Posted by nyssa on April 21, 2013 in , , , ,

The résumé is probably THE most important part of your jobsearch, however most people just get it so, so wrong. If there is one thing that is cursed by a recruiter on a daily basis, it would have to be the résumé. It is resumeyour “foot in the door”, it’s your “first impression”, however a lot

of people are consistently sending out résumé s that leave most recruiters pulling out their hair. So I thought I would shed some light on these simple errors, so you can get ahead of the pack with a résumé that will leave recruiters rejoicing.

Keep it simple – No fancy tables or columns, it’s a résumé, not a newspaper. When it comes to adding a summary to your résumé for client shortlisting we are always cursing the table that throws out all other formatting. Instead of a 5 minute job it turns into a half hour job totally reformatting the entire document. PLEASE no more tables!

No Photos – Photos were all the rage 10 years ago, however these days if we really want to see what you look like we will stalk you on LinkedIn. We won’t hold it against you if you do put a photo on your résumé as some of them give us a good laugh when having a bad day.

Word over PDF – Yes, we do add summaries before shortlisting with our clients. No, we can’t do this when your résumé is in PDF format. This means PDF resumes are usually sent to our clients looking like a lesser version of their Word cousins, usually the process involves whiteout, scanning and folding and is a real pain in the butt.

Limit the length – We aren’t looking for a life story, we want to see some detail around your most recent history, not that you worked the McDonalds counter at High School. Feel free to list a “work summary” but only go into detail for your last 5-7 years. Try to keep it to around 4 pages.

Spelling – Get it right. We all have spell check these days, lets use it. There is really no excuse for spelling mistakes.

If you’re still really stuck and unsure where to start, google résumé templates or even go to the candidate career tips tab on our website, where you can download a template to base your résumé on. In such a tight jobs market where there are dozens of candidates applying for the same job as you why would you waste your “first impression” with a poorly laid out and badly written résumé?

After all of that, if you’re still lost, give a consultant a call and get some advice, after all it’s only helping us in the long run.

Nyssa Hurt – Corporate Services Manager


  • Andreas Makarewitsch says:

    Hi Nyssa.

    >> Spelling – Get it right. We all have spell check these days, lets use it. There is really no excuse for spelling mistakes.

    My spell-checker brain is 60 years old and tells me there should be an apostrophe in ‘lets’, i.e. let’s.

    For the nearly 2 years up to now that I’ve been looking for work, no-one that I can remember has ever told me, nor have I read it, until now, that a WORD doc résumé is more preferred. As of now, all my résumés will be sent in WORD.


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