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How to write a job-winning resume, with tips from a professional resume writer

How to write a job-winning resume

Looking for a new job is a full-time job on its own.

It can be a drawn-out process and weeks of automated email responses saying you have been unsuccessful.

You’ll ask yourself questions like: Why? Didn’t I meet all the criteria? Where did I fall short?

And usually, more often than not, you get generic feedback, if at all.

It takes a lot of careful selection to put together a tailored resume to give you the best chances at landing an interview, and even then, you might not be shortlisted.

Your resume could be letting you down.

To avoid the lengthy job-hunting process, your resume needs to have the ‘wow’ factor. It needs to hook the employer and make them want to know more about you.

Follow my CRABS (Chunkability, Relevance, Accuracy, Brevity, Scannable) approach for writing a job-winning resume.

Chunkability

Is your resume concise and easy to read?

Too often resumes read like a person’s life story with every single detail, every job held and every responsibility.

Are there areas that are repeated or saying the same thing in a different way that could be combined or condensed?

If your work history is across different industries or skills-based, can you combine certain roles into sections with sub-headings to make it easier to navigate?

Relevance

Does your resume tick off the key selection criteria?

Look at the position description and job advertisement and identify the key words and values the employer is looking for.

Cross-check your resume to ensure it contains these key words and demonstrates how well you deliver in these areas through your major achievements.

Go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb keeping these criteria in mind and if the content doesn’t address it you need to cull, cull, cull.

There is no point wasting words on irrelevant details that add no value – make sure your resume is a marketing tool to sell you. Relevance is key.

Accuracy

Be accurate when quantifying your major achievements and avoid generic statements.

If you can quantify results it adds credibility and ensures that it is unique to you, and not a copy and paste job.

Spell check. Need I say more? It is a simple step but often forgotten, yet it’s a big indicator of laziness and lack of attention to detail. So many capable candidates fail to do this, and their resume goes straight into the bin.

Limit the use of abbreviations because not everyone will know what they stand for.

Lastly, ask yourself who will be reading your resume – will it be the technical specialist, a human resources manager or recruiter? – and always tailor it to your audience.

Brevity

Make sure you use targeted statements.

Too many resumes are unnecessarily filled with waffle and words like ‘however’, ‘key responsibilities’, ‘as well as’.

If you read a sentence and you can remove those filler words and the sentence still makes sense, then delete them. You will have more impact if you can be as succinct as possible.

Keep your resume up to three pages long (possibly four for senior roles) and include no more than the past 10 years of experience.

Scannable

Formatting plays a key role, so making your resume scannable is key.

Make use of dot points, as recruiters love them, and use an easy-to-read font such as Arial size 12.

Add testimonials that highlight your strengths and reflect on key criteria for the role you’re applying for – just be sure to seek permission to include them first.

Refresh that resume

These tips offer a great starting point to help write your job-winning resume, and to get you thinking about your resume from recruiter’s perspective.

Your resume is all about giving a high-level snapshot of who you are, your skills and experience, and how you can add value to a company.

Be sure to demonstrate what you contributed in your previous roles in your achievements section and let the CRABS approach guide you in your writing.

All the best in your job search.

Rachel Bernardo author bio - SHE DEFINED

Rachel Bernardo

https://www.facebook.com/BernardoConsultingResumeWriters/

Rachel Bernardo is the founder of Bernardo Consulting Resume Writers.

An experienced marketer, Rachel has worked across diverse industries including education, information technology, local government, recruitment and retail. 

Her ability to maximise her transferable skill set and be a chameleon in the face of changing times gives her an edge in helping others write winning resumes that stand out.