You’re looking for a new job. Being in IT, you can be reasonably sure an employer is looking for your skillset. But, unless you’re as in-demand as a factory sealed Nintendo cartridge, you’re still going to need some resume writing tips.
After all, your resume is the primary tool you have to showcase yourself. It often gets to make an impression before you get a word in edgeways.
Your CV should outline your skills and experiences, education, knowledge and successes and reflect the quality of the position that you seek. But, if you’ve been off the market for a while, yours is probably a bit dusty and outdated!
The whole purpose of your CV is to get you an interview. Once in an interview, you can sell yourself face-to-face. Until then, things like font and writing style can help you put your best foot forward.
Your CV must meet a logical order starting with a brief introduction and your most recent education and experience first.
Provide more detail on the roles in the most recent five years and only summary information on roles preceding the last five years. Include job titles, employers, dates of employment and responsibilities for each position. At the start of each role outline, highlight your achievements while in that position. For example, if you demonstrated leadership, give an example of how you led a team or practice and what the outcomes were.
Think about what your next employer cares about. You’ll get an idea of what’s important to them from what comes first in the job description.
In addition, your CV font should be easy to read. You can’t go past Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman in a 12 point for body font and no smaller than 10 points anywhere on the page.
Write simple sentences and short paragraphs using only the words you need to make your point. If you tend to write longer or run-on sentences, use a free tool like Hemingway App to keep you in check.
Use headings and dot points to break up information and draw the reader’s eye to the critical elements like key achievements.
This information usually sits at the top of the page or in the footer. Include your name, address, email, telephone contacts, and a brief overview of your interests. No photos. Keep it short.
And double-check it! You would be surprised how often we see incorrect phone numbers and sometimes even another person’s phone number when copying from a template.
Provide the contact details for professional referees, particularly from recent employers and someone you reported to directly. Always request permission from the referee to provide their name and contact details. You should include the name, title, office address, telephone number and email of approximately three referees. It is also helpful to include the basis of the reference (Employer; Co-Worker; Personal Referee etc.) in your CV.
Friends, relatives and colleagues do not make appropriate referees.
Always proofread your resume before submitting it. Look for spelling and grammatical errors and chronological mistakes. Then, get someone else to have a look at it too. If you’ve been reading over and over the same thing, you’re more likely to miss something that fresh eyes will pick up.
A good resume is the first thing a potential employer sees, so it is worth the effort to get it right!
Once you’ve followed these resume writing tips, check out our job listings.