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Cook up a Delectable Resume!

Tips to help you Cook up a Rock Solid Killer Resume.

Your resume is often the first impression a potential employer has of you.

This is where the employer, Human Resource manager or Recruiter will get to know you, your qualifications and your career aspirations.

There are certain guidelines that you could follow to ensure your resume is saying the absolute best about you. It is always time to polish up that Resume!

Here are some tips that could help:

1. Getting started... Create your own resume design-

When you design your resume you need to remember that this little piece of paper is the only thing representing you. When creating your own design, the pre-made resume templates offered on word processing programmes like Microsoft word can just scream template and indicate that you have made no effort in tailor making your resume. You can use these templates as a guideline but ensure to create your own final copy.

Remember as we said this is the employers first impression of you and seen as your own personal brand. Treat your resume as a marketing document. Choose a clean easy to read design instead of complicated and busy formats. (simpler is better)

2. Font Matters

Choose a font carefully.

One would think choosing the right font for your resume is not that important but it is. Choose a font that is professional, classic and easy to read. Examples of some of my favourites are Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman as well as Century Gothic.

When it comes to font, make sure that your name is in a larger font size than the rest of the text on the page- this will help you stand out and make it easier for a future employer to associate your name with your experience. One really good tip is to use the Footer option in Word and write all your contact info in the footer along with your name and Surname. This allows the Recruiter to pick up the phone and dial off any page on your CV.

A little extra note:

  • Do not write in all CAPS, (this can be considered as SCREAMING),

  • Do not use exclamation points!!! (the tone should be professional, not squeal!!!) .

  • Do not use emoticons (This is just unprofessional for a resume J )

3. Formatting matters-

Organizing your resume appropriately is incredibly important.

In point 2 we discussed font, ensure that all colour font, text and size are the same (unless you bump up the size of the font for company names or headers) You can also break up text with bullet points detailing your accomplishments.

Just make sure that your resume looks clean, easy to navigate and that the formatting is consistent throughout. Make it pleasing for the eye.

4. Keep it relevant –

This is a big one.

Resumes are a summary of your most important data. Every company you worked for should be listed formally (no abbreviations) with:

  • the exact title of the position you held,

  • as well as dates of employment,

  • responsibilities or duties

  • and accomplishments.

Listing as many relevant jobs and certificates is key.

When putting your resume together be sure to work in a logical order. (note: it's good to list your recent and relevant experience first)

If you have gaps of time in your job history, it is best to address what you were doing during that time. For example if you were backpacking across Europe explain what you got out of that experience that could possibly add value to your next endeavour. No matter what do account for the time. It is ok at times to omit unimportant experience for example school jobs, if they are not going to enhance your resume. But only if omitting them does not create gaps in time.

Make sure each previous position in your resume is something that proves why you are right for the job and give the person hiring a reason to call you in. If you have minimal experience, this does not mean you have nothing to offer. Highlight your transferable skills- these are skills you can use from one job to the next, regardless of the position. Remember: what you have done is as important and you do have something to offer.

With regards to your education-ensure to include relevant education:

  • Name of institution,

  • Qualification and

  • Year completed

Remember to include references

  • Name of reference

  • Company and designation of reference

  • Contact details (Try and include both telephone number and email)

If you are not completely comfortable with this for whatever reason you can indicate “references available upon request” – this will allow the person viewing your resume to contact you directly for references.

5. Achievements-

Do not forget your achievements, awards, memberships, any recognition and certificates. This matters. This is the time to show off.

6. Correct spelling and grammar –

Spell-check, spell-check and spell-check again.

Nothing is more unprofessional than misspellings and improper grammar.

Keep a good eye on your words and take a second look to be absolutely sure. Use a spell check whenever possible but ensure you use words you know and understand instead of using big words you may not- this could come back to haunt you in an interview.

7. Proofread -

Always have a second (or even third) set of eyes review your document before submitting it. Even if you ask a friend. Make sure your friend can understand “ÿou” based on your resume alone – you can even have them pretend to be on the hiring side and ask them if they would give you the job based on your skills and achievements alone as indicated in your resume.

Someone else will likely catch anything you may have missed.

Keep in mind a resume is never final - they need to be reviewed with s fine tooth comb every time especially before you send off to potential employers. This will only help you make your resume better and better.

8. Cover it off –

Ensure you attach a cover letter, cover email or fax cover sheet to each resume you send out.

This will assist with making sure your resume gets to the right person for the right job. Ensure that the cover is addressed correctly and addresses the job you are applying for. A photo is not a bad way to go either.

9. Be honest-

Always keep your resume real. People will be able to see right through you if you false. Remember, You never get a second chance to make a first impression and that is how you have to think of your resume.

Think of it as the company taking you on your first date. But just like the early stages of dating, you need to bring your A game every time!

Happy writing.

Farah Adam.

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