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Last updated on 11/15/23

Understand the Importance of a Résumé for Potential Employers

The purpose of your résumé is to earn you an interview. Remember, you are writing your résumé for your reader. A recruiter spends about 8 seconds each résumé, so it’s important to get it right! As you write your résumé, keep the reader in mind and put yourself in their position; keep it short, to the point and, most importantly, interesting.

We will adapt specific sections of your résumé in detail in the next chapter. For now, let’s look at an overview of what makes up a résumé.

  • Use a purposeful structure and order for the information in the various sections of your résumé.

  • Choose original, clear and persuasive writing when presenting information.

  • Choose an appropriate format for the document (refer to the checklist below).

  • Showcase your professional achievements and responsibilities for each role and match your experience with the job description.

  • Highlight your personality, your organizational abilities and your ability to collaborate. Allow the reader to discover your personal attributes when writing your career objective.

The following section covers elements of your résumé in detail via a comprehensive checklist. It will not only help you meet the challenge ahead of you, but also succeed in drafting a résumé that provides a maximum amount of information in a minimum amount of space.

Résumé checklist

Once you have a general draft for your résumé, put it to the test with the checklist questions below.

What if my CV doesn't address these criteria yet?

Don't worry, we're only in the first chapter! Feel free to edit your résumé as you go through the questions, and we'll go into more detail about writing, optimizing and adapting specific sections in the next chapter. It's a good idea to return to this checklist each time you adapt your résumé for a new job application.

  • Personal details:

    • Is your name in bold at the top of the page?

    • Have you included your email address and telephone number to be contacted easily?

    • Is your nationality and work permit situation clearly stated (if applicable)? 

    • Have you added hypertext links to your LinkedIn profile, and portfolio?

  • Career objectives:

    • Is your first objective maximum three sentences or four lines, including ywhat you are looking for?

    • Does your second objective clearly include years of experience and industries you have previously worked in, as well as what value you would bring to the organization?

    • Have you mirrored key-words from the job advertisement in your objective statements?

    • Have you concentrated on achievements and examples of skills and competencies as per the job advertisement?

    • Have you included relevant experience? 

  • Structure and layout

    • Have you divided your résumé sections clearly? Are your headings clear and either large or bold so that all information is easily navigable?

    • Have you used bullet points to describe roles you performed?

    • Ensure your résumé formatting is tidy when moving onto the next page. You don’t want potential employers or recruiters to lose a page when printing your résumé!

    • Have you listed employment with the most recent job first?

    • Have you proofread your résumé for grammar, spelling and punctuation?

    • Are your fonts consistent throughout? Is it easy to read?

    • Have you adapted your résumé to the position you are applying for?

  • Education:

    • Have you included qualifications and your GPA?

    • Have you listed your most recent or important qualification first?

    • Have you listed and described your OpenClassrooms projects?

    • Have you stated international qualification equivalents?

    • Have you received any scholarships or awards to demonstrate relevant skills? 

  • Interests:

    • Have you listed and explained positions of leadership (e.g., student representative, team captain, etc.)?

    • Have you noted any volunteer/charity work?

    • Have you included any pertinent hobbies?

  • Final check:

    • Is your résumé arranged to draw attention to the important information?

    • Is your résumé ideally no more than 2 pages long?

    • Have you confirmed there are no gaps in your work history?

Last question to ask yourself:

Would I want to read it?

Now you're ready to take a deeper look into maximizing the chances of getting your résumé noticed and read by specific recruiters, as well as optimizing your résumé's four main components. It's time for you to shine!

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