In a competitive job market and with recruiters commonly inundated with applications to trawl through you must present yourself in the best possible way by submitting a killer resume from the outset. Generally you only get one opportunity to apply for a position so you simply cannot afford to get it wrong. We have compiled three things you must and must not include on your resume to get you started and hopefully see you shortlisted for the next role you apply for (fingers crossed).
- 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 relevant dates.
- 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.
- Do 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.
- 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.
- 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 portfolio. You will have the opportunity to impress an employer with your immaculate presentation when you’re invited to interview.
- 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”.