Since I’ve come to the working world, there’s been this problem.
Whether you wanna call it Curriculum Vitae, CV, resume, it must be called one thing:
I’ve seen real trouble making my resume. It’s assumed the hard truth is that if you want a job, you just have to make one work.
While that’s the hard truth, there are a lot of issues making it actually come out as effective, let alone impressive.
Being one that finds it hard to adjust, I thought it was just my problem. Then others started asking me to help them with theirs and people started liking mine, for whatever reason.
A good resume is a step to being employed. One place I applied for said they wanted me before I was interviewed because of my resume.
So I’m going take it upon my fass self to help you do one. Here are couple pointers on doing a resume.
Plain, Simple and Standard
Seriously. People don’t like complicated things. They generally don’t even like to read, (as much as I hate to say it). Employers find it hard to find time to view and go through applications. So make it easier for them.
Be plain and straightforward. You don’t like searching for things or having to read giant walls of text. Make it easier to navigate, well formatted and structured. Think bullet points and lists. Don’t make them look for your contact info or wonder about anything. Let them find pertinent points at a glance.
Another suggestion is having sections. Begin with contact and personal information. Force yourself to place your last graduation, qualifications, experience, skills and interests, responsibilities and accomplishments on one page. End with co-curricular activities and references. All of these pages should have a header with your contact information.
Organise it. Make it simple, sweet, easy to scan and easy on the eyes.
Copy, Edit, Share
No shame in copying what you think is good. Just try to learn from it too.
Successful people do it all the time, especially if they put their own spin on it.
But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?
Look at others’ resumes and applications, if you like it, borrow from it. Share ideas with friends that you can learn with. Especially if they can help with any areas you may be weak with. If anything your resume displays, like formatting or distinguished English for e.g., is seen as beneficial or essential to a job you’re applying for, it’s best that you learn how to do it!
We have a great resource in Google and Youtube to help.
Continuously Update Your Resume
So you’re done. Got that look and feel, polished from endless fawning. Now you never want to see it again. Banished it to the deepest, darkest corner of your mind.
No such luck, friend.
Don’t sit on your resume. Always update it. If you have a job, at least bi-annually. If you don’t, review it monthly.
If you have nothing to change, however small, something’s wrong.
The longer you don’t have a job and the less you have to show for it makes you less appealing and more lazy. Free online courses like Coursera or investing in voluntary or skill oriented organizations help you to broaden your experience and network.
Another reason to update it is to tailor your resume and application towards any companies and positions you are applying for. Put your envisioned start and end goal on applications, individually and in respect to their organization. Try to align with their mission and goals.
After doing some research here are helpful tidbits you may like to know:
- Research your targeted business and vacancies before hand. Use the internet to your advantage and you can even make some calls. This shows initiative.
- Email is essential but walk with a copy of your resume. Some like handwritten copies as printed could lack authenticity at times. Some prefer email only. Use discretion based on your research.
- In a resume, background and letters of recommendation are important. A police record is a plus. It’s better that you be upfront.
- Quality is vital. Poor spelling, structure, grammar, irrelevant info and absence of CXC Math and English or their equivalents are turn offs.
- Employers like to see qualifications, experience, skills and interests as well as accomplishments. Skills and experience can be just as, if not more, important than qualifications especially if significant or measurable. Many value attitude over aptitude as potential for growth.
- Have a professional email. If you don’t want an email simply with your name, JohnDoe@gmail.com, avoid giving employers inappropriate ones like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Following up is a skill in itself, so don’t give up if you get no response. You can annoy them respectfully. Just try not to make them mad.
You definitely won’t be able to find everything you need to know from reading this so check out these links:
Advice from Sam at Financial Samurai
Tips from Live Career
Monster’s cover letter & resume sample by industry
Cemal A. Copland is the secretary of The Writers’ Association of Grenada.
A big fan of creative writing and empowerment. Working with Midas Inc, he’s involved in their projects: Greenz Elite and Job Bot.