Rules? Well recommended guidelines at least. As you are probably aware, your resume can make or break your opportunity to get an interview, so ensuring you have a professional resume quality document that tells the readers concisely and clearly who you are is key. You should always have a resume ready just in case an opportunity for new position appears.  Keeping your resume current allows you to see what you have accomplished each year and it can help prepare you for your annual review and, if something does come up, you don’t have to start from scratch.  And with the rapidly change world of resume screening, customization, easy-to-read keyword specific resumes that can be read on varied screen sizes are essential.   Always remember that a recruiter scans a resume for approximately 6 seconds.  Eighty percent of those six seconds is spent looking at your name, current title and company, previous title and company, start and end dates for current and past positions and education.  The remaining time is spent looking for keywords that match the open position. 

1. Keep it as short as you can

As a general rule of thumb, try not to exceed 2 pages. Make sure the first page contains the key information that immediate shows who you are and how good you are.

Ensure you include these 5 essential elements that should be included in every resume Structure

Name and contact details:

Always clearly position you name, address, telephone number and email address at the top. Use a professional looking email address, try and avoid those witty and cheeky ones we all tried to make in our youth.

  • Professional Summary

Write a summary not a ‘statement of objectives’ that says who you are, what you do well and what you bring to the position applied for.

  • Professional Experience

List our jobs in reverses chronological order. For each position at minimal state name of company, state and end dates and position. Summarize not just your responsibilities but show what you accomplished.

  • Education

List all key qualifications, degrees, diplomas, professional certifications, licenses and additional training completed, with dates and awarding body.

  • Additional Skills

Here you can show what computer skills you have such as Microsoft Office, specialist software applications and systems such as QuickBooks, AutoCAD, and Google Analytics. It is also the place to highlight any language skills you have and your level of proficiency.

  • Select a professional looking font

It is highly advisable to use a common ‘conservative’ font such as Times Roman, Calibri or Ariel. Definitely avoid squiggly fonts. Selecta font no smaller than 10.

  • Use Bullets

When writing summaries of each of your positions it is much easier for the readers to quickly scan your information if you bullet the key points for each job you list. If possible, each point should demonstrate not just what you did but how well you did it.

  • Check your grammar and spelling

Always read and reread you resume, even ask friends or relatives to read it to check for spelling and grammatical errors. This ensures the resume conveys professionalism. Small errors can give a bad impression.

These rules, if you apply them will help guide you through the construction of a highly professional resumes. The essential thing to remember is that the resume should make all your key information stand out and not be hidden amongst information of lesser importance. Hiring manager just doesn’t have the time to read everything on everyone’s resume so clear and to the point statements stand out much better.

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