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Resume Writing Tips

1. Conduct research on the company.

Each country and company has a different culture and customs. The content and format of a resume, going to an international firm, will differ from that of a Caribbean country. As such, it would be wise to conduct some background checks as to what may be acceptable to that company in the relevant country.

2. Identify the purpose of your resume.

The main objective of your resume should be to get that initial interview – tailor it to suit.

3. Don’t forget the basics.

The first set of information that should be on your resume is your name followed by your contact information. Ensure the information is clearly legible, because the employer may want to reach you.

4. Provide examples of your strengths and positive qualities.

Your potential employer will want to know what you can bring to the organization, so when listing your strengths and qualities, ensure you provide references showing your relevant qualities.

5. Double check your resume for errors.

This step is extremely important as it would only take one spelling or grammatical error to negatively affect your chances at getting the job. Take the time to reread your resume ensuring all are in order before you submit it. You can ask another person to proof read your resume as well as to ensure that you have no errors.

6. Utilise bullet points for easy reading.

List your working experiences and educational qualifications in bullet point form, so that the potential employer can easily read all that you have listed.

7. Put the most important information first.

Place your working experience at the beginning of your resume as this is what the potential employer will primarily be most interested. It is also important to note that it is not necessary to include all your working experience, as some of it may be irrelevant. Any other relevant information, such as your personal skills for instance, can be listed according to importance as well.

8. Pay particular attention to lettering.

The font of your resume should be “Times New Roman”, size 12, as it is the most accepted type. Also be sure to avoid capital letters where they need not be as this may give a harsh tone to the resume.

9. Use different resumes for different job openings.

People tend to use one resume and cover letter for all the jobs for which they apply. This is not ideal as different job positions require varying skills. As a result, your resume and cover letter should highlight and reflect the most important aspects of each job.

10. Do not embellish.

Including false information on your resume is not a wise decision. This is mainly because your potential employer may pose questions relating to the information you put on your resume. Also, if you do land the job, you may be required to perform certain tasks based on the skills you listed and if the information is untrue, this will reflect poorly on your character.

11. Include only pertinent information.

Facts about your age, religion, marital status, sexual preference and political affiliation should not be included in your resume. This may end up working against you.

12. Number of pages.

A resume should not be more than two (2) pages long. Be sure to include all the relevant information and keep in mind that the more concise the resume, the better.

13. Regularly update your resume.

Diarise to update your resume on a regular basis. Every time you go on a training session, get a promotion or attain academic qualifications, update your resume to reflect this.

14. Avoid jargon.

It is a common mistake to expect that the employer would be familiar with certain abbreviations related to a particular field, so write them out in full. Slang should not be used in resume writing.

15. No fancy designs.

Keep you resume looking as professional and conservative as possible, especially if you are applying to a corporate entity. The use of photos, fancy fonts and brightly coloured paper should be avoided at all costs.

16. Ask someone for assistance

If you are having difficulty with writing your resume, ask a trustworthy friend for some assistance. You may have a friend that is well versed at writing and that person may be able to help you convey exactly what you want to communicate.