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Job hunting is about showing yourself in the best light possible and this involves selling yourself on paper via your resume or ‘CV’ and cover letter.

A resume shows an employer the best of what you have to offer. it’s about selling your skills and abilities and demonstrating that you’re the best person for the job. here’s some tips on preparing a great resume:

Presentation

  •  First impressions count, so make sure you leave a great first impression.
  •  Keep it simple and easy to read with a standard font 10 or larger.
  •  Always print your resume on quality paper.
  •  Avoid cramming in too much information, or long winded sentences.
  •  Always check your spelling and grammar and have a friend read over it for you.

Sell benefits, not features

Don’t just describe your responsibilities, but include your achievements and back these up with supportive statements i.e. achieved sales in dollar figures, dollar savings to the company, years of experience, recognition or awards.

Structure

  •  Personal details – Include your name, address, telephone number, mobile phone number and email address. The more ways you give someone the chance to contact you, the better.
  •  Profile – Provide a brief summary (3-4 lines) of your skills and experience including qualifications, experience, abilities and personal attributes. This will help you grab the employer’s attention and encourage them to read on.
  •  Work history – Start with your most recent job and work backwards. Include company name; positions held; time of employment; key duties and responsibilities; key achievements in this role. Do not leave gaps in employment, list the reasons as to why you may have been out of work.
  •  Education and qualifications – Include any tertiary training, trade certificate, degree or diploma, listing the most recent first. Also include any current licenses, blue card, or if you are fluent in any languages.
  •  Personal information – Here you can talk a bit more about your interests outside of work. Include positive interests that could relate to this field or could be of relevance to this position or employer. Don’t provide too much detail.
  •  Referees – Include the names and contact details of two people who have agreed to act as referees for you. Past employers are ideal if they will provide positive feedback. Otherwise, you could also include include family friends, or a teacher where the course is relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you have their permission to include their details.

Resume Do’s

  •  Ensure your resume is error free by checking spelling and grammar.
  •  Have a friend read over and provide feedback.
  •  Include key words that ‘mirror’ what the advertised job is asking for.
  •  Highlight your strengths and abilities.
  •  Back-up your achievements with supporting statements.
  •  Research the company before the interview, your effort will show throughout the interview.
  •  Ensure sentences begin with action words.
  •  Ask yourself, ‘does this resume sell me as best as it can?’

Sell benefits, not features

Don’t just describe your responsibilities, but include your achievements and back these up with supportive statements i.e. achieved sales in dollar figures, dollar savings to the company, years of experience, recognition or awards.

Cover Letters

The cover letter complements your resume and provides an additional opportunity to sell yourself as the best person for the job. Generally the cover letter is read first, so here is your chance to impress.

  •  Keep to the point; be sure to tell the employer how great you are in relation to the specific skills and attributes that they are looking for.
  •  Come prepared to answer key questions, jot down some answers before the interview.
  •  Keep it simple and under one page in length.
  •  Be sure to ‘mirror’ what they are asking for in the job advertisement and tailor a cover letter for every job you apply for.
  •  Use positive and upbeat language to keep the reader interested.
  •  Do some research on the company first; a bit of background knowledge will add substance to your letter.
  • Ensure spelling and grammar is spot on.