It’s a no brainer that in a competitive job market and with recruiters commonly inundated with applications to trawl through, job seekers must present themselves in the best possible way and a killer resume is your secret armour!

A great resume is crucial to stand out at first glance as you’ll generally get one opportunity to apply for this position, so how do you stand out and not make the rookie mistakes so many others do.

We’ve compiled a list of six resume tips – 3 you must and 3 you must not include on your resume which will hopefully see you shortlisted for the next role you apply for (fingers crossed).

THE “ MUST DOS”

1. Include Your Time Off Work

Do account for any significant periods of time spent out of the workforce as unexplainable gaps within your career history may be a concern for the reader. Taking time out to raise your family is a completely normal thing to do and nothing to be ashamed of, so call it for what it is and simply list “parental or maternity leave” or “raising family” alongside the associated dates.

2.  Cut to the Chase and Keep it Short

Recruiters or Hiring Managers simply do not have the time to read your life story, no matter how interesting, so please do keep your resume to a maximum of 3 pages if possible by including only quality and relevant information.

3.  Punchy Summary Will Get You Read

Be sure to include a really short and punchy summary of your career experience and key attributes at the beginning of your resume. This will provide an appealing snapshot of who you are, what you have done previously and how you can add value to the organisation applying to and really “sell” you to the reader. This can be changed to suit the position you are applying for and is often valuable when highlighting your transferable skills if changing career paths.

THE “MUST NOTS”

1. Be strategic

Unfortunately discrimination in the workplace and in the recruitment process is commonplace so we suggest that you omit personal information that may expose you to unethical practices such as your age, ethnicity, sexuality, health or marital status. This information does not determine your suitability to the role you are applying for or ability to effectively carry out the duties the position entails so essentially holds no value at all.

2.  Ditch the Photo 

Despite being genetically blessed, you must not include a photo of yourself on your resume so save this for your LinkedIn profile. There is no legitimate reason for an employer requesting you send a photo of yourself as part of your application for a position, with the exception of the entertainment or fashion industries but even then you’re most likely to present a folio. You will have the opportunity to impress an employer with your immaculate presentation when you’re invited to interview.

3.  Save the Referees

Referee information will be requested at or following a successful interview with an employer so you must not include the names and contact details of your referees at the end of your resume, rather replace with a closing statement such as “references will be made available on request”.

So there you go. How did you fare? Hopefully not too many were on your list and if so, acting on the Resume tips above will put you in good stead for future applications.   Happy hunting!

Author

Rachel Perkins is the Founder of JustMums Recruitment, a recruitment agency specialising in connecting working mums and mums returning to work jobs, with a focus on full and part-time, family friendly and flexible employment. She is an experienced Recruiter, qualified Social Worker and busy mother of two young children.

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