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Resume Checklist: 6 Essentials To Make Your Resume Stand Out

Posted February 25, 2020, by Elesha

We’ve put together the ultimate resume checklist of what to put on a resume to score that “We’d love you to come for an interview” call – then hopefully, the job of your dreams!

Your Contact Details

Don’t list your home or postal address but do include your mobile number, email address and LinkedIn profile. Just stick with one email address and one contact number. 

If your usual address is something like [email protected] create a new account with a simpler address for your job hunt. It’s great you love wine (don’t we all!) but it won’t leave a professional impression.

Headline – The Chance To QUICKLY Showcase Your Awesomeness 

When you’ve only got about 7 seconds to grab a recruiter’s attention (yup, research shows that’s how long they spend scanning a CV) you want to make your credentials stand out quickly. 

The idea of a headline is to quickly condense your work experience and skills into a short sentence that will leave an impression.

Think of it as your elevator pitch on paper – the one that’s going to make the hiring manager want to keep reading further along your CV. 

Here are a few examples –

  • Java Software Developer with 5+ Years of Experience and Teamwork Skills
  • Medical Sales Who Exceeds Targets by 25%
  • Impeccably Organised Personal Assistant with 7+ Years Supporting Senior Execs
  • Social Media Guru Who Doubles Community Engagement 

A Short, Attention-Grabbing Profile 

Next on your resume checklist is your attention-grabbing profile.

Like the headline, your profile should be quick and summarise your experience; calling out the highlights. Put it under the headline and use a bullet point format to make it snappy. 

Keep it to 3 or 4 bullet points or your most awesome skills and achievements, you can dive into more detail in the next resume checklist essential – your experience.

Here’s an example –

Impeccably Organised Personal Assistant with 7+ Years Supporting Senior Execs

  • Successfully implemented scheduling system to more efficiently coordinate schedules including travel and meetings of multiple senior execs.
  • Tech-savvy: Slack, Calend.ly, Evernote, Hootsuite, Salesforce
  • Diplomatic, problem solver and impeccably organised

Experience 

When it comes to what to put on a resume, you don’t want to get the ‘experience’ element wrong – this could make or break your application!

List your roles in reverse chronological order (ie – your most recent role first) and if you have a long career, focus on the last 10 – 15 years.

For each role, include the name of the company, your role and how long you worked there. 

Break it down! List out your experience and skills in a way that is easy to skim read – that means more bullet points.

Start each bullet point with a strong verb, for example – 

Handled…

Managed…

Responsible for…

Established…

Designed…

There’s a saying that goes like this – duties tell, accomplishments sell. Make sure you’ve got your accomplishments on your resume checklist! 

While including the most relevant day-to-day duties in each role is important, focus on highlighting some things you achieved while working in each position. 

Education summary

This is the section to list your academic accomplishments.

Like your work experience this should be done in reverse chronological order.

Include your qualification name, course provider and year you graduated.

Tip – If you’ve just graduated or you recently went back to school to complete a new degree, you might consider putting the education section before your experience section.

Skills

A well set out skills section can help a hiring manager decide whether you’ve got what it takes for the job— and decide quickly. You’ve got 7 seconds to make an impression, remember!?

Pay attention to keywords

This section will be scanned for relevant keywords – either by a human reader or machine scanner – so you want to focus on getting the wording right. 

Does the way you’ve written your skills align with wording in the job ad? We’re not suggesting you embellish your skills here, but it’s a smart move to tweak the wording to be a close or exact match to the job ad – if it doesn’t bend the truth!

Hard (technical) skills and soft skills

Not all skills are created equal and you want to include a balance of hard and soft skills on your resume.

You might be amazing and possess the technical skill of data analytics but your future employer also wants to know how well you can communicate with a team and stay cool under pressure – soft skills.

Don’t underestimate the career edge soft skills can give you. Even when it comes to hard-to-fill positions, soft skills still play a big role in the hiring managers decision. 

Bonus Tips For Your Resume Checklist

Leave off the ‘references available on request’ line

Yup, they know if they want references they’ll need to ask you – it’s an irrelevant line. 

Have someone else read it

Don’t send off your resume for a job interview you’re dying to land without having someone else read over it first. When you’ve been working on tweaking your resume what feels like 1000 hours, there’s a big chance you’ll miss something super obvious.

Run it through Grammarly 

Grammarly is a lifesaver when it comes to picking up any typos or grammatical errors that could see you miss out on scoring an interview.

Create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile

We mentioned dropping your LinkedIn profile into the contact section of your resume and if you do, create a custom profile URL. It’s much neater! Here’s how to create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile. 

Make it easy – use a template!

Still struggling with how to write a resume? Create a stand-out job application without stress. Use one of our done-for-you resume and cover letter templates to create a CV and cover letter that grabs attention visually and has all the right elements. 

Check out are step-by-step guide on How to Write a Resume or leave it to the professionals and connect with an expert resume writer here

Elesha

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