Your Resume Review
Thank you very much for using our resume review service and for submitting your resume. I’ve read through the document you uploaded and I would make some observations, suggestions and recommendations under the various headings below, thinking as a recruiter or a hiring manager:
- Positive page 1.
- Nice focused and short title block and contact details.
- Presence of an intro paragraph is encouraging.
- The use of graphics is a bold and encouraging move, but not overpowering.
- The professional experience section is very visible, correctly beginning after the summary section.
- Education is good to see, and easily scannable.
- The 2 key achievements at the bottom of page 1 are useful to show.
- If it was only a 1 page resume, that layout is in principle okay. Sadly, it’s downhill once the page is turned as there’s endless bullet points under sections that have no relevance to the story and progression of your career or to your abilities to do the job you are next applying for. The resume wouldn’t even get scanned after page 1, and page 1 is insufficient to pique the interest of a reader who has a stack of another 100 resumes to get through.
- Readability is good on page 1.
- White space is good, text not too dense.
- Subtle colour is good to see, and not to heavy.
- Graphics are pretty, but add no value when you look at them. They’re hard work to actually pick through, understand, and translate the meaning into your career and what you could do in this next role.
- Highly confusing.
- 3 pages is too long, should be 2.
- Sections are very mixed up – ‘professional experience’, ‘competencies’, ‘achievements’, and ‘past work roles’ are impossible to digest for relevance within 30 seconds to a minute. A recruiter simply wont bother reading past page 1.
- This is compounded by ‘competencies’ not showing competencies, they just show activities or responsibilities.
- This is further compounded by ‘key achievements’ breaking up the flow. The first two are irrelevant in a work context, they would better serve showing your potential and need listing elsewhere.
- The rest of the achievements are hard to see which employment period they sit under.
- First person is great – you’re selling you, not someone else. Extend that into the professional experience section too.
- Relatively short paragraphs are good.
- Use of bullets is good.
Actions to take
- First and foremost – Reorder the resume – ‘Profile summary’, ‘Professional experience, and ‘Education’. Add ‘Other’ or ‘Professional development’, etc if anything is needed and / or appropriate.
- List all your roles under professional experience. (The career break is fine and helpful to show, it was a while ago and won’t damage you. Plus, using one-liners for the early years roles up to 2010 is fine.)
- Consider grouping your ICAS experience under one period from March 2008 to June 2017, then break out the individual roles within that. That shows good continuity. You don’t need to add many, if any words, under the 2 earliest roles there.
- Under each main / recent role within your professional experience section–
- Add very brief context to show the scope of work and scale of the organization.
- Then tell your overall responsibility.
- Then bullet a few key responsibilities.
- Then use one or two lines to lead into your key achievements or benefits delivered under that role. Bullet the main ones of those. Do not portray endless lists of bullets – less is definitely more, if you want to hit the mark and show you’re a person capable of seeing what’s important, relevant to the role you are next applying for.
- On that subject – What role are you applying for? Use key words from the ad within your resume. Tailor your words, responsibilities, descriptions, achievements towards that.
- Important is to say what you are, professionally. “I am a master’s qualified xxxxxx with y years experience of ….” And make that agree with the role they are recruiting for. Do this by reworking your Summary Profile section into the format – short paragraph, a few bullets (ideally 3) and a short paragraph.
- Title the summary section – ‘Profile Summary’, or similar.
- Remove the graphics, they only waste space and add no actual value.
- Show your competencies in a side panel, bulleted, 2 to 4 words for each competency only.
- Perhaps show a similar panel entitled ‘Personal qualities’, or similarly titled.
- Perhaps show a side panel of your education and qualifications?
- Those lists help in 2 ways – firstly narrowing the main body content of your resume (it’s easier to read narrower columns, rather than A4 width) and secondly, you can state a list like that boldy and score marks without having to add any explanation or content around them. You justify them within the main body of your resume, under the work experiences you’ve had. It’s a helpful technique to get the reader to actually go on further to read your resume, rather than just scan it.
- A two page resume is great.
- Shape your resume by trying to show the ‘story’ of your development and growth and how the next job is perfect for both you and the employer.
- Only include hobbies or interests which show additional useful skills or expertise.
- Ideally show some unexpected added-value that is not asked for, but might give you an edge over the other applicants. Maybe you have extra language skills, but also a personal capability or a deep external interest may be of use here. This isn’t always possible, but it’s always worth exploring.
- You should have confidence that you already have many positive skills, qualities and experiences that are transferable to you next employer, but always think about how you can increase this and take actions to do that.
- You can’t win everything as so much depends on the ad, the reader and the specific competition so it’s all about relentlessly working to improve the odds in your favour with every word, sentence and bullet point on the resume.
- Make sure you incorporate relevant keywords. Pick these up from the ad. Prioritize these and make sure to show the highest priority ones prominently and in the correct sections.
I hope that helps you win the role you really want. If anything isn’t clear, or you feel you need further help to rewrite the resume to score more highly, do please come back to us, we’re always pleased to help.
All best wishes,
Career Coach and Resume Writer
Please feel free to email me with any questions. We’re here to help you put your best foot forward. Thank you,