Our favourite things to see on your resume...
And a few things that make us spontaneously combust!
As a recruiter, your CV is our first impression of you, so your success in the job market relies heavily on getting this important document right. A well-structured and succinct CV will not only demonstrate your skills and experience but also acts as a marketing tool, promoting your personal brand to prospective employers.
Here are some examples of resume inclusions that make us want to sing a happy song:
A concise resume of two to three pages equals a happy recruiter. An impressive candidate will provide a concise resume that clearly outlines their education, job history, skills and contact details in an easy to read format. Recruiters see a lot of CV’s, so keeping it punchy and to the point will ensure it gets read.
Exact dates of employment
It saves us a lot of extra legwork when a candidate provides exact dates of employment for their previous roles. You may be surprised how often we see vague dates of employment on resumes. If a candidate has been in a role for less than 5 years, we want to see the month and year that they started and finished that job. For example, 2012-2014 could mean a candidate has been in that role for as little as 12.5 months or a maximum of three years – a large disparity.
Explanation of gaps in employment
We love it when a candidate explains any absences of employment on their resume. Common explanations of that time include; travel, study, maternity/paternity leave, redundancy, surgery or temp/freelance work. Not explaining this time only leaves it up to the recruiter’s imagination.
List your achievements
It’s helpful to see a candidate’s key achievements on their resume, provided with evidence if possible. This enables us to see the impact a candidate has had in their previous roles. e.g. growing the rent role from 25 to 80 in twelve months.
Whilst we see lots of great resumes, we also see plenty that need some work. Some of the items that get included on resumes can be annoying, funny or just plain confusing. Here’s a few of our pet resume peeves:
- Superhero resumes
We know Marvel movies are all the rage lately, but calling yourself Super Trevor or the Dark Knight of Real Estate will cause us to question your seriousness. Whilst it’s good for a giggle, it doesn’t convey a professional approach. Our advice is to leave your penchant for superheroes at home.
- Stretching the truth
Alarm bells ring when we see candidates stretching the truth on their resume. For example, when a candidate indicates they have 3 years of experience in property management on their resume and we find out in an interview that it’s more like 18 months. It causes us to consider what other important details may have been embellished or left out.
- Extra-long resumes
Resumes that are 10 pages long simply may not get read word for word and may reduce the effectiveness of your application.
Jane Carey, Director at Edge Recruitment says ‘approximately 50% of the resumes that we see hit the mark and concisely convey the information needed to progress in the application process’.
If you haven’t updated your resume since before the dawn of social media, we hope these tips will bring you up to speed on what to include and what to leave out.