???d like to touch on this now.
A good resume should :-
1. be clear and detailed to a point.
You need to decide from the start how you want to present the information. Tailor it to your circumstance as to whether its best to present information chronologically or in terns of your expertise. There needs to be a consistent approach once this is decided and it should be clear. Do not leave people guessing as to gaps in positions, jobs or time. Explain the gaps ??? you don???t want them to assume the worst of it. A level of detail is necessary but the question is one of degree ??? how much information is important and relevant? The thing to keep in mind is how it is positioned. Put yourself in the mind of the reader. They are not interested in a blow by blow account of where you???ve worked as much as they are interested in what you did, how you???ve grown and learnt from your experiences and what you can bring to the job. All of which cannot be explained by a simple account of your job description and account of responsibilities per se.
2. showcase your expertise
A good resume will itemise what you???ve done and what you can do as a result. A great resume distills this into the skills you???ve gained as opposed to the work you???ve done.
Use your resume to showcase your expertise which may or may not relate directly to the job you were hired to do. Show them why you need to be selected.
3. aim for above commonplace ??? it is compelling.
By and large, there is a template we follow. Clean lines, not too long and to the point. However, the most important feature of your resume is how compelling it is. People are apt to go for snap judgments – first impressions do count. How you present yourself and what is covered on that very first page makes the difference. Much as I know you already know this, I need to stress : ensure you stand out. You don???t want to blend in. How you choose to stand out and what you want to stand out for, is for you to decide. The idea here is to be compelling and one can???t achieve that by copy pasting the approach 10,000 others have worked with or creating a bland characterless resume.
4. be low on typo or error
This may sound pretty basic but it makes all the difference in the world. It takes effort but its minimal really. It shows you up when you let typos, bad phraseology, wrong spacing and all these little flaws affect the final impression made ??? because that what it is. An impression. And its either a good one or a bad one, seldom made right by the meeting afterward. The imprint stays.
5. state your objective.
You???re making a stand and while there may be others who don???t agree or may not want that at that point in time, it???s important to be clear about who you are and where you???re headed. Without that sense of direction, it will be hard to make choices based on the selections in front of you. Additionally, you may be side-swept by other considerations simply because you???ve failed to think through your goals and aspirations in any detail.
6. be only the start.
A good resume is a fundamental part of the process. But it is certainly not the entirety of it. There are many other aspects you need to consider in your search for that dream job, not the least of which include the dedication and time to source the job that best suits you, the desire and patience to continue to connect with others and the embrace of other channels to strengthen this process.
7. be tailored to the recipient.
It???s not rocket science, this one. It is hard work no doubt to take the time to craft a specially designed response but why put in the work to do something that wont achieve the results you desire? If you???re gonna make the effort, make it worth your time and theirs. Make it compelling, make it tailored and make it special.