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One of the most important parts of the recruitment process is your application, and this can come in many different forms, but the most common is your resume. This is the first step that will determine what happens in your job search, hence why it is vital to nail it!

I know what you’re thinking  – but how important is your resume really? It only takes on average 5 to 7 seconds for a recruiter to review and make a decision on your application. Imagine that! As soon as your resume falls on the recruiter’s desk, a decision can be made in a blink of an eye.

So here are some tips to improve your resume and make sure in those first few seconds you grab their attention!

  1. Keep it simple – I know the first instinct is to add all the things we have done and accomplished, but this can get overwhelming to the reader. The best way to keep it simple is by summarizing your background and experience in bullet point format for each role.
  1. Grammar – This is so important! Make sure to avoid any grammatical and spelling errors and ensure that your tenses are consistent throughout the resume. For example, for any past roles your verbs should end in “-ed” (achieved, organised); for current roles your verbs should end in “-e” (achieve, organise). Also, you should avoid first person pronouns.
  1. Format – Ensure that your resume is in PDF format, this way it avoids any formatting issues when viewing it from different computers or software.
  1. Label File Properly – Remember the small things count, don’t name your file something weird and irrelevant, this will only cause frustration. A perfect example would be: FirstName_LastName_Resume.
  1. Logical order – When recruiters look at your background they want to see your history in chronological order, and it is best to start with the present and work your way into the past.
  1. Visual concept – It is crucial that the layout and the font are consistent. Remember that the way you present your resume, is the way the employer will judge your presentation skills. Keep it super clear and easy to read. Remember the 5-7 second rule!!
  1. Include specific context – Nowadays temporary contracts are very popular and if you have completed a few then you should specify that, and this can be done in a very simple way. You can add it next to the title of the role, for example: Administrative Assistant (temporary).  On the other hand, if you have gained experience overseas, you should add it as well and this can be added next to the name of the company, for example: McDonalds, New York City.
  1. Selfie Rule – Leave the selfies for instagram – it is not the most professional strategy to have selfies in your resume.

You may be thinking these are pretty basic things and most people should be aware of them, but when was the last time you revised your resume? A few months? Maybe a few years? Well now that you’ve read through these tips, you can revamp your resume!

Rosie Ryan is a recruitment and HR professional who loves to get new careers off to a great start.

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