Writing A Winning Résumé

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Many young graduates believe that employers do not want them because they are young and inexperienced. It is true that many employers are looking to hire workers with demonstrated track record of success as older workers are assumed to be more stable, dependable and matured. However, many of them would also seek to hire employees with fresh ideas, zeal, skills and motivation. This is great news for recent graduates who are seeking employment; however, the first step to attracting these potential employers is to write a winning résumé. But how do you go about that?

Ask yourself a few questions, would you employ yourself? Why? What do you offer that other candidates may not? All employers want to know that there is a benefit in hiring you, and your resume must convince them of this fact.

The following tips will help your resume stand out from the crowd

1. Use Youth to your advantage

Let your enthusiasm, desire and motivation to succeed stand out in your resume. Employers want to hire workers who are passionate about their career choice. If you can take on extra hours of work, say so in your resume. Ensure your executive summary emphasizes your MOST RELEVANT strengths and experiences that tell the employer why you are uniquely qualified for the position.

2. Overcome Objections

Write a list of objections that employers might have about hiring you. Next to each objection, write down why the objection isn’t valid. Then incorporate the reasons an employer should give you a chance in your summary statement.

3. Prove You’re Responsible

If you have ever been in a position of responsibility, provide details and examples on your resume to show you are reliable and trustworthy. These examples could be from work experience, volunteer activities, school projects, internships, hobbies and sports. Write about leadership responsibilities that you have had and completion of assignments for which you were selected over your peers. If you have work experience, you can mention your perfect attendance record, additional duties assigned to you because of your excellent performance, and experience training new employees.

  4. Tailor your résumé to the Job

If your résumé is too generic, recruiters will be able to tell that you haven’t done your homework. Researching the employer and the role you are applying for, is necessary in writing your résumé.  It makes you suitable for the company you are applying to and allows you to match the job requirements with your skills and experience and present your qualifications in the best way possible. Include your findings in the covering letter – talk about your strengths and mention what you can do to improve the company.

  5. Make it short and appealing

The average length of a résumé is two pages and anything longer than that is usually considered to be unprofessional. Recruiters look through dozens of résumés and will spend an average of minutes scanning through your résumé in order to make the decision of whether or not to process it.

   6. Avoid Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Grammar and spelling mistakes can ruin your search for a job. Your résumé should be clear and grammatically correct, especially when you have described yourself as one who “pays attention to details”.   

Proofread your résumé and make sure you check, check and then check again.

  7.  Include references

If you are applying for an entry-level position, you are expected to include your references.  

  8. Sell your achievements

Make a list of good action words to use to sell your achievements. Here are a few action words you can use to make your résumé stronger and more engaging.  Amongst the best ones are ‘organised’, ‘achieved’, ‘planned’, ‘produced’, ‘coordinated’, ‘built’, ‘designed’

   9.   Organize

Divide the résumé, so it has headings and subheadings. Avoid long paragraphs when talking about your skills, achievements, academic qualifications, etc. Use bullet points, so the manager will instantly see the things he needs to see. Use a serious font such as Arial, Times new Roman or Verdana to write your résumé using font size 12.

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