Resume Purpose & Layout

The purpose of a resume or curriculum vitae is to showcase your skills, abilities and talents in such a manner as to highlight your key strength areas and core competencies.

Your prospective employer will no doubt receive many resumes in application for their vacancy and the more concise, succinct and easy to read that your resume is the more chance you have of the recruiter thoroughly reading through your skill set and considering you for the role.

The resume should always begin with your name, clearly shown and generally in bold text. This may be centered or blocked to the side of the resume, regardless of how you plan to set out the remainder of your resume. Under your name include your contact details; these can be your phone number, email address, street address and / or LinkedIn account. Your street and LinkedIn account are optional but it is essential that you include your phone number and email address on your resume as the recruiter will want to contact you quickly and easily should they wish to progress your application.

Once you have completed the header of the resume you must now determine the style of the body of the page. You may choose to either center or block the text but the main consideration to keep in mind is that the style must remain the same throughout the entire resume. However it is appropriate to block the main text whilst centering both the header and the last section which will contain your education and qualifications history.

Your first paragraph in the body of the resume is a short paragraph profiling your professional skills and suggesting your expertise in your field. Use strong descriptive words and a generic job title suitable to the category of work. For example, if you are an Accountant it would be suitable to state that you are an accomplished Finance Professional with comprehensive fiscal experience.

Moving on through the resume you may now dedicate a section to your key strengths (remembering that many skills are transferable across industries it is wise to keep your descriptions strong but general). It is acceptable to bullet point this section; do not make it too long as the recruiter needs to build a picture of your skills at a glance.

The main section of the resume should now be dedicated to listing your job title, companies which you worked for, dates of employment and duties and responsibilities. Keep this neat, tidy and easy to read. Add in key achievements reached in each job position if possible. Your employment history should be in chronological order, beginning with your current or most recent role.

The final section of the resume can include categories for education, qualifications, certifications, board roles, honors and accolades, and military service and awards. Subtitle each of these sections and display in list format. Remember to add in dates where appropriate and to include the names of institutions of learning.

Finally, proofread your work and make sure you have a well written cover letter. Check that you have no spelling mistakes and ensure that your resume information is accurate and truthful

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