How to Write Resumes, Tips from an Expert

> > Interview on how to write resumes, Part 2

Knowing how to write resumes that get the interview is a skill that you can acquire. You need to understand the requirements of the job and respond to them.

Sounds easy, huh?

It is, after a lot of trial and error and after having analysed why you didn't receive an interview offer.

But better ask an expert for resume writing tips tailored to Australian jobs.

We continue our interview with Gavin, a professional CV writer based in Sydney and ask him more details about how to write resumes that make you stand out.

Below are his great resume hints.

Click here for the first part of the interview.

1. Gavin, what do human resources professionals and employers want in a resume?

The most important part of a resume is the same, no matter if you are a student or recent graduate or a CEO or an executive. Recruiters and employers are looking for achievements and the value added skills you can bring to the job.

Too many times a candidate will focus on the duties and responsibilities. While this is important it will not make a candidate stand out from the competition. Emphasizing achievements backed up with examples is the most important part of good resume writing.

2.    Can you give us examples about why some resumes are never read past the first sentence?

There is no set rule why a particular resume may be deleted, however there are many factors that can contribute to a hiring manager pressing the delete button. What every candidate needs to remember is that for every job there are potentially other 100, 200 or even 300 candidates applying.

Your resume is the first impression which a hiring manger will make about you. Using fancy fonts, long sentences, bad spelling and grammar are just a few reasons why a resume will be deleted before the hiring manager has even completed the first paragraph.

Click the link on your right to buy Gavin's e-book "The Ultimate Australian Job Search Handbook" from Amazon and learn how to respond to the requirements of Australian employers in your resume and how to get ready for your interview.

3.    Tell us how to write resumes that make a candidate stand out.

Professionalism is the key and targeting the resume for the job you are applying for. Remember, your resume has a purpose and that is to get you an interview. It is not a piece of artwork that will be hung on the wall.

If the job you are applying for requires leadership abilities, then provide examples about ways you have performed as a leader. Do not make the reader have to guess!

4.    Can you offer some tips on how to write resumes that get the interview?

Create achievement based resumes! This is how to write resumes that get the interview.

5.    In your experience, what are some of the mistakes that appear in resumes?

The top 5 resume mistakes I see on a daily basis are as follows:

  • The use of text messaging abbreviations, for example: "going 2 c clients";
  • No dates;
  • Lack of achievements or highlights;
  • Irrelevant information (long winded);
  • Spelling mistakes.

6.    What do you think about including a "career objective" statement in your resume?

A career objective or career summary, when written well, adds great value to your resume. However, when written badly or "generically", it can have a negative effect on the resume. In my opinion, I like to include a career summary to introduce the candidate to the reader.

It is however very important to include value added information in the career objective rather than generic information, such as: "hard working individual who is very loyal and solves problems".

7.    Please give us examples of how to write resumes where candidates need to address gaps in their work continuity?

Always one of the hardest aspects of writing a resume is dealing with working gaps. A cover letter goes hand in hand with a resume, and a well constructed cover letter can explain to the reader why there is a gap.

I recently worked with a senior executive who took 2 years off to travel and perform community work. We included the community work on his resume to show the reader that he had been actively doing something over that certain time period. We were then able to explain in the cover letter that, after working non stop for 20 years, he took a 2 year break from his professional career to perform the community work which he had not been able to do, due to his work commitments.

8.    What do you think, should you include your hobbies or interests in a resume?

If the hobbies and interest add value to the resume, then I recommend including them. If not, leave them out. Remember to target everything on your resume to the position you are going for.

9.    How long does an Australian resume have to be?

Resume writing is not an exact science and there is no exact answer. A standard resume will be between 2-3 pages. This is also dependent on the stage of the career a candidate is currently at. For example a graduate or young professional will typically want to have a 2 page resume. A more senior candidate may need 3-4 pages to include all of their achievements and work history.

10.   Do you need to include your whole employment history or should you list only the positions relevant to the role advertised?

This answer is different for every candidate. Obviously a student or graduate will have fewer positions to include than a senior executive and therefore, although a certain job may not be relevant to the position which they are applying for, it does show the reader that they have work experience. A senior executive can afford to be more targeted and include positions related to the role.

Get here Gavin's e-book The Ultimate Australian Job Search Handbook now, read his valuable tips about how to write resumes. and get ready to land your dream job.

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