Resume writing – how to get it right

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resume tips

Writing a resume can be a daunting prospect. This is a document that a potential employer uses to make their first judgement about you – so you’ll want to ensure these judgements are positive.

We encourage candidates to state very clearly what their career aspirations are. Writing “I’d rather have no money and sleep on the street than do xxx job” is going a bit too far (and yes, we have received this comment on applications)!

When you send your resume to employers, exclude inappropriate comments which will dampen your chances of being offered an interview. Here are some tips from Hays, the recruiting experts to ensure you present a competent and professional resume.


Tips for writing great resumes:

  • Most companies prefer resumes submitted electronically, so create your resume in a common program such as MS Word so it can be opened and read by recipients easily.
  • First, include such basic information as your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Make sure the email address you use appears professional. [email protected] is not appropriate.
  • Next list your education (secondary and tertiary) and qualifications. Reference your career objective back to the job applied to give an indication of what you want (avoid beginning this with ‘all I’ve ever wanted to be is a…’).
  • Then list your work experience in chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Include employer names, positions held and primary responsibilities.
  • Do not leave gaps in your CV. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment, or travelled for six months, say so. If you do include gaps, potential employers can suspect the worst. Stating the years, rather than the months you started or finished a role can also send off alarm bells. Writing “2013 – 2014” could be interpreted as employment from December 2013 to January 2014 unless you say otherwise.
  • If you have your own website profiling your work, include the URL, but do not simply submit the URL address instead of a resume.
  • When formatting your resume, ensure there is plenty of white space. Don’t place too much information on one page or use graphics and flowery or small fonts that are difficult to read as they distract from the content.
  • Finally, don’t forget to spell check your CV. Remember, it is the first impression your potential employer will have of you, so take the time to get it right. If possible, ask someone to proofread your resume to check for any spelling, layout or typing errors.
  • If applying via email, attach your resume rather than pasting the text into your email program. Pasting text into an email program sometimes causes text to appear on the recipient’s screen in a distorted or muddled mess, making it very difficult to read.
  • Unless otherwise stated, you do not need to attach copies of certificates relating to educational and/or professional qualifications (including recent academic transcripts) or references from previous employers. You should instead bring these to a job interview.


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This article was originally published on Hays
Edited by: jobsDB HK

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