Designing the Best Resume

The simplest and best impact resumes are those that provide all the essential information a recruiter needs to make an assessment regarding the suitability of the candidate for the job in the shortest time and the simplest and easiest to read format. 

So what is the best way to design a resume that has impact and grabs the attention of the recruiter? Firstly, apart from providing important information about you, the initial purpose of a resume is to prompt the recruiter to take your application to the next step in the recruitment process. This means the resume needs to stand out from the crowd and end up on the short list of candidates. This applies in all cases whether you are going for a Non-Executive Board position with a company or a customer service role in a call centre. You want to get on that short list.

Imagine if you’re a recruiter and get 150 to 200 resumes flowing into your inbox for one position and you have perhaps 3 or four of those positions. Are you going to sit down and read them all? That would take days and be the most excruciatingly boring job of all time. Many recruiters solve this problem by reading only the first 50 or so and discard the rest. This means that one has to get one’s resume in fast, preferably within the first few minutes of it being advertised. Others simply scan very quickly for the salient attributes they have advertised for and are looking for. So this information should be on the first page, not buried deep within the resume.

Next it should be labelled with your name FIRST and then Resume. Most resumes say resume.doc and sometimes the candidates name is added at the end. Resume-john-doe.doc. This means the recruiter has to trawl through heaps to find a particular one. Not going to happen! If yours has something the recruiter wants, you want your name to stick out from the crowd and be easier to find. John-doe-resume.doc is going to be picked up much faster and save time and THAT is what a recruiter wants.

I have heard some recruiters say they want to see just a list of prior jobs from past to present. Others have said from present to past. Others are looking for, not just what jobs a candidate has held and what qualifications they have, but also what have they done and what results have they achieved. In all this the purpose of a resume is to prompt the recruiter to select the candidate for the next step.

At the top of the resume can be the name address and contact details in easy to read plain script. but it does not have to be these days as this information is usually provided via an online form. However it should be on the resume somewhere so at the end is another good place to put it. What one has accomplished should be listed next with brief information about what actions skills and abilities one has that relate directly to the position being applied for. If this is in a separate paragraph then it can easily be adapted to the position paying attention to the attributes, and requirements as listed in the advertisement for the role.

Next, the last positions held are important, particularly if they relate to the position being applied for. So they should be listed first and then prior positions following.

The main secret to a resume is. what is being advertised and what is the recruiter looking for that matches the position description? The specific requirements that have been listed are those that should be addressed in the resume. You might, therefore, have a basic template resume which you then adapt to each position you apply for addressing those specific requirements that have been listed in the position description.

Of course correct spelling and grammar is a given, any mistakes will cause the resume to be rejected even if not fully read.

Lastly I would suggest not adding in any qualifications or attributes that over sell. For example. if you are going for a customer service role, your degree in nuclear physics will cause you to be viewed as over qualified. Add in only those that relate to the role you are applying for.

Adding referees to the resume will save the recruiters time also, and there is nothing recruiters like more than their time being saved.

Further information is available at Resume Services.