The key purpose of a resume/CV is to get an interview. It is a marketing tool to sell yourself to the panelists of an organisation.
A resume must be short (maximum 2 pages) and focused on what you have to offer.
The first page is critical – it should give a snapshot of your skills required for the position you are applying for. The following information should be on the first page:
- Your name
- Contact details – in the footer of the page rather than taking up valuable space.
- Your profile, plus a few bullet points of your key skills, strengths and achievements
- An overview of your career (dates, organisation, role)
Other information to provide in your resume includes:
- Some detail on your recent roles, including key responsibilities and achievements
- Relevant qualifications and ongoing professional development
- Membership of relevant organisations
- Show your achievements, work experience, qualifications, etc in reverse chronological order – that is, most recent first
- Make your key achievements, strengths and skills as specific as possible, eg:
- Over 20 years’ financial services experience, including 15+ years in management and CEO roles
- 6 years’ executive experience on not-for-profit boards
- Proven ability to develop strategic networks and effectively foster working relationships with key stakeholder and customers
- Good layout makes resumes easier to read, so keep formatting simple and consistent – use headings and bullets, and be generous with white space
- Use bullets rather than sentences under each heading, and start bullets with an action verb, eg:
Researched and implemented strategy for …
- Keep jargon and complex words to a minimum
- Make sure your name and the page number are on each page – a good place is in the footer
- Don’t forget to check your spelling, grammar and punctuation – typos create a bad impression with the reader
And finally … remember to write a targeted cover letter/email for each position you apply for. The cover letter is your opportunity to show you are a good fit for their organisation, and to address any specific selection criteria.
If you have any questions or would you like some help with your resume please contact us.