Your future employer will probably spend twenty seconds or less scanning your resume. Most employers hate reading CV’s as it can be time consuming and interferes with their main business activity which after all is running their businesses! To be remembered you must make an immediate impact with your CV, and you must be clear about why you’re a great fit for the position you are applying for. In order to best highlight your experience, you need to create a resume that explains who you are and what you’ve done in a concise and simple manner. Below are some helpful hints for effective CV creation:

Style

Content such as humour, design and style are all subjective resume components, so be careful here. Leave out pictures, quotes, graphs, and columns that make your resume too personal. Be consistent with your use of colour, font, size, and style (bolding, italicizing, and underlining). Use normal (3/4-1”) margin widths. Use fonts between 10 and 12 points.

Format

Consider either a chronological or functional format. Chronological format lists your work history in reverse chronological order with the most recent position listed first. This is the preferred method of format because an employer can easily see what jobs you’ve held and the duration for each. The functional resume focuses on skills and experience, rather than on a chronological work history. Stick with this format if you have an employment history with gaps or you’re considering a change in career.

Length

Your resume should give your future employer a concise and complete picture of who you are as a candidate. As a rough guide, entry level candidates should have a one-page resume, mid-level candidates should have a two-page resume and senior level executives with extraordinary work experience can have a three-page resume.

Focus

This is a critical component to your resume. Keep your career objectives in mind as you craft this document. Include any and all information pertaining to your experience, accomplishments and skills that relate to your career goals. Do not include irrelevant information.

Objective

The majority of objectives that we see are vague one- liners that ultimately prove unnecessary. Include an objective only if it convinces your employer that you are interested in the specific job at hand. Consider a summary statement instead. Craft a short statement on who you are professionally and what your primary skills are.

Name

Bold. CAPITALIZE. Centre or right justify. The text you use here can be up to six points larger than the body of your resume.

Phone Numbers, address, e-mail

You must include a phone number. If you expect your number to change, provide the number of a stable friend or family member. Be sure to leave a voicemail message that is professional and courteous. Include your personal email address, preferably one that is not incriminating, embarrassing or inappropriate. Providing an actual residency address is optional these days but it is always useful to include the town or city where you live as the employer may want to know how local you are to the workplace.

Education and skills

Include college, degree and graduation year. Recent graduates should put this information at the top of their resume; others can include this information towards the end. The highest degree reached should be included on your resume. If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher you do not include high school graduation information. Include computer and language skills, and other skills that you believe make you a worthy candidate to the specific job you’re applying to.

Salary and references

Do not include salary information anywhere on your resume. For references, simply include ‘references upon request’ at the bottom of your resume. If this line adds page length to your resume, scrap it.

Terminology

The written job description to the position you’re applying for is a great place to find terminology to include in your resume. Start phrases positively and try not to be repetitive and do not use personal pronouns such as “I”. List information in priority order and quantify statements as much as possible.

Work history

The substance. Create and maintain a solid format throughout this section of your resume. List employers, job titles, dates of employment, and responsibilities and accomplishments in bulleted list form. Title the paragraph with either the name of your former employer or the title of your last job. Past experiences should be in the past tense, present experiences in the present. This is your opportunity to shine. Be sure to include information here that details your positive influence on the position you held.

Dates

Omit months if possible. Simple year marks make for a cleaner reader and a smoother look. This is also a great way to show off your experience to the greatest capacity.

Affiliations/interests

Include pertinent professional affiliations or memberships that pertain to your professional identity. We do not advise including any information about personal interests or family situations. To avoid identity theft, do not include private information such as your N.I.E., Passport or social security number.

Proofread

Typos and misspellings are unacceptable and could garner your resume an immediate visit to the rubbish bin. Look over your resume carefully. If possible, have a friend or family member look it over as well.

Paper

Bring at least 3 copies of your resume with you to every interview. This should be printed on good quality, white paper.