How to structure your Resumé

12th July 2021

Unfortunately for most of us, we were not taught how to structure a resumé from our school years and if we were how much of that do we actually remember? Your resumé is vital for entering the workforce. It is the very first impression you give when applying for a job.

Here at Citrus Connect, we go through hundreds of resumé’s a week for over 10 years. All are very different with no consistency in layout, information, and structure. Some are complete narratives, some missing vital information, and some with no bullet points of past work experience.

Does your resumé pass the thirty seconds test? “Hiring managers decide whether or not to read your full resumé within the first thirty seconds, a more professional recruiter makes the ‘fit/no fit’ decision in less than six seconds” – Daily Telegraph

It is therefore vital that your resumé is simple, easy on the eyes, and gives the information in an efficient manner.

The very first thing to remember when starting your resumé is that it is a business proposal, this mindset is an absolute key factor when creating your resumé. It is also good to remember that your resumé will not get you the job, it will get you the interview and the interview is what will get you the job. With that in mind, it is good to consider your resumé as a business proposal, it should have all the components a business plan will have and show the hiring manager what value and profitability you will add to their business.

Here are our tips on how to structure your resumé that will make you stand out from the crowd and hopefully land you that interview.

Make sure you keep the top half of your resumé simple, for contact details all that is needed is your name, contact number, email, and the city you reside in. That’s it. Don’t put too much unnecessary information that is only taking up space and time.

1. Testimonials

In a world with reviews being an important part of decision making, whether that be for accommodation, restaurants, or shopping online. Your resumé is no different. Having testimonials at the very beginning of your resumé from previous employers shows the hiring manager what value you added to their company and what experience you gained.

2. Objectives

It’s important to show your hiring manager what objectives you have for your career, that will tell them a lot about you. The most effective objective is one that is tailored to the job you are applying for. Focus on particular skills and experiences you have that are directly related to the job you are applying for. Keep focused on how you can grow in that particular company. This will show them that you are the ideal candidate for that role. It’s important to customise this with every role you apply for.

3. Skills

There are so many skills to choose from, it’s important not to be generic. Go inside and dig deep into the skills you possess. At Citrus Connect we recommended listing skills under these three sections

  • Communication skills
  • Marketing and Technical skills
  • Leadership and Management skills

Break down the skills, dig deep and find the skills that will add value to the company and role you are applying for. Make sure they are easy to read and do your research on the company to see what skills they are seeking to utilise those keywords.

4. Experience

Your experience is the ‘Golden Piece’ of your resumé. What your hiring manager is looking for is what value you have added to previous companies, what you could add to theirs, and what kind of positive difference you will make in their business. Do not go into detailed descriptions of your current or previous roles. Keep it simple with bullet points, there should be no more than 3. Keep each bullet point one or two sentences long. Focus on what you implemented or changed that increased efficiency, did you exceed targets, and if so by how much. What positive impact did your actions have and did you progress from one team to another and with what impact.

5. Qualifications

With this section, don’t make an extensive list of everything you have achieved, list the highest qualifications you have, where and when you got them, 2-3 are completely fine. You can also add additional skills or qualifications like technical or self-development courses you have completed. There is a difference between qualifications, additional skills, and courses you have done so make sure you have different elements in them. Also, be careful not to repeat things you have previously mentioned in the technical proficiency section.

6. References

With the references, it’s a good idea to link them to the testimonials you put at the beginning of your resumé. Put your job title, the position, and the company. This ties your business proposal in really nicely. There is no need to add contact details but if you want to make sure you have asked for permission first.

Closing the deal

This is where you guide the hiring manager to invite you to an interview. Remember your resumé needs to be simple, easy, and efficient, matching the instant gratification society we now live in. As your resumé is a business proposal, this is you closing the deal much as you would close the sale. Show the hiring manager why and how you fit their needs, this is exactly why each resumé needs to be personal to the role and company you are applying for. It’s important that your resumé reflects YOU, you as a human, your personality, and you as an entity who can join the company and add value. You need to make sure that your personality, heart, and soul shine through your resumé to create that human-to-human connection.

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