There really isn't any consensus on how to make the best eye-catching resume. Different organisations will want different things, so usually it's best to have a few different versions of your resume on hand—a long version and a short, bullet-pointed version would be a good start. Still, there are some things that everyone wants to see on a resume.
Here are seven top tips from our recruitment consultants:
- Your cover letter is very important—it could be a deal-breaker or a deal-maker! The cover letter is where you show your interest in the role, so make sure you write a new one for each job, and clearly demonstrate your relevant skills and experience.
- If there are breaks in your work history, explain why—did you spent a few years travelling? Were you looking after children?
- Don't be shy when talking about your key achievements. If you made significant, successful changes in your organisation, make sure you highlight them. Any awards you received should also be listed.
- The general format of a resume starts off with your skills, then either your education or your work experience, depending on which is most appropriate for the role. Government organisations love people with tertiary qualifications, so even if your degree wasn't directly related to the job you're going for, make sure you still mention that you completed it. If you've worked on published papers, make sure you list them at the bottom of your resume.
- You need to show evidence that you have the skills needed for the job. If your job title and typical duties doesn't mention that you also had experience running a major project, you should definitely put it in!
- It's all about relevance—once you've written your resume and cover letter, go back over them to make sure that they suit the job you're applying for.
- Make sure you choose an appropriate method of delivery! Unless stated otherwise, sending your resume and cover letter by email as a Word document (.doc) or in Rich Text Format (.rtf) is always preferable.
If you're uncertain about how to put your resume together, there are many companies that specialise in resume preparation, such as CV.co.nz.