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Graduates – 5 Tips on How to Write an Effective Resume

interviewWe all want that job. It’s great if you get to the interview stage for one job opportunity, but do you find that you’re not getting there as often as you should be? Perhaps it’s your resume that’s holding you back. You have the experience, yes, but are you conveying this effectively? Research indicates that it takes an average of six seconds for recruiters to decide if you’re right for the job or not, just based on your resume! You’ll need one that will make you stand out. Here’s five tips on effective resume writing.

1. Seek Professional Advice

If you’re really struggling to determine your career objective and find the exact job you’re after, this is often conveyed in your resume. Approach a career counselor for help at your college or university. Most tertiary institutions will guide you on the right path to finding your ideal career, meaning you can expertly tailor your resume towards the specific position you’re aiming for.

2. Make Your Name Stand Out

A lot of people make the mistake of heading their resume with ‘Resume’. Don’t! Your name should go at the top in a bolded print along with your contact details, in a standard print. Include one address, one phone number and one email address. You can also choose to put your qualification next to your name, for example, ‘Ann Smith B.Sc.’

3. Decide if You Will Include an Objective

Recruiters are divided on this – some like to see an objective, others don’t. While it may show you have a real purpose, it can also mean you are narrowing your chances by limiting yourself to that one goal. You can decide for yourself if you’d like to include one, but experts say you should only do it if the objective is not a generic one.

4. Have the Right Number of Pages

Your experience should be reflected by the length and formatting of your resume. If you’ve had several years’ experience, keep it to two pages if possible, three maximum. Some recruiters feel that if you’re in your twenties, your resume should only be one page long as you surely don’t have enough experience to justify adding a valuable second page. However, if you’ve interned and worked hard all through college, embrace that second page!

5. Layout is Important!

Don’t add so much information to the point of overcrowding the page – it’s exhausting to read. Use white space to draw the reader’s eye to specific information that you feel is important. Make it a pleasure to read – add bullets, italics and bold fonts to highlight certain accomplishments. Include keywords from the job posting as some recruiters use software to sift through resumes – you don’t want yours to be missed.

The bottom line? You’re selling yourself in just two pages. You must mould your resume into what the recruiters want to see. Something in your resume needs to make you stand out against other candidates – whether it be an achievement, or simply in the way the resume is formatted. Small things can sometimes make a big impact.

Today’s guest article is provided by Francis Benjamin. He is a recent graduate of Evocca College where he studied website development. When Benjamin is not helping his friends succeed in finding jobs after college, you can find him diligently glued to the twitter tips provided by his alma mater (Evocca).

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