Your resume is, in most instances, the first impression you will make on a potential employer.

Top resumes that attract the most attention (and ultimately land you the most interviews) are those that outline your achievements and value to the company in a short, sharp and effective way.

In your search for a dream job, your personal brand is the game-changing differentiator. What is the one tool you have, which lifts you up from the thousands of job aspirants, to make an amazing first

You’re right – it’s your resume. When glanced at in 20 seconds or under, how can your resume
make the recruiter’s bulb light up? Here are five tips for creating a winning resume.

#1 – match it to the job description.

If there is one strong objective that you share with the employer and the recruiter, it is this – ‘a right fit’. The responsibility to show this fit is yours — and you will start it in your resume. Bring out clearly
how your skills, experience and attributes align with what the company says it wants. In doing so, remember:

  • Stress on the most relevant strengths, and remove anything that is not relevant to the position
  • As far as possible, and without force-fitting anything in your resume, use similar keywords that have been given in the job description. This creates the vital link of association — both for the algorithm-driven ATS, and for the person who evaluates your CV.
Smiling woman looking at someone.
Smiling woman looking at someone.

#2 – focus on outcomes and achievements.

More than your responsibilities in your previous roles, potential employers would like to see what you achieved in them. So, focus on the unique outcomes you delivered — this will make you stand out.
Did you enable them to meet their financial or time targets? Did you innovate on processes or solutions? How did you contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives?

Be truthful and accurate in what you say, and corroborate your statements with numbers, wherever possible. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated and consistent with what your resume claims. Most
important, be prepared to back it up with an honest narration in your interview.

top tip:

If you are struggling to come up with ideas for the type of skills you have, search on the Randstad jobs board for a job title that matches the ones you are looking for - usually, job descriptions for new roles include a 'candidate attributes' or 'role responsibilities' section.

If you can match your specific skills to those required for the job, this section will be much more compelling to your prospective employer.

#3 – structure it right.

Remember, the hiring team goes through hundreds of job applications. It is therefore, very important that your resume relieves their fatigue with the right structure — and the right details.

  • Keep the layout simple and effective, with enough white space and a clear readable font, and
  • an easy-to-understand collection of facts (bulleted where needed)
  • Start with a simple but impactful objective statement in two to three lines as to why you are
  • applying for the job
  • List the relevant education and training you have — starting with the most recent ones
  • State your career history in a reverse chronological order — job title, company, dates of
  • employment, and accomplishments against key responsibilities
  • In listing your interests, link them to the attributes they have built in you
  • In naming your references, take care that they are relevant to the job you are applying for,
  • and show an unbiased intent
  • Make it concise, ideally within two pages.
Smiling man standing backwards on escalator looking at a woman at a train station.
Smiling man standing backwards on escalator looking at a woman at a train station.

#4 – bring your whole personality alive.

Culture fit is equally critical for discerning employers as is the skill fit. In fact, it is more critical for you as an applicant — you want to be part of an organization that inspires you with aligned values, so that
you are happy being the best version of you.

While you have researched the company, and believe that you will be happy working there, your resume is also a good way of telling them who you are as a whole individual. Briefly talk about your other interests and how they shape you as a well-rounded person with the right life skills. Alert! Don’t posture, be truthful in being authentic.

#5 – know that the devil is in the details.

Please proof-read your resume to ensure that:

  • You have not omitted any relevant details
  • You are honest and accurate
  • There are no errors — spelling, grammar, typo, consistency of font and formatting, use of repetitive words, etc.

Does anyone land their job based on their resume alone? Probably not. But is the resume the all-critical gateway to getting to the interview, where you can show that the company is lucky to
have you as their employee? Absolutely YES! So, put your best foot forward and make your resume answer these important questions for the company. Why should we look at you? Can you bring — and add to — the value we need?

Here’s wishing you the very best!


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