Writing the Perfect Resume or CV
Have you applied for a job application and been deemed unsuccessful? How confident are you with your resume, curriculum vitae or CV? Regardless of a resume's naming convention, The Perfect Resume team views hundreds of them every month, therefore, we see the good, the bad, and the... very interesting ones! There are various reasons why a resume could be deemed unsuccessful. Here are a few popular areas that need to be checked:
Are your personal details coming through on the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)?
Your first name, last name, email address and phone number are mandatory fields in an applicant tracking system. If these details are not filtering through, you will be rejected straight away.
If your personal details filter through, you next have to check the reader can contact you. Ask yourself,
- Can the recruiter easily find your contact details on your resume?
- Can the recruiter or hiring manager easily click on your email address?
- Is your phone number your work phone number? If it is change it!
- Do you have more than one phone number listed? If you do, opt for your mobile number only.
- Do you have an answering machine or voicemail set up so you can capture missed calls?
Feature your name in large or bold font that is easily read, in the order of first name (or nickname) and last name. No middle names are required in a modern resume.
Recently, we were notified that there has been an update to various Applicant Tracking Systems regarding formatting changes that affect your mobile phone number. Previously, if a mobile number was listed as 0400 000 000 or 0400000000 this would be picked up by the ATS and subsequently filter through to the recruiter. A recent update has meant that this number formatting is no longer supported by some ATS. To be on the safe side, you now need to have the country code format e.g. +61 400 000 000 or +61400000000
I'm taking a deep breath in here.... you should too! Breathe in and breathe out!!!
OK, let's address a contentious issue. How long ago did you create your email address? One year ago, five years ago, or when email was first invented. Here is a blog dedicated to 11 Email Providers, Ranked by Mockery!
Don't get caught out by an age bias, sign up for an outlook.com or gmail address, and regardless of what the article says, don't use your work email. Unless you want it to get out that you are looking for a new job! Email servers today send emails from external sources straight to junk if it is uncommon. Your IT colleagues will be the first ones to see it! They will tell their peers, their colleagues will tell your work friends, and your social buddies will tell your manager! It is a loop of office politics that you can easily avoid!
To avoid another contentious point, make sure your email address is professional, here is a blog dedicated to 18 embarrassing email addresses people aren't very proud to share with the world!
Fun and jokey emails are... not sensible when applying for a job. As a Manager, I saw many such emails, and it did not work in the candidate's favor... You may have The Perfect Resume, however, if your email address is SexyLady@... and DominatrixXXX@... they may work well for you if you are looking for a job in the adult entertainment industry, however, if you are looking for a corporate position, you are best to change it!
For best results stick to your first name and last name, include your middle name if they are taken, and avoid using your date of birth to avoid any age bias creeping in.
Another section in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the work experience section. Does yours filter through? If you don’t have the correct headings, dates and company listed precisely this information may get missed. To check yours comes through, please email it through to us and we can check it for you, free of charge.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Should I put my date of birth on my resume?
No!!!!!!!!! and don't put the hospital name that you were born in either!!!! Yes, this really happened!
Is The Perfect Resume a resume builder service?
In short yes, and… no! Do we build resumes from scratch? Yes, we can do that for you. There are some services out there that help you build your resume using drop down selections and tick boxes. They use stock standard responsibility statements instead of achievement orientated experience examples and adopt the same template that everyone else uses. The Perfect Resume uses your existing resume, industry data and trends, applicant tracking system keywords, position advertisements, and LinkedIn sources amongst others to create an individualised document, made perfectly for you. We also have many designs to choose from which are all 100% customisable should you wish to change it!
We also benchmark your resume against your competitors to ensure you are the one candidate that will stand out from the 300+ other candidates to get you shortlisted for the job!
In a CV, is it mandatory to write ‘Curriculum Vitae’ in the header?
Traditionally, you needed to have the words; Resume, CV, or Curriculum Vitae in your header, however, today, this is no longer required and could potentially put you at risk of age bias. Instead, your full name should be in its place.
Should I include my home address on my resume?
Technically, this is an area which a recruiter is not allowed to make a judgement on to decide whether a candidate is shortlisted for a job interview or not, however, it happens. Are you too far away from the office or too close? Do you live in a wealthy suburb or a poor one? Do you live on the good side of the highway, or the bad side? This side of the river or that side of the river? Applicant Tracking Systems do hold a space for your address, however, to avoid a judgement being made about where you live, I personally recommend to leave it off, or add your local government area or capital city instead; Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth or your local government area if you are further away from the capital e.g. Gold Coast
I'm looking at relocating, should I put my address on my resume?
As mentioned above, you should remove any locations from your resume to avoid recruiter bias.
Should I state my official name as it is on my passport or a nickname?
I have attended organisations where diversity in the workplace was mentioned in the job advertisement. The organisations had discrimination policies in place, and still, cultural bias existed within the recruitment team without a bat of an eyelid. Cultural bias is unfortunately, still a very real issue. Ask yourself,
- Is your name difficult for the average English speaker to pronounce?
- Does your name look, or sound like an English word that could potentially cause mockery?
On an Australian resume, you can call yourself what you like, within limits. There are no legal restrictions. For candidates with a non-westernized name it is better to use a Western nickname or shorten your first/last name. The key issue is not to hide your identity, but to help the recruiter pronounce your name.
There is nothing more embarrassing for a hiring manager than ringing a candidate and asking, "Is this? *Insert something that resembles a baby talking with food in their mouth*"
How confident are you with your CV?
If you feel your resume could do with an overhaul, The Perfect Resume Writers are all ready to help! A resume writer can help you apply for a job by ensuring your professional summary and resume objectives are clear, help to tailor your perfect CV for the position you are applying for, while ensuring that the resume format is visually appealing, and your potential employer will find your cover letter engaging to read.
If you are not confident, don't assume the prospective employer or hiring manager will be confident putting you forward for a position. If you are in doubt, send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can review it for you and give you some honest feedback including whether your resume is ATS compliant, work history, skills and experience are relevant to the positions you are applying for, and your resume is easy to read.
How to write a CV | Curriculum Vitae Example | Curriculum Vitae Example for a Job | CV Meaning | Sample of CV for Job Application | How to Write a CV PDF | CV Examples for Students | CV Format for job | How is a CV different to a Resume?