We also advise candidates to avoid listing their hobbies or interests. Focus instead on the experience and skills that make you suitable for the job you’re applying for. The exceptions occur when you have limited relevant experience or if the employer specifically asks applicants to list hobbies. In these cases, keep it brief. Avoid anything that could be contentious, such as political affiliations, and instead show how your personality is suited to that of the organisation. For example, consider listing a hobby that requires expertise relevant to the role, such as organisational or communication skills.
How to write a resume: template and tips
Resume writing can be a daunting prospect when starting your job search, particularly if it has been a long time since you last entered the job market or if you are looking for your first professional role. Your resume, along with your cover letter, is what a potential employer uses to make their first judgement about you.
Knowing how to write a resume will help you stand out from all the other applicants and reach the interview shortlist. Your resume must demonstrate that you possess most or all the criteria required in the job. Tailor your resume for each position you apply for by expanding on your experience relevant to the job and cutting back the less relevant parts.
Follow our tips for updating your resume
CV versus resume – what’s the difference?
Traditionally, a CV referred to a comprehensive (up to six pages) account of your entire professional life, while a resume was a summary (up to two pages) of your education, skills and work experience. However, in more modern times, the need for a lengthy overview of your career history has become redundant, with a hiring company instead expecting a two-page summary. At the same time, people began to use the two terms reciprocally. Now, whether you call your career overview a ‘CV’ or ‘resume’, it has no bearing on your chance of reaching an interview shortlist.
Think of your CV as your own living, breathing personal pitch – a pitch that succinctly answers all the questions a recruiter or hiring manager has about you. The degree to which you present the reader with the information they require to make an informed decision can determine whether you are invited to interview.
This includes why you are applying for this job, with this organisation and in this industry, what value you can bring to the organisation and whether you have what is required to be successful in the role.
Write a standout resume headline
A resume headline is a concise, one-line description of who you are as a candidate. A well-written headline can grab a recruiter’s attention and encourage them to take a more detailed look at your qualifications.
Your headline is a short but powerful addition to your resume, often the first thing a recruiter reads. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a strong first impression. It’s also another opportunity to include a specific job title or keyword that might be used to sort your resume in the ATS.
Resume headline tips:
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Visual character, templates and first impressions
We choose our clothes for an interview with care, why shouldn’t we put the same effort into the appearance of our resume? It’s our primary ambassador before any sort of physical meeting, a first impression that will live long in the hiring manager’s memory.
According to a study done by TheLadders, recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds glancing at a resume before moving on to another one (as we mentioned in our profession-specific guides and examples ). During this short time, a subconscious decision is often made based on the “looks” of your resume. If it’s clean and beautiful, the hiring manager will infer a number of positive traits about your personality.
You can create your own templates, but unless you’re a professional designer, it may be best to rely on field-tested visuals. Templates project a certain character and mood with their design: they can emphasize creativity, dependability, discipline and other qualities.
4+ Effective Resume Examples
How to Write a Convincing Cover Letter
Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, you’d be applying for a writing job!
You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why you’re such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesn’t sound as hard, does it?
- Introduce yourself (and leave an impression) – As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why you’re interested in working for the company you’re applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
- Explain how you’d excel at the job – Identify the top 3 requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfil each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is “Facebook Advertising Experience,” mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how you’ve excelled at it.
- Wrap it up and say thanks – Thank the reader for reading your cover letter and propose the next steps. For example, “If you’d like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, I’d love to chat!”
Does writing a cover letter still seem a bit complicated? Well, it is – to really explain everything you need to know about cover letters, we’d have to write a completely new guide on the topic. Which we did – thank us later! If you want to learn more about writing a cover letter, check out our full guide. Or if you need some extra inspiration, check out these 5+ cover letter examples.
How to Ace Your Next Interview
Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someone’s prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isn’t the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and you’ll be an interview away from landing your dream job!