It’s pretty darn tough to get a job without a resume, so it’s flippin’ vital that the thing’s looking as good as Steve Carell circa-2017.
It’s your first impression – your big opp to show a potential employer that you’ll perfectly slide into their business like a directioner into Harry Styles‘ DMs. If you screw that up, the likelihood of them giving you a second chance are slim and no one wants to pull the pin on their dream gig like that.
Too many of us think our CVS are fine and dandy, only to go on and blame the hungry competition and a tough market for not scoring employment. Keep reading to see if you’re doing everything you possibly can to wow your potential employer right through to a full-time gig. Besides, chances are you haven’t hit refresh in that thing in years, considering there’s such a massive gap in between jobs. GET EM TIGERS.
MAKE SURE YOUR EMAIL ISN’T LAUGHABLE
Ditch your unprofessional email address. No employer is going to think twice about someone who prides themselves on being a sexc_surfer_gurl, especially if they see the actual CV coming from that address. Think about it: most applications are made digitally these days and you could cook it before they even get to check out your sweet InDesign skills. Keep it to your first and last name where possible, and add numbers if you have to. Sorry but, if you’ve waited this long you deserve all the rogue numbers and underscores you’re given.
KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS
Your resume’s tone and vocabulary should always reflect the business you’re applying for. Let’s just say that my cover letters for Best & Less (a family-focused store selling everything from nappies to granny panties) and PEDESTRIAN.TV (friendly loose-unit publication) couldn’t have been more different. The job advertisement’s tone is usually a good place to start, but still twist some of your individuality into it.
LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE
Despite what you may believe, people aren’t as transparent as you think they are. Whatever you say in your resume will need to be lived up to in your interview (and the job, of course, should you get that far). What I’m saying is, no malfunctioning-robot copy that reads like a overachieving Year 11 student essay. Be conversational, relatable, yourself. While it can be difficult to show personality on paper, it’s also one huge opportunity you have to do so.
DON’T SPOIL EVERYTHING WITH THE WRONG FONT
Times New Roman = you’re lazy. Comic Sans = you never mentally logged out of MSN. Curlz MT = please go to hell where you belong. Cleaner, crisper fonts like Helvetica and Arial can make such a huge, overall difference for minimal effort. Size 10 is ideal, but we’ll allow 11. Anything over that and you’re having a laugh.
REMEMBER THAT LESS IS ALWAYS MORE
The more experience you get, the more you want to talk it up. However, you can’t overdo it on a resume. Do you think I include my six-month stint at Best & Less when I go for a job in media? Hell no. Do I include my First Aid course? Definitely. (It’s like gold on a CV.) Know what’s worthy and what’s not and try and create some good-looking white space on that paper. Not only does it look chic, but it looks like you’ve been strategic in your path to success. On the same note, don’t overdo the design element. Show off your skills, sure, but going overboard can come across like you’re overcompensating for your lack of expertise.
PRIORITISE YOUR OFFERING
Sifting through resumes can be such hell for whoever’s doing it, and applicants need to have them in their thoughts. Your resume will be in either a physical or digital pile, and the chance of the recruiter getting past page one is slim. For this reason it’s recommended that you have your cover letter and resume separate (unless the application specifies otherwise), and ensure that all your vital experience is on the first page of your resume.
STAND OUT WITH SOMETHING NOT EVERYONE HAS
There are courses that are not necessarily specific to an industry, however, always stand out on a resume – things like having an accredited First Aid qualification. Seriously, I did mine earlier this year and now management will think twice before firing me because, well, I’m valuable in a crisis. It also shows that you really care about others. Find out more about learning to save a life and boosting your resume in the process here.
Good luck, you guys. It’s an overqualified jungle out there.