Writing the perfect résuméSunday, October 10, 2021
By TAMEKA HILL
YOU sip your morning coffee as you comb through the Career section of the Jamaica Observer. Your eyes light up, you put the cup away, as you intensely stare at the words on the page. This is it, your dream job! Reading through the requirements you realise it's perfect, handcrafted just for you. Then reality hits — you don't have a résumé and the last one you sent still has your date of birth at the top. Ouch!
If you are having a challenge writing the perfect résumé, you're not alone. So today, I will offer you a few tips and advice on creating an impactful résumé.
Tip #1- One size does not fit all
Many people have one résumé that they send to all recruiters, but this doesn't quite work. It is important that you customise your résumé for the job you are applying for. Highlight skills, competencies and experience based on what the job requires.
Tip#2 - A clean design
A nicely designed résumé is often underestimated. But consider this: job recruiters going through a pool of 1,000 applications that are all designed in this mundane template from 1912... See, it's easy to get overlooked. But if yours is a nicely designed résumé with a bit of colour, trust me, you will stop them in their tracks.
Tip#3 - Do not list everything on your job
I've seen this way too many times — a résumé with every task you've done, even something as simple as 'prepared coffee for meetings'. Yes, really! Recruiters spend on average eight seconds on a résumé and trust me, the last thing they are interested in is that you made coffee.
Tip#4- Summary is literally everything
As mentioned in Tip 3, recruiters spend very little time glossing through résumés, so ensure you prepare a summary section that allows for easy and quick assessment of your experience and skills relevant to the job.
Tip#5 - Please PROOFREAD
I really wish I could shout this across a room for the people in the back. Proofreading is absolutely critical in résumé writing. There was one applicant who wanted a job in public relations but it so happened they dropped the 'l' in public. TMI, or carelessness? Either way, the résumé was rejected. Always ensure you re-read your document. A little tip in doing so is leaving your résumé for a few hours so you come back with a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that you say all the right things and not miss a beat… or letter.
Join me next week for five more tips for creating a great and impactful résumé.
Tameka Hill is a professional résumé writer who has produced résumés for local and international clients. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out her website, https://makeyourmarkjm.com/.