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Build a Resume

Building a Resume that will get you noticed

It is essential to understand the relative importance of the resume in your total job seeking campaign.

Think of it as a key marketing tool with the purpose of helping you to get a job interview. It is often the first point of contact you have with a recruitment consultant or an employer and therefore should be treated as an essential sales tool for you to demonstrate who you are and what you have achieved in your career to date. It is important for you to add your own flavour, but at the same time there are some essential elements that are imperative in the creation of a successful resume:

Resume Content - always...
  • Present yourself accurately and positively
  • Include only enough information to encourage the employer to find out more
  • List your full employment history in chronological order with the most recent first, with the past 10 years in full details. This makes it easier for the reader to see your current work experience
  • Include a brief description of the companies where you have worked, and when appropriate please detail - size, sales, volumes, products, services, etc. For example: "A $300 million international company with 15,000 employees specialising in recreational products."
  • Stress achievements. Include where appropriate, examples and figures to substantiate claims. For example: "Implemented new business processes that reduced costs by 30%."
Resume Content - never...

Include salary requirements. It limits your potential. You don't want to over or under price before the job is yours. Do have an acceptable range in mind to discuss during the interview.

Resume Format - making it easier to read...
  • Don't use fancy resume designs as the graphics they contain are often blocked by firewalls at the receiver's end.
  • Although resumes come in several designs, two general formats are most common:
    • The Chronological Resume lists your various positions in reverse order, with your latest first. The advantage of this resume format is that it presents your background in a clear-cut, straightforward manner, enabling the reader to quickly size up your background
    • The Functional Resume avoids/plays down the employment record. It emphasises your expertise and accomplishments in each functional/technical area, particularly the one in which you seek a job - so you can de-emphasise work areas you do not wish to highlight
  • Either format may be bolstered by listing accomplishments in each given job or functional area. We generally recommend the Chronological Resume unless your employment history is erratic or the career change you seek requires departing radically from past history or experience
  • Attempt to convey your accomplishments in a personalised letter format

We have created a Resume Template for you to download - a step-by-step instruction guide on how to create and build a professional resume quickly. This template helps us in gathering the information we need to best assist you. To show the level of detail required, we have also created an example of a completed resume template as a guideline: OCG Resume Template

Writing your Objective Statement:

Since resumes are usually screened by busy people who peruse many of them, your challenge is to get your key message across quickly, easily and at the very beginning of the document.

The first thing most resume readers want to know is: "What are you seeking?" One way to respond to this question is to start your resume with an objective.

For example:
"A Shift Supervisor of a medium size Manufacturing company"
"A senior Chemist position in a Petrochemical industry"
"A Quality Control Assistant in a Pharmaceutical organisation"
"A Personnel Administrator for a medium size company"
"A Manager of cost accounting"

Summary Statements:

Another question the resume reader may ask is: "What type of candidate is this?" You can answer this question by providing a brief descriptive summary of yourself. Here are a few examples:

"Over 21 years experience in manufacturing of precision mechanical and electronic instruments; a broad and highly successful record in the introduction of new products and cost control programs; a strong background in organisation and human development in a fast growing company."

"An experienced HR generalist with specialist skills in recruitment, learning & development and change management, gained whilst working in large corporate organisations."

"Successful at all levels of retail marketing for an 80-store chain. Also a proven record in wholesale marketing for an 80-store chain."

"Ten years experience in the retail industry; major strengths are in staff merchandising and marketing operations in departments; outstanding record at developing merchandising/promotion programs resulting in number one position; substantial experience in store operations, accomplishing sales and profit goals."

  • The Objective Statement and the Summary Statement are the result of your personal assessment thinking through what you are and where you want to go
  • Remember, there is no one correct resume format and even these two sections are optional
  • Putting an objective on a resume may narrow or restrict other alternative opportunities in the reader's thinking
  • It is quite possible to have multiple objectives. If your alternative career objectives are radically different, you may want to tailor separate resumes to fit each objective or you may prefer to leave the objective out and feature it in your introductory letter
Accomplishment/Achievement Statements:
  • Accomplishments are positive experiences or activities that give you a sense of satisfaction
  • When writing your accomplishment statements, use the PAR (Problem, Action, Result) and CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) formulas
  • Use specific terms such as dollars, percentages, time taken, number of people affected
  • Be prepared to do one or more 'rewrites' before you are satisfied with the statements
Summary:
  • To introduce yourself to a prospective employer you will need a good resume, one that pinpoints your particular talents and accomplishments. The resume has two purposes:
    • The practice you get writing about yourself prepares you to speak about yourself in the interview
    • It confirms your skills, abilities and experience for a prospective employer
  • A resume should be concise, accurate, logical, brief and pertinent. In short, it tells what you have done and how well you did it
  • Write down all the activities, responsibilities and achievements you have performed
  • Read them through and now start editing and re-writing it. Using your preferred resume format from the attachment or Google, incorporate this information in a concise, logical form
  • Try to keep your resume concise. Depending on your work experience, 4-5 pages excluding your cover page, should be ample to provide a prospective employer with enough information to create interest in your application
  • Check for spelling mistakes!
  • After you have completed the editing process, arrange your achievements in the order of importance to the position you are seeking. Do not be repetitious or too wordy.
  • Now review your document
  • Does it highlight your areas of strength?
  • Is it a true representation of who you are, what you have done and how well you performed?
  • Does it sound like someone you would hire if you were looking for a replacement?
  • Get someone whose judgment you respect to read it over and comment
The Covering Letter:
  • Your covering letter is a brief document which introduces your job application, and expresses genuine interest in the position. It serves as an introduction for your application. It serves to encourage the recipient to read the attached resume or other documentation. It may also serve to reinforce that part of the application and resume that convinces the reader you fit the opportunity
  • The covering letter should be restricted to one page only. It should indicate the position you are applying for, and where it was advertised
  • You may wish to give a brief summary of your particular interest in, abilities, and experience you would bring to the position, but don't repeat your resume!
  • Close the letter by thanking the potential employer for considering your application, and state your willingness to attend an interview and provide more information if that is required.
  • It should be clean, clear (lots of white space on the page), and checked for spelling or grammar mistakes.
Interview Tips and Advice