So you compiled your first résumé five or ten years ago. You’ve been updating it from time to time when a job comes up. You’ve managed to get it down to two pages. You think it’s fine…think again!

The majority of résumés are simply a list of your past work and educational history…and this can make for pretty boring reading if you consider that the person who’s reading your résumé probably has a few hundred to get through.

So, assuming that you have the basics of a neat, coherent, succinct and well-written (and correctly spelt) one-page résumé, but are still having problems getting called to interview, here is Alison’s guide to making your résumé stand out from the crowd.

Be a Winning Salesperson

You’re essentially marketing yourself through your résumé, and offering a list of your past experiences doesn’t even come near to showcasing what an amazing team worker you are, or what a creative problem-solver you are, or how your passion and determination inspire everyone on your team. So tell them! In a few lines, at the top of résumé, sell yourself. Be honest and truthful, but remember you want them to sit up and take notice of you. Spend time on this; it’s the most important three lines in your résumé.

They want to know what you can do for the company, what you can bring and how you will fit in.

Focus on the Employer’s Needs

Your potential employers don’t care how getting this job will make you happy – not yet anyway. They want to know what you can do for the company, what you can bring and how you will fit in. Address the employers’ needs and let them know what you can do for them. Include this in the first few lines as above.

Include other Achievements & Skills in your Résumé

So you won an award –  put that in your résumé. If you’ve been taking the initiative on furthering your education and interests through continued learning, mention that as well. Continued learning shows initiative, a curiosity about the world around you and a drive to constantly improve and upskill yourself – things every employer is looking for in an employee. So mention any courses you’ve undertaken online and otherwise. Also be sure to mention any soft skills you have, as they are transferable to just about any position.

Knowing more than one language is a big advantage in today’s global market. So if you have them, list them in your résumé!

Volunteering shows community spirit and an interest in the greater good.

Hobbies in a Résumé – Forget it!

Just don’t go there. The fact that you go out running on a Saturday morning is great for you, but will it have any bearing on your job? The only extracurricular activities you should include are those that benefit others. So, if you like to spend your Saturday morning down at the soup kitchen, share that. Volunteering shows community spirit and an interest in the greater good, which translates well in a business environment.

Remember that your résumé is an advert about you. You don’t want to over-embellish and over-promise, but you do want potential employers to know how great you really are. So forget humility and modesty and sell, sell, sell like you’ve never sold before!

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