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Nail these 7 top tips for creating a brilliant resume

Nail these 7 top tips for creating a brilliant resume

 January 09, 2020

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The first step when it comes to applying for a new job is creating a first-class resume. Get this document right and you're well on your way to scooping an interview, but get it wrong, and you'll miss out on your dream role before getting a foot in the door. 

Every resume is different as it should be tailored towards the specific job you're applying for. However, by following a template of top tips every time, you could improve your chances of a successful outcome. 

Where Women Work shares seven top tips for writing a great resume.

1. Keep it relevant and to the point

Don't overload your resume with everything you've ever done! Rather than a list of your career history, think of your resume as a marketing document. It's your opportunity to sell yourself as the perfect person for the job, so highlight your relevant experience and skills and keep mentions of work in other sectors brief. 

2. Put your most recent experience up top

Reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) is usually the best way to organise your resume. Your most recent, relevant job should be right up the top and, unless you're a recent graduate, put your education after your experience - your real-world expertise is more important than where you studied.

3. Don't make it any longer than two pages 

Limiting your resume to one page (no more than two) helps keep content easily digestible. Always ask yourself: "can I tell the same story in fewer words?". Bullet points can help, as can a good design layout and writing in note-form. Remember you can always expand on sections in your covering letter.

4. Use simple, clear language - avoid too much jargon

It can be tempting to throw in tons of industry jargon to show you're an expert. However, your first reader might be an HR manager or recruiter - or even their assistant - rather than an executive in your field. Ensure every reader grasps what you're about by utilising industry-speak sensibly and appropriately.

CV resume writing tips

5. Ensure your contact details are easily spotted

Pop your contact details right up the top. That's your location, email address and phone number. Recruiters get frustrated when they can't find how to reach you and, if you're not easily contactable, you'll end up on the scrap heap. Also, make sure your email address is professional (using a gimmicky email address you've had since school could damage your chances).

6. Use a clear, easy to navigate, layout and design

Use a basic but modern font, sized between 10-12 points, so that readers don't have to squint. Perhaps use a different typeface for your name, headers and the companies you've worked for, but make sure you're consistent. Using infographics can set you apart, but place any graphics sensibly and ensure they serve a purpose. When finished, save and send your resume as a PDF rather than a word doc (to avoid formatting issues).

7. Include links to social media profiles, personal websites and blogs

We live in a digital world. Show you're in-touch with the times by including links to your professional website or blog (if you have one) and include your LinkedIn URL or Twitter handle. If a recruiter likes your resume, their next step is often to check-out your online presence - so it also goes without saying that your public web profiles must portray a professional you.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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