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Writing a resume – points to consider

Now is the time of year when many people consider updating their resume for the possibilities that may lie ahead.

Are you one such person? Do you have a particular role in mind? If so, how will you communicate that you are the right person for that role?

It is easy to have a standard resume that you send to potential employers. However, to present the best possible 'you' it is important to fine tune your resume and highlight the areas that meet the essential criteria of the job role.

What I mean by this is to structure your resume so that the person who is reviewing it can easily see that you meet the essential criteria and if possible, the desirable criteria, of the role.

In order to do this, ask yourself what skills and experience you can bring to the role that meet the listed criteria.

Questions to consider

Here are some questions to consider when reviewing your skills and experience:

  • What skills have you demonstrated in your previous role(s) and how can these apply to the new role?
  • How have you demonstrated good communication skills?
  • Do you have any additional skills that will add to the role?

To answer these questions look at all areas of your professional life and categorise these into groupings that meet the essential criteria and then the desired criteria.

Also look at areas from your life in general – any volunteer work that you do or have done in the past and the skills acquired in these areas.

Showing that you have a balanced approach by highlighting your skills in various areas of your life will work in your favour.

This will also help you to format your resume to highlight the important areas for the interviewers.

The easier that you make it for them to see that you are the right person – or at the very least a potential candidate for the role – then the greater the chance you will have of being inviting for an interview.

Cover letter

Finally, always send a cover letter with your resume. The cover letter should complement not duplicate your resume.

Nowadays emailing your resume is acceptable. That means that your resume should be sent as an attachment (and preferably as a pdf file) with the body of your email being your cover letter.

Spend some time on your cover letter. It is often your earliest written contact with a potential employer which will create a significant first impression.

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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