A goal of Quality Human Resource Solutions, Jamaica is to assist Jamaicans obtain their dream job. With this in mind, here are a few tips to writing the prefect resume that will give you a head start in getting that dream job.
So you've identified a job in the career field you'd like to enter and now need to write a resume to place with your well written cover letter to complete your application.
First and foremost, it is important that the job you're about to apply for is one that your interested in and you understand the qualifications and duties you will be required to perform. Choosing a job in your desired career field would be a smart decision as well. One should take the time to analyse the job ad and pay keen attention to the tasks for each role when creating a resume for each job opportunity they apply for.
When creating the resume, you should aim to be the superior candidate for the role as lot more persons will be applying for the role as well.
A resume is often times the first point of contact between candidates and employers, it is therefore important that you make that first impression a great one. Try to make it hard for the recruiter to put your resume down. From the minute he/she start reading, your resume should spark interest. You want your resume to win you an interview and to do so you'll first need to pass the screening process. The recruiter will need to picture you as a highly qualified professional with excellent writing skills who would be a great fit for the role. Therefore the content in your resume should be clear, focused and relevant to the position your applying for (eg. don't go into great detail about accounting qualifications/accomplishments if the position is for reception).
There are three main types of resume writing styles: Chronological, Functional, and Combined (Chronological - Functional).
- The chronological style has a more traditional structure and the Experience section is the focus of the resume. With this style each job experience is described in some detail. Persons applying for roles in the same profession or type of role normally choose to use this style.
- Major skills and accomplishments are highlights of the functional resume style and this helps reader quickly identify what you have to offer rather than having to read through the entire resume to find out. This style helps direct your readers in a particular thought direction. It allows you to indicate the key skills and qualifications from all your past jobs that could help convince employers that you will be successful in the job.
- A combined resume style would include elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It may have a short chronology of job descriptions followed by a short "Skills and Accomplishments" section, or it may take a longer summary format including a skills list or a list of qualifications. It could also be a standard functional resume with the accomplishments under the headings of various jobs held in the past.
Each format has its advantages and so which ever style you may choose to use, try to capture all the information necessary to give you an edge over other applicants.
What to Include
Below are the major things your resume should cover. Whilst you are not required to cover all the sections in the percise format as presented, we recommend you include and cover all the areas.
Ensure that your contact information can be easily identified and is eligible on your resume. Try to include a mailing address, a telephone number (s) and an email address if you have one.
Your employment goal should be stated here in a clear and concise way and be focused on how you can help the company.
This is where you will list your past institutions, qualifications (degree, diploma, CXC etc) and the year attended. Start with the last or present institution attended and work your way back. Primary and basic school information is not necessary in most cases.
Note in reverse chronological order your job title, employer, location, work performed, and dates. Use action verbs to describe your work. Highlight accomplishments and any skills developed. Whenever possible, quantify what you did (Example: led six-member team, achieved $ in quarterly sales).
Honors and Activities
A list of academic honors (scholarships etc.) or other awards you have received can be included here. Non academic organisations and groups that you have been involved in and for which the role you played could help showcase your skills and qualifications could also be listed here. Remember to include any accomplishments you may have made in these groups and focus on your latest achievements instead of your older ones.
Computer, software and other technical skills, operational knowledge of special equipment, languages, licenses or certifications etc. that are related to the role you're applying to can be included here. Any additional special skills you have that may interest an employer should be included here as well.
Unless asked to include reference information you may note instead on the resume “References Available Upon Request”. Be sure to request permission and inform the persons you will be using as reference before doing so. I would suggest you get at least 3 contact information and ensure they are up to date.
Resume Writing Tips
- Create a new resume for each job position you're applying to and don't have one resume for all positions. Resumes should be job specific.
- Be sure to read the job requirements (duties, responsibilities and qualifications) carefully before applying for the position.
- When completing your resume include skills, abilities and experiences listed in the job advertisement that you have.
- Include only pass experiences, skills and abilities that are related to the role in which you're applying to. Whilst you may want the recruiter to know you have a experience in a wide variety of fields, avoid lenght explainations about pass responsibilities and experiences that are not related to the role.