There is nothing truer than first impressions when it comes to resumes, writes Joseph Germano
Your resume (and therefore you) has just under a minute in which to impress the reader. Below are some key points to remember and guidelines to follow in preparing your resume:
- The look, structure and layout, font, and most importantly the readability of your resume is extremely important.
- Keep the layout professional and uncluttered. Don't "justify" the text because it is harder to read and less interesting visually.
- Limit paragraphs to five or six lines and use bullet points to add clarity.
- Keep a check on the tense used. Past tense announces that you have actually completed something and that goals have been achieved.
- Use short sentences because they are more powerful and easy to read.
- Revise and spell-check. Ensure you have revised what you have written and that there are NO spelling mistakes.
- Be positive and honest. Use words and verbs that make an impact. Ensure you can explain and/or justify any aspect of your resume.
- Keep the following questions in mind when drafting your resume: "Can I do the job for which I am applying" and "Does this resume accurately reflect my accomplishments?"
- Keep your resume simple. It should convey the quality and breadth of your experience, the organisations with which you have worked and any other skills which may be relevant to the role for which you are applying.
- Choose a simple font (either Arial or Times Roman) and a simple layout and make it readable. Nobody wants to sit there reading something that is visually unappealing.
And don't forget the most obvious yet important information under the following headings: name, contact details, professional qualifications, education and employment. Extra headings that should be included are: nonlegal employment experience, professional affiliations, publications/seminars; interests and extracurricular activities.
Joseph Germano is the executive director of recruitment at Integrity Legal