How to write a resume that will get you an interview

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PUBLISHED THE FIRST TIME IN 2010

There is only one purpose of a Resume: to get you an interview with a prospective employer. You need to present your skills and experience in the best possible way and then stress why you fit the job. You need to impress the reader, whether the HR department or a recruitment company, so do not keep the best to last.

1. Personal Details
  • Your name should always head the Resume in a Header.
  • Include your address, home and mobile phone number as well as one email address.
  • Don’t include a summary of personal characteristics in this Header.
2. Employment History
  • List the past employment details in reverse chronological order, with the most recent first, always giving the most space to your most recent or current position. Names of past employers with a very short description of the type of business the companies are in, together with dates of appointments (months and years only) and a brief outline of responsibilities are essential.
  • Always include your specific contributions to each job, listing related responsibilities and achievements with each entry, rather than under a separate headline later in the Resume.
3. Education
  • Employers like to see details of your educational qualifications, from University to degrees and professional qualifications (include the major subject but not every thing studied).
  • List only hobbies or personal interests that are directly related to the position, two or three lines will do. And notice the word related!
4. References
  • Avoid the phrase References available on request, since this is self-evident and only takes space on your Resume which could be used more effectively.
5. Covering letter
  • Forget about the standard opening of: I have seen your ad. Instead, use the power impact technique to immediately catch the attention of the reader. Right after Dear Sir, write 4-5 lines with a Career Summary that includes the essential reason why you fit the job.
6. Style
  • Your entire Resume should not exceed two pages in length.
  • Check that both your Resume and cover letter are completely free of errors. Proof read both documents thoroughly – and get a friend to proof read them as well.
7. General Advice
  • Keep an on-going file of your achievements, no matter how insignificant they may appear now. One day you may need it for the Resume.
  • Before the interview re-read the resume a couple of times as the interviewer will have done exactly that. You must know what is in it.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.