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Tips for Preparing a Resume
and
E-mail Submittals

We receive dozens of resumes each week. A few are outstanding, many are well prepared and some get noticed because they are so bad that they give an equally bad impression of the applicant. There are dozens of books available about preparing a resume. We don't intend to reinvent the wheel but we hope these tips help you put your best foot forward.

You have only 30 seconds to interest the reader!

The reader usually has other duties to perform and has probably read quite few resumes before reading yours! AND he/she will have more to read after. So you have around 30 seconds to interest him/her!  In that 30 seconds the reader will try to form an impression of the applicant - if that impression is vague, negative or non-existant - they will switch off!!

So! Stimulate the Interest of the reader!

You want a Resume that gets attention and a positive response!  Tempt the reader - include enough information to stimulate interest, but not so much that you bore the reader.  Two pages maximum is preferred. (Less is more)   Every word must contribute to the overall message – keep it brief and make sure that the contents are relevant to the job you want – not the job you had.  Your Resume is your "Sales Brochure." It should tell the reader what makes your product (you) unique. Identify selling points but avoid oversell.  The best advice for anyone who is writing a resume is to THINK about the reader or reviewer. 

Your Resume should be Easy to Read !

A good structure tells the reviewer you are a logical thinker and easy reading keeps a reviewers attention longer. A "hard to read" resume is usually set aside and forgotten (remember the 30 second rule!!).

Resumes should not give your life's history. They should give the reviewer a BRIEF perspective of your most recent positions, your education and personal strengths.

·The main purpose of a resume is to interest your potential employer (or a consultant) and thus to gain an interview.

·Resume readers in general have different tastes in layout but you will still only have 30 seconds to interest them!!

Thoughts on Layout :

  • Name, Address and Telephone number - centered at top of resume. Avoid placing it left where it might be stapled.
  • Brief employment history - last job first - cover the last four jobs (if you have had four!!) or the last 10-15 years

    Note: The reader wants to know if your Experiences Matches their requirements. They want to know if someone of your experience or calibre can tackle the job that they have in mind.

  • Use bullet points where possible - but use them wisely!!
  • Add Education - last or best academic qualification first
  • Only add Extracurricular activities or other information if it is useful in improving your image.
  • Don't bother with references unless they have been asked for specially.

General Pointers

Keep the resume simple and uncluttered with plenty of white space - avoid wall to wall writing.

Use headings to help readers scan the document.

Layout and appearance are extremely important but content is more important.

Emphasize your job title - not the employer!

Avoid using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - Use Title Case or Sentence case and emphasize where necessary with bold!

Use a quality paper (preferably white laid)

Don't use a cover sheet or a binder or covers or extra pages

Keep it to two pages.

If you are pushing 45 or over, it may be worth mentioning any involvement in sports or energetic pastimes.

NEVER add anything that sounds like negative thinking!

NEVER add excuses or reasons for leaving - always be positive!

DOs and Don'ts for Resumes as E-mail !

·Always submit a resume as an attachment - never in the body of the e-mail

·Don't use file popular file names such as resume2004.doc or resume2.doc – almost everyone uses these names!Your resume may get overlooked!

·Make your resume stand out - use your name as the file name for the resume/Resume i.e. JohnSmithresume.doc or JSmith.doc

·Remember - with Windows you are not restricted to an 8 digit filename - so use the long file name to your advantage.

·Use the Subject line in your email program as a basic database manager.... add key words! As many as can fit! add resume (or Resume) - Interim or Permanent, your main skills - job title CEO or MD or GM or HR and/ or Logistics, you could also add your Industry sector etc. etc.

·DON'T send photographs unless they are absolutely essential. They take up a lot of download time. If you really want to send a photo please ensure that it is a small .gif or jpeg. (some companies will set their servers to automatically delete any unsolicited file over 500KB .)

·if your resume is of average size (around 50kb) there is no need to compress it. Compressing it only gives the consultant extra work!!

·The most popular word processor today is MS WORD - use this if you can. Please avoid sending files in WKS or PDF format.

·Remember that your resume can be seen with all the tabs, indents, spaces and tables!

·Whenever possible please - avoid using tables. Consultants OFTEN have a need to rewrite your resume and find tables extraordinarily troublesome!!

Adapted Work - Original author unknown