The start of the year likely has made you think about what job you would really love to have, and given you the impetus to go searching for it. However, with so many people in the market for a new position right now, it’s important to make sure that your application documents avoid many of the common, fundamental mistakes that are so commonly made by many job candidates.
Doing so will help you to have the best possible chance of being noticed for all the right reasons when recruiters or business owners go over your documents. In particular, it is vital that your resume really stands out from the competition and showcases your strengths as a job candidate. If you’re keen to land your dream role sooner rather than later, read on for three key was you can make your resume “sing”.
1. Structure the Document in the Best Way
One of the first things you should do when getting your CV ready for a job application is making sure that it is structured in the best manner. When formatting your document, don’t forget that recruiters tend to see dozens, or even hundreds, of resumes in a day, so only have a very short amount of time to look over each one. They will tend to scan documents to see if they can find the details they’re most after first, and then will put resumes down after only around 30 seconds or a minute if they can’t immediately see that a candidate would be right for the role.
This means that, if you want to be seriously considered, you must lay out your document in a way that is easily scannable for recruiters. Break down the CV into component parts with relevant sub-headings such as:
- An introductory Summary, Profile, or Objective that lists your main achievements and experience
- An Education or Training area
- A Career History section
- A list of your referees, or a mention that you can supply references if requested
When putting together your ideal resume, keep in mind too that you want to leave a decent amount of white space on each page so that the document doesn’t look too cluttered. Also, use a font that is easy to read, and of a decent size. If you’re struggling with getting your document in order, or just don’t seem to be getting any interviews from your current CV, it pays to contact a resume service that will check that your document is laid out correctly and conduct other writing and editing work.
2. Tailor the Information You Include to the Specific Job You’re Applying For
Next, it is important that you tailor your CV to suit the specific job you’re applying for. While of course, you will have a template document that you’re working from rather than writing something from scratch each time you want to apply for a job, you still must tweak your resume to suit each particular role.
To help recruiters quickly see that you’re the right fit for a position, you need to make it clear that you have the exact skills, experience, and education level that was mentioned in the job ad. You should tailor your document to mention specific keywords that were noted in the advertisement (this helps if recruiters are using software to sort through applications); plus you should make sure that you include the right number of referees, as per the recruiter request — this can vary from job to job and company to company.
Keep in mind too that many recruiters look to see that applicants for a job actually live in the right location for the advertised role. They regularly input a specific city or suburb in the sorting software they use to go through resumes, so if your details don’t match you could get overlooked straight away. If then, you plan to relocate for a job, it is important that you add in a mention of this in your resume. Next to your current address, for instance, you can type a short note that confirms you will be relocating to the job location shortly.
3. Review the Document for Errors and Other Issues
Lastly, one of the most important things you must do before you ever submit your resume for a role is proofreading. Read carefully over your document so that you can pick up on silly typos, grammatical and spelling errors, paragraphing mistakes, or any other issues that could put recruiters off.
It is always a good idea to not only look over your work multiple times yourself but to also have other people read it for you. Having fresh eyes on your document means that it’s more likely that errors will be picked up on — after all when you have been staring at words on a page for a while, it’s easy for your brain to miss things because you know what you meant to say!