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Creating the right impression with your resume

Creating the right impression with your resume

There is nothing truer than first impressions when it comes to resumes. Your resume (and therefore you) has under a minute in which to impress the reader. Some points to remember and guidelines…

There is nothing truer than first impressions when it comes to resumes. Your resume (and therefore you) has under a minute in which to impress the reader.

Some points to remember and guidelines to follow:

  • 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 5 or 6 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 spellcheck! 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.
  • Again, the front page should contain your most important selling points. 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.

Don't forget the most obvious, yet important, information under the following headings:

  • Name
  • Contact Details
  • Professional Qualifications
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Extra headings to include are: Non Legal Employment Experience, Professional Affiliations, Publications/Seminars; Interests and Extracurricular Activities.

- Joseph Germano is the executive director, recruitment at Integrity Legal

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