In any industry, it’s important to have a strong resume if you're looking for a job. But what does that mean, exactly? How do you make your resume stand out from the rest?
Don't worry, we're here to help. In this blog post, we'll share some tips on how to write a standout resume when applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship.
1. Make sure you include your (up-to-date) contact details
This might sound obvious, but ensure you include your name and contact details. Also, make sure those details are correct, current and that your email address is an appropriate one.
2. Check your spelling and grammar
Not surprisingly, recruiters look at spelling, grammar and formatting. Ensuring your spelling and formatting are correct is particularly important if you are going for admin-heavy roles such as business traineeships, as you will be expected to have good attention to detail.
Be aware that in some instances a job ad may have certain formatting requirements for resumes and/or cover letters, so follow any instructions provided in the job advertisement.
3. Tailor your resume to the job
Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. The most effective resumes leave no doubt as to the job seeker's career objective. A one-size-fits-all resume gives the impression that the job seeker is uncertain of where they are going.
Your skills and relevant work history should tell the recruiter what you have done, but they need to know that your set of skills are a good fit for the role.
4. List your achievements
Highlight your accomplishments – this allows employers to interpret your previous successes into what you can bring to the organisation. Include any awards or academic achievements as they are also seen favourably by recruiters and hiring managers.
5. Format your resume appropriately
There are three commonly used resume formats:
a) Chronological format
The chronological is best known and easiest to write – a timeline style resume. This format works well if your objective is to remain in the same industry or occupation.
b) Functional format
The functional resume places your skills and accomplishments at the beginning of your resume. However, a poorly crafted functional resume can be confusing and cause the reader to believe the candidate has something to hide.
c) Hybrid format
The hybrid resume combines the best features of other resumes. It showcases skills and accomplishments while maintaining ease of reading. This is the best format for job seekers at all levels. The hybrid resume is well worth the additional time and effort to craft.
6. Address any resume gaps
Explain any gaps you may have in your work history. It is not abnormal to have gaps in your work history; you might have gone backpacking for a year or even left the workforce to have children. State that this is what you were doing at the time. Continuity of work history is an aspect that recruiters use to look for ‘red flags’.
7. Match your resume to your abilities
Make sure the skills outlined in your resume match your abilities! If you say you can do something and then your references confirm inconsistent information, you can look foolish and harm your reputation and your chances of getting that job.
8. Save your resume in an appropriate format
Make sure your resume is saved in an appropriate format: Use .doc,.docx and .pdf formats only so they can be opened on most platforms used by recruiters. Image files such .jpeg or .gif look unprofessional.
9. Accompany your resume with a suitable cover letter
Make sure that you include a cover letter with your resume that addresses the key selection criteria outlined in the job ad. A strong cover letter will create a good first impression with a recruiter or hiring manager, and make them want to learn more about you. Not sure what to do? Don’t sweat it, we’ve written up a handy guide to writing the perfect cover letter.
Remember to take your time in submitting your resume to an organisation because forgetting to attach your resume at all is an ‘application killer’. Good luck!
Now you know how to write a standout resume and cover letter, think you’re ready to start looking for that next opportunity? What are you waiting for? Click here to out our latest apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities and apply today!