Career Advice & Tips
How to write a stand-out resume
Competition for jobs is fierce, so how do you set yourself apart from the rest? A resume is just a piece of paper, right?
Wrong. It’s the first impression your potential employer has of you. The challenge is making your one shine.
We suggest following these few suggestions and later on we can recommend some amazing tools to really spruce it up.
- The purpose of your resume (ensure it’s relevant to the career you are seeking);
- The length (2 to 3 pages);
- The detail of the information
- This is a key feature, if it is the first job you are applying for, you won’t have had any previous work experience. Wrong! What about the time you babysit your next-door neighbours’ kid, the time you sat in your mum’s office and helped her file documents, your weekly household chores, teamwork within the classroom, sporting clubs, etc. Get creative! All of these jobs you might not think important actually show plenty of characteristics an employer can be searching for.
- Don’t forget your education.
- Make sure it’s easy to read. Sure, big words sound impressive but sometimes short and precise can deliver a much better result. Take this example, which do you think sounds better;
- I am a self-motivated, ambitious person who has developed a mature and responsible approach to any task that I undertake, or situation that I am presented with.
- I ruminate myself as a vigorous, determined individual who consumes an established advanced, and accountable methodology to whichever undertaking that I commence, or condition that I am bestowed with.
- The overall look of your resume, a good layout makes a good impression; and
- Well-written text, without spelling errors (check spelling and grammar!).
Research the company you are applying for.
The traits an accounting firm are looking for can be very different from what a sporting club is after.
Find out about the company, their core values and see if you align with that, if you do, work that language into your writing.
For example, we at Prestige Staffing Solutions, our values are inspiring, innovative and fun. If it is true to your nature, use those words when writing your resume.
A lot of the time, a job ad can ask for specifics.
They may request you include particular topics in your resume, answer a question or email your resume to a particular person.
These requests can act as your first test, if you do not follow these to a tee, the company may not be interested in anything in your resume, because you couldn’t follow that initial instruction.
To avoid the rubbish bin, read in-depth what the company is asking of you for their application process and follow it exactly!
You’ve got this, you’re prepared, researched and ready to go! Now write! Be honest, be clear and be precise, and don’t get caught on the train to talk town. This piece of paper is your sales pitch to a potential employer, so make it count.
We have listed below some useful tools when it comes to creating and writing your resume masterpiece:
- Wix – resume website
- And if all else fails, Microsoft Word has some generic resume and cover letter templates built-in
Arm yourself with answers to the most popular interview questions
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth job interview, each one can be an unnerving experience, but there’s nothing that a little bit of preparation to cure those nerves and confidently enter the interview.
Last year, we successfully placed over 400 trainees, which can equal around 1000 interviews so we do consider ourselves somewhat experts in the interviewing field. So, we have prepared some helpful hints on what you could expect and how you could answer those questions. We’ve done the hard part for you, you just have to walk into that interview and nail it!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Easy, right? Not necessarily when you are thinking on the spot, you could quite easily find yourself starting to panic and ramble on stuff that just isn’t relevant (and sometimes, not appropriate) to the employer.
What they do want is a clean, clear, concise snapshot of you (not fluffy your cat), but you, what makes you tick. Include your work history if you have some, if not, include some personal qualities that would make you a good fit for the job.
Have key points and words you want to include and go over and over and over again until it rolls off your tongue in a natural way, not like a rehearsed robot that is stuck on the same track.
Including your passions is a great idea too, just make sure you can relate them back to the job and in a professional manner. Talking about your passion for horses because they have nice manes is lovely, but you could sell that to your potential employer by saying you are extremely passionate about caring for horses because you have compassion, commitment, and responsibilities that brings you satisfaction.
You have made it to the interview normally after submitting your resume, so the company would have already seen something in you they like. Keep it true to your nature and interesting. You want to leave the employer with something that makes you stand out, and make them remember you.
Main message: prepare and practice, practice makes perfect.
What would you say are your main strengths?
Basically, the employer is welcoming you to tell them how amazing you are. But don’t go over the top. Be truthful and accurate. Don’t oversell yourself and tell them you are a professional photographer when the truth is you know how to take a bomb selfie with the right filter and lighting (although a skill unto itself), the employer could expect something from you, you just don’t have.
It’s good practice to have your top 3 strengths, this keeps you limited so you don’t start rambling but is still enough for the employer to get a good feel for you.
Main message: play your strengths to the role.
What are your weaknesses?
Why would they ask me to offer up something I’m bad at?! I have blown the interview and they’re trying to get rid of me?! No, not at all. It’s the old cliché saying, no one is perfect. Employers understand you’re a human and humans make mistakes, they want an idea of your honesty and awareness.
But we like a happy ending, so let’s make that negative a positive. Being able to offer up a weakness is good but being able to offer an improvement on this is even better. So, pick something you know needs improving but follow it up with how you are working towards improvement or a plan you have devised to correct it. Be truthful, but don’t pick a quality that is a requirement of the role, if the employer is asking for attention to detail, we don’t recommend choosing this as your answer to this question.
Main message: self-reflect, find your negatives, and make them positives … turn that frown upside down.
Why do you want to work here? What makes you the right fit for this role/company?
There is no dodging this one. The company wants the right fit for them and their culture. And it may sound a bit brutal, but they have the pick of the bunch, if you’re not right for them, they might not hire you. So how do I know? Research! What’s their vision, value, goals, core business, goods and services, and what’s their favourite colour even! You can never be too prepared.
This is the perfect opportunity to show how committed and prepared you are by showing off your stalking, I mean, research skills and setting yourself out from those who didn’t bother.
Main message: Become a private investigator and research everything!
What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?
No, they don’t want to hear about how you plan to have 100,000 Insta followers, 52 cats, travel the globe, or total world domination. They want to see a commitment to the company and the job. It’s great to include your professional goals and career progression but bring it back to the role you are there to get. The tricky part is balancing that tightrope between ambitious achievers while still showing commitment to that role.
Main message: Balance your answer between ambition and commitment.
You can do this, we believe in you!
Well, are you ready to blitz that interview and get your job?!
One last main message, every employer that is hiring has the same problem: tasks need doing but they’re not getting done. If you can find how to be the solution to their problem, you could land yourself that job!
Now is the time
Find your pathway with Prestige Staffing Solutions and schedule a call today.