When you are looking for a new job, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a good resume. Your resume is the first thing potential employers will see and the content of it will be used to decide whether or not to invite you to interview; so it is crucial you get it right. Most recruiters are inundated with resumes, so they will only have the time to quickly scan it. Your resume will need to make an impact, for all the right reasons and these are some of the ways to do it.

What Not to Do

There are certain mistakes that many candidates make with their resumes and this can ruin their chances of getting to the next stage of the process. You should not have photographs of yourself on your resume, this is a very outdated approach, yet many candidates still do it. It is also not necessary to mention your date of birth or how many children you have and believe it or not, some candidates will give a short bio of their personal life. There is no harm in adding a section with some of your interests, but your resume should be professional.

Contact Details

It may seem obvious but always make sure you have your contact details on your resume. Your contact details should include your telephone number, email address and a link to your LinkedIn profile or any website you may have. You don't need to put your full address on your CV, but you should have the area you live in, as a minimum.

Key Skills

With the advances in technology, many recruiters are using software to pick out keywords from resumes, so they don't have to read through them. This is why it is important to ensure you have a section with the key skills you have obtained throughout your career. You may also want to mention specific IT systems or software packages you have used. You should tailor your resume to suit each job you are applying for and fit the key skills from the job description into your resume (as long as you have them!) It is a good idea to stay away from the general skills such as working as a team or working on own initiative, but be quite specific with your skills instead. If you can add achievements to your skills, this will be even more impressive to prospective employers. For instance, if one of your skills is managing budgets and saving the organization money, make sure you add specific amounts for how much you have saved.

Experience

Your resume should also contain your work experience, starting from the most recent and working your way back. If there are large gaps in your resume, make sure you can explain these in your cover letter as it could put the employer off. The experience should consist of your job title, the name of the company, dates you worked and the key duties of the role. Some candidates make the mistake of only including their job title and the name of the company, without any other information on what they actually did in the job.

Clear Layout

The layout of your resume should be clear and easy to read. There is no need to have an outlandish design unless it is a creative role you are applying for. The only thing a recruiter will be interested in is whether they can easily read your CV and get a good idea of whether you have the relevant skills for the job. The resume should be no longer than 3 pages; 2 is ideal.

Error Free

It is imperative that there are no errors on your resume, so you may want to ask a friend or family member to proof read it for you. If there are spelling mistakes on your resume, you will probably find that it will end up in the shredder! Spelling mistakes indicate that you haven't taken time over your resume, which suggests you aren't very serious about finding employment. If the job requires you to liaise with clients via email or letter, spelling errors on your resume will be a worrying sign for employers.