The most basic principle of good resume formatting and design is to keep it simple.
Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Keep it easy to read at a glance by using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page. You can use a different font or typeface for your name, your resume headers, and the companies for which you’ve worked, but keep it simple and keep it consistent. Your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager.
2. Icons and Graphics
Creative resumes with icons or graphics can set you apart, but you should use them thoughtfully. If you’re applying for a larger company or chain store they most likely use applicant filtering software, so keep to the standard formatting without any bells and whistles so the computer can read it effectively. If you’re applying to a more traditional company, don’t get too crazy, but you can consider adding some tasteful design elements or a little color to make it pop.
No matter what, keep it clean and tidy and don’t go creative unless you’re willing to put in the time and design work to make it perfect.
Keep your contact information easy to read and prominently placed at the top of the page. It’s still worth including a postal address and make sure to give a phone number you can be contacted on during businesses hours. Your email address should be professional such as firstname.lastname@example.org (not that embarrassing old one you chose in high school). Avoid using your contact details from your current place of work unless your applying within the company.
Most importantly, remember to design for “skimmability”.
Hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time on each individual resume so help them get as much information as possible, in as little time as possible. This means putting the most important information at the top of the first page such as including a brief career summary and a snap-shot of key skills. Left aligned text and a chronological work history are also helpful.
And don’t forget to get help from a professional. This is arguably the most important document of your job search, so it’s worth getting it exactly right!
First of all, put yourself in an employer’s shoes and consider their frame of mind when looking at your resume and what they’re asking for in the job description.
1. Provide quantifiable prove of your experience.
“Hardworking team player” is written on almost every resume I come across but it doesn’t tell the employer much. Prove your commitment through achievement-based language such as “Increased performance by X% through introducing…” to get the right attention.
For instance, boilermaker might cite X number of days incident free, a hairdresser can measure his or her success by a client feedback system or industry awards achieved; while an administration assistant might provide typing speed and data input accuracy percentages.
Use results-driven language on your resume and see the immediate difference in employer response.
2. Put the most important information in the top-half of the first page.
On average, employers only spend a few seconds skimming over your resume before developing an opinion regarding your suitability. So making sure the important parts stand out is a key challenge. Employers are most interested in your achievements and experience, in other words, what you bring to them.
Listing the most relevant information first to grab their attention during that first skim over makes a huge impact on your call back results.
Have someone glance over your resume and tell you what they noticed and the overall impression they got. Make adjustments as needed and try it again.
3. Use keywords in your resume and cover letter.
Many large recruitment companies use an automated applicant tracking system (ATS) to review resumes which look for key words that relate to the job ad. This system filters out the resumes that are irrelevant and needn’t be considered for the job. So to ensure your resume gets through the filtering software, you must look for keywords in the job ad and insert them into your resume and cover letter. Addressing selection criteria and using industry terminology will get you a long way with the company.
Utilizing these three key points will significantly improve your results next time you apply for a job.
HOW CAN YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF LABOUR HIRE COMPANIES?
Labour hire companies all work with different employers and have different vacancies. So don’t limit yourself to one but register with as many as you can find.
Once registered don’t sit back and wait for the work to come in. If you do, you may find you are nothing more than a forgotten resume in a filing cabinet somewhere.
At least once a week go in to see them in person. When an employer rings them with a vacancy you want to be the first person that comes to their mind.
Make sure you are always dressed and groomed to make a good impression. Take a folder with a copy of your resume and other work related documents with you so you are ready for an interview.
Rather than getting frustrated that you haven’t found work yet, always be polite and courteous and they will be more inclined to go the extra mile to find you a suitable job.
Try Cold Canvassing.
Cold canvassing is where you apply directly to an employer for work when there was no vacancy advertised.
How do I go about it?
Before leaving home, do some research and make a list of businesses you would be prepared to work for. Start with those closest to where you live and work your way out from there. Take the time to consider every business in the area and think about what they do, make or sell.
Use the internet. Many businesses have a Facebook page or subscribe to other directories. Just google them and see what you find. Talk to your friends and see what they know. While doing your research try to find out the managers name.
Next work out what skills you have that they may be able to use. Then make up a ten-second spiel. Managers are busy people and you need to get their attention quickly before their mind goes back to what they were doing before you interrupted them.
“Hi, my name is Bill and I have 10 years’ experience as a carpenter building houses. I have an HR licence, White Card and Forklift ticket.”
Make sure it is relevant to what you know about the company, it’s no good talking about your welding skills if they build in timber and vice versa. Be prepared to provide additional information about yourself if asked.
When entering a business get straight to the point and ask for the manager by name if possible. Present your spiel and hand over your resume. After you leave the business make some notes about who you spoke to and what they said. If there is no work available this week, then make a note in your diary to call back in a few weeks’ time. Aim to get 100 employers on your list and contact about 25 every week and if one of the employers on your list explains they are a family business and never employ other people then cross them off.
Looking for work can be a full-time job, but the more people you speak to the more chance you have of finding a vacancy.
Remember to make sure your resume is up to date and dress the part.
If you thought it was difficult to find a job you are probably right. There are five times more people registered as looking for work than there are jobs on the internet.
So what do you do to be the one that gets a job?
First, you need a good resume that highlights your skills in relation to what the employer wants. It’s no good handing in a resume that talks about how well you mixed cocktails at your last job when the role you are applying for is welding.
Then you need a plan. Make sure you target both advertised and unadvertised jobs. Advertised positions can be found in newspapers, internet job search sites, company websites, social media, store windows and shopping centre noticeboards. Unadvertised positions can be found by cold canvassing, developing good networks, registering with labour hire companies and advertising yourself on social media. One of the benefits of unadvertised jobs is not many people know about them and the competition is not so steep.
Looking for work can be a full time job. Be systematic. The more jobs you apply for and the more contacts you make, the better your chances are of finding work. Challenge yourself to apply for 5 jobs every day. With a mixture of advertised and unadvertised positions that should be achievable.
Finally, dress right, put your best foot forward and give it your best shot. If you give up you will fail, but if you keep at it you will succeed.
Developing a set of professional practices to follow throughout your career will have a dramatic effect on your effectiveness now and for years to come.
1. Get Organised
Always show up 10 minutes early. Punctuality is one of the most important professional habits to adopt and is worth applying in all aspects of your life. It’s an honest indicator of your organizational skills and overall reliability.
2. Dress For The Job You Want, Not The Job You Have
Uniform or not, always dress appropriately for your workplace.
Your personal appearance is one of the most important forms of nonverbal communication, so what message are you sending your boss?
Putting in the extra effort to make sure your clothes are always clean, neat and tidy will help you get the right attention from the right people.
3. Social Media Filtering
Set up your Facebook privacy settings so your colleagues aren’t seeing your party photos—or anything else you don’t want shown to potential future employers or co-workers. Facebook allows you to create customized friend lists so you can choose who sees your check-ins, photos, and other details about your personal life. Be sure that every time you accept a new friend request, you’re adding your contacts to the appropriate list. On a similar note, unless you want all of your tweets and photographs shown to the world, make sure your Twitter and Instagram accounts are private.