We all understand the importance of writing a great resume, some more than others. Your resume is the only thing standing between you and the job interview you want. Yet given this fact people regularly submit half hearted resumes to jobs they apparently care about. Wishing and hoping for the job of your dreams is pointless, write a great resume and you can have it.
You can write your own resume or have professionals handle it for you. If you have the money, we recommend going with a professional every time, however we will cover both in this post.
Professional Resume Writing Services
The costs of using a professional can be anywhere from $50 to $1500, it depends on a variety of factors. The benefits are that you will have industry experts write a unique document for you, you will save hours of your own time and typically providers offer a guarantee on their work to get you interviews.
Finding a good company to partner with can be hard. There are many resume writing services reviews available that can assist you, we won’t go over that here, but we will advise on the following:
- Choose a company that is established and has a proven background of success
- Find a company that connects you directly with your resume writer
- Find a resume writing service that offers a guarantee (usually an interview guarantee)
- Don’t just choose on price – paying $200 + for something so important is worth it
Writing your own resume could take four hours or (lots) more with editing, revising and proofreading. So although it’s a free option you will spend a lot of your own time and energy with the document – so just consider this when making the call about using a pro.
Do it Yourself – The Elements of a Great Resume
Understanding how to write an effective resume is essential to your chances of getting interviews > a job > career progression > more money…so don’t cut corners.
You have seven seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume. Layout, length and appearance are essential to your chances. Make the length one page if you are a graduate or have 1-2 years work experience. Keep it under two pages unless you are an executive with 10 years experience or more that can’t be condensed down.
The Opening | Objective Statement
There is some debate over this subject, however it’s a good idea to have an objective statement that summarizes your experience in a succinct and professional manner and lets employers know what you’re looking for. Keep it under three sentences and the convention here is to write in the third person. Yes, write about yourself using your name from someone else perspective.
Reverse chronological order (most recent job first) is a must. For a current job use present tense to describe your responsibilities and past tense to describe your past jobs responsibilities. Start each line with a verb. A good guide is ‘ing verbs.
Eg. Managing a team of outbound call center specialists focused on customer retention. The same example in a past job would be – Managed a team of….
Start with the most important tasks first, leave out filler and keep it to the important stuff.
Resume Achievements Section
You have two options here. One is to create a separate achievements sections, the other is to include them under each job. If you do the later, simply start with responsibilities, then list achievements separately underneath. Give them a sub header to distinguish them for the reader.
1 Opening statement (optional)
2 Employment in reverse order (students with limited work experience should place education here)
4 Skills | Technical Skills | Systems
5 Interests (optional)
6 References (you don’t need to list their contact details here. Also check with your referees to see if they’re happy to provide you with a GOOD reference before listing them)
The resume is the most important element. The cover letter is still important, but recruiters will not generally read this document. If you are applying direct to companies you will need one though. We will deal with cover letters and other job hunting essentials in some future posts. A good resume is step one, and all you need for now.