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Resume Hacks To Improve Your Chances Of A Win

No one is born knowing how to write resumes! Becoming good at something takes practice, training, and the support of experts who know how to win. Our volunteer, recruitment specialist Dana Sarkissian believes in using her years of experience to help people who are looking for work. In this post she talks about resumes, and how to heighten your chances of a job-hunting win.

Dana, what are 3 things someone can do to improve their resume?

1. Use key words

It's important to understand that, when you write your resume, the person who’s reading it might not have a true understanding of what you do. They're scanning for key words, so to counter that, you need to simplify it. The true nature of your work only becomes clear when you/your resume get to a line manager who understands what you do intrinsically.

2. Write your resume with this audience in mind

You need to think about your resume from the perspective of the first person who is going to read it. They're the ones who are going to put your resume forward, or set it aside.

I see a lot of resumes where it’s not clear what they do for a job. It's important to catch the essence of what you do at a very high level. Imagine you go to a dinner party and someone asks you what you do, and you have 1 minute to talk. This is where you need an elevator pitch - a very brief summary.

For example, someone writes that they're an "enthusiastic hardworking marketer" but they’re not really explaining what they do.

You want to get across your expertise, your tenure in the type of work you’ve done, the kind of industries. For example, that same marketer could write they've worked in government and blue chip companies. Get across your speciality as well as the broadness of your capabilities in a quick snapshot.

Look at advertisements for the job you’re looking to apply for, and use those words.

3. Focus on facts

For example, someone writes that they're an "enthusiastic hardworking marketer" but they’re not really explaining what they do. So the first person to read your resume doesn't really understand what that means.

Get away from soft skills and using words like hardworking, Instead, focus on your technical ability. Your resume needs to be hard cold facts. Find the purpose for what you’re doing in your role - and focus on that.


Here are a few tips that I am regularly asked about how your resume should look.

Q. How long should my resume be?

A. No more than 3 pages

Q. Do I put every job I have had on my resume?

A. There's no need to go into detail beyond 10 years. Bullet point your work history prior to that if it's relevant to what you are applying for.

Q. I left a job after 3 months as it wasn’t the right fit for me, should I leave that off?

A. No. List that job, it is absolutely normal for some employment opportunities not to work out. Be honest.

Q. Should I put a photo of myself on my resume?

A. There's no need. Your resume is a tool to get you your next job, we don't need to focus on your appearance.

Q. Should I use my job description to list what I do for my job?

A. No. Use bullet points to describe the purpose of what you do in your role and the value you have made (your achievements).

Q. Do I need to put referees on?

A. No. we will ask for them when we need them.

Dana is one of the experts who can work with you to improve your resume, and help you understand what recruiters are looking for. Project Displaced is a unique service that offers you access to these experts at no charge to you because, like Dana, they want to give back.

Find out more about our Project Displaced specialists and how they can help you.

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