Since a resume is often times the first point of reference for a potential employer, it’s crucial that it truly reflects your talents, achievements, personality and style. Paying attention to some essential points, you can easily build it into something that really sets you apart from the other candidates. Here are my top tips for a terrific resume – take the time to cross check your resume with these points, and sharpen yours to ensure success:
- Check spelling and grammar – Simple, right? So simple, it’s easily forgotten. Typos and inconsistencies exhibit carelessness and lack of attention to detail – traits you would not want to associate with. Take the time to read your resume in full, ensure punctuation is correct, grammar and spelling are perfect, and your formatting is consistent.
- Keep the design clean – You might be tempted to try exhibit your design skills and creativity through your resume. That’s totally fine but just be careful not to overdo the actual design of it as it makes things harder to read and follow. As in any form of design, functionality is just as important so keep things clean and clear to ensure that the important details don’t get lost.
- Highlight your achievements, not just your duties – Don’t be shy about listing your accomplishments – this is your chance to shine. Rather than supplying a list of duties and responsibilities from your previous employment, share examples of where you took initiative, made contributions, achieved goals, won awards etc.
- Use numbers to scale your experience – Be sure to include the specifics (budget or project size) to describe the scale of the projects you have worked on.
- List the correct contact information – Sounds obvious, but believe it or not, people list incorrect contact details all the time. Don’t provide a landline number, make sure your mobile number is correct and that your voicemail box is personalized and not full.
- Leave out unnecessary personal information – Facts like marital status and birth date are not part of the Canadian standard resume norms, so whether you are new to Canada or not, make sure you research what facts are expected in your resume, and which are simply unnecessary.
- Customize according to job post – A common mistake job-seekers make is the “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to their resume. You cannot send the same resume to all employers, as it should be tailored to the specific position/firm. Take the time to research the company and job you are applying for, so you can zone in on your relevant skills that pertain to that job and project. For example, if you are applying to a firm that specializes in healthcare projects, make sure you reflect your experience in this area of the industry.
- Open with a bold objective – Beginning your resume with your career objective is recommended. Being the “first impression” that an employer gets of you, make sure you choose your words wisely. Keep away from vague and clichéd statements and work on creating a solid, ambitious statement of where you want your career to go in the Interior Design & Architecture industry.
- Include a project list – Creating a project list for employers to skim is important and impressive. Choose your more significant projects to showcase, and categorize them based on project type. Include details like project name, location, scope and budget size, and always include a brief description of your contribution to the project.
Have a quick look at your resume. Is there anything you can do to improve it?
Best of luck in your job search!