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Recruitment 101: Three Resume tips to get your CV optimised

April 7, 2021 0 Comments

Gorilla Jobs gives recruitment insider life hacks and resume tips to use when applying for your next job. Because even in a world where it’s likely that many of us will change jobs numerous times, preparing your CV can be challenging.

So, you’ve decided it’s time to change jobs, beaten back the guilt you might feel about doing it (read about what you need to consider when changing jobs here) and started the process. But straight up, there is a roadblock many job seekers struggle with – writing a CV. At Gorilla Jobs we see and hear about it a lot, so don’t stress that you’re feeling this way.

Fear not – we are here to help with another instalment in our Recruitment 101 series on the three key resume tips to get your CV optimised.

Three Resume Tips:

Resume Tip 1: Quality, relevant content over length

Length of resume is a hotly contested issue – some recruiters contend that short and punchy is best (consider an employer having to look through 300 resumes for a role); others say that a longer (2-4 pages) and detailed CV shows who you are better as a candidate.

In a way, neither is  wrong or right. The reality is, both short and long resumes can get you over the line to an interview. What counts most is the content in the resume.

So, put forward a well-written resume that steers away from cliché but which:

  • Paints who you are via a succinct, targeted profile.
  • Outlines relevant work experience but not necessarily every job you’ve held.
  • Highlights tangible accomplishments in roles (where appropriate).
  • Describes other relevant details, such as educational background, volunteer work or personal interests (again, where appropriate).

Relevant (we can’t stress the word too much) content is what ultimately catches a recruiter’s eye more than anything. It is also where ‘Tip 1’ comes in: try whenever possible to send a custom resume for each job, which doesn’t mean writing it from scratch. Have a base resume that you work from that you then tailor to each role for which you apply.

Bottom line: Putting the extra time in to produce a custom, well-written (and proofed!) resume is more important than how long it is. (The caveat is, of course, that some employers specifically ask for certain resume lengths, so watch out for that!)

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Source: Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Resume Tip 2: Layout

We will discuss in a future blog in more detail the different kinds of layouts you might try, but in terms of a basic CV, getting layout right is as crucial as the content in it. This is because layout is the first thing recruiters and potential employers see – literally – when your resume comes across their desk.

Keeping the layout clear, easy to read and professional-looking – particularly for medical and legal job seekers – are the fundamentals of layout.

On top of these basics, you should also pay attention to:

  • Font (11-12 point and easy-to-read, such as Times New Roman, Georgia or Arial).
  • Margins (3-4 cms).
  • Clear sections, delineated by headings.
  • Bold and italics for emphasis (but not overused!)
  • A good balance between space and text so your CV is easy to skim.

Resume Tip 3: Pay attention to and use keywords

Prospective employers and recruiters want to know that you have a handle on the job you are applying for: That you have read (and reread…and reread again) the position description so you know what it’s about and have also researched the organisation that the role is with.

This shows them how eager you are to become a team member, have an understanding of who their ideal candidate is and is also a sign of respect – that you’ve gone above and beyond in the early stages of the job application process.

Paying attention to keywords is a sign to recruiters and employers that you’ve done your research. Work through the job ad and position description and make note of keywords carefully before putting together your CV and cover letter. Then, match your skills, employment history and accomplishments to the keywords accordingly.

This doesn’t mean keywords stuffing and goes back to our underlying maxim with CVs and resumes – stay relevant!

Inserting keywords also has the benefit of ensuring that if a recruiter or employer is using AI to scan resumes to help with shortlisting, your CV gets picked up.

Source: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Jimmy Bosmans, Managing partner at Gorilla Jobs, has a final few words from the recruiter’s desk to help you with your resume:

‘An effective resume should begin with a short summary of who you are. Make sure the resume is straightforward and avoid all the subjective clichés such as “excellent self-starter”, “good team player”, “natural leader” and “good communicator”. These qualities can be demonstrated through your tangible achievements, which follow in the resume.

Also remember, your resume will form part of the script for the interviewer’s questions.’

Gorilla Jobs Can Help You

We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!