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Everyone has an opinion on what makes a great resume. Ours is based on 20 years of experience, and from evidence-based research into what employers want and expect to see in a CV. There are literally hundreds of resume templates available online, and many options available directly from Word and similar programs. There are a number of ways to write a resume, from reverse chronological to functional to blended versions and more. (You can read about the differences here). While the visual appeal of your resume is certainly very important, it’s the content that is critical.
A word of caution: some Applicant Tracking Systems and parsing software CANNOT extract information from resume templates or headers, footers, tables, nor can they read certain fonts, and images or logos may cause issues at the recipient’s end. While templates can look great, they could also be the one reason your resume isn’t getting read by a real person – because the computer literally says no. Read more about how ATS programs work, how they read your resume, and why resume templates could be sabotaging your job search here.
In our experience, the perfect resume or CV framework will take the following format and contain the following elements:
1) Name and contact details
2) Title of the job being applied for.
3) Personal positioning statement or career summary
4) Key skills
5) Career highlights, successes, achievements (ATS programs look for a minimum of 5 of these).
6) Career chronology, employment dates, employer name, employer summary, role description, results achieved and outcomes, career highlights
7) Education, qualifications, professional development, training and development
8) Professional memberships
9) Awards and honours
10) Technical skills
11) Any other detail relevant to the role on offer (note relevancy it really important here!)
(updated November 2020)