Your resume is the core of every job application you submit. Writing a resume when looking for a new role can be a challenge for even the most experienced professionals. There is so much debate about what is and isn’t important on a resume that it’s no wonder people often struggle to find the right combination of key skills, qualifications, and experience to include on their resume.
There are many similarities between resumes for different industries and our consultants, so ensure your resume adheres to the following rules:
- Tailor your resume – each role is unique your resume should reflect that.
- Don’t include a photo – unless the job description requests a photo, your headshot should not be on your resume.
- Spell check and proofread – double-check your resume. Error-free applications are crucial.
- Highlight what’s most important – structure your resume so that the most relevant details are listed first.
However, when it comes to building a standout resume specifically for your sector, what should you focus on and what structure should be followed? How detailed or specific should you be when highlighting an achievement or past experience?
Our consultants are experts in their industry, they communicate with both employers and job seekers on a daily basis and are best placed to advise you on what should be included in a resume to really stand out – here are their top tips for writing a winning resume for your sector.
When writing a resume for a position in the digital industry, a strong focus should be placed on your achievements. In digital, everything you do can be tracked and measured, therefore when highlighting an achievement on your resume it is crucial to include stats and figures to prove them.
For example; the UX changes I made to the website’s checkout page reduced the number of clicks in total from eight to seven which drove up the conversion rate by 12%. This generated an additional $50,000 revenue in the following three months.
When it comes to layout and structure, for a technical role, clear and simple is always preferred. However, a slightly more creative resume for a design role might be more appropriate, accompanied by a portfolio. Divide your portfolio into categories such as brand designs, email designs, and 3D designs (etc.) to compliment your resume.
In marketing, our consultants advise professionals to focus on their key responsibilities and achievements on their resume. Your work experience should follow a short personal profile at the top of your resume.
In the achievement section, ensure to use specific examples. Your achievements listed can be directly linked to different aspects of past or current roles such as campaigns, platform, etc. but also if you implemented a new toolkit, developed a new website, or helped train a team member.
Errors are especially difficult to ignore when recruiting for marketing roles, as communication is such a critical aspect of marketing. Marketing professionals should be able to promote themselves better than any other candidate due to the very nature of their roles.
In finance, qualifications are essential, which is why an informative yet concise objective summary should be used to highlight the key qualifications and experience you possess at the top of your resume.
In the experience or work section of your resume, include a brief company description to give insight into the business experience you have had. A top level overview of the roles you have had in chronological order should be included to provide information about the size and types of businesses you have previously worked for. Include information such as where the office is located, the number of people in the organization, and business turnover. When describing your skills or personal achievements in past roles, ensure to back it up with statistics and figures.
Many finance roles require a level of interaction with operational functions in a business, so the ability to effectively communicate your role and any key information are essential. Keep in mind using too much technical jargon in your resume may actually demonstrate you lack the ability to translate what you do into plain English.
When writing a resume for a technology-based role, it is important to focus on the impact you had on an organization and quantify how your influence helped the company. For example, if you saved them money – how much?
Unlike some sectors, technical jargon is very important on an IT resume, as it helps demonstrate your technical skills. Of course, make sure it is clear and easy to understand.
Keep the structure simple, drawing attention to your achievements, and use examples to highlight your key strengths and prove the value you contributed.
Procurement & Supply Chain
For procurement or supply chain resumes, it’s important to highlight the scale of operations you have previously worked with. Include details such as the number of people you have managed (drivers and/or warehouse operatives), the number of trailers, size of the site, number of pallet locations in the warehouse, number of SKUs, number of deliveries per day and the size of the budget you worked with or managed, etc.
Your achievements in terms of efficiency savings and improvements should be quantified wherever possible. For example, “I increased employee engagement by 12% through a new communication program which led to a 16% reduction in staff turnover.”
It is also important to provide details on your knowledge of specific logistics IT systems (e.g. Red Prairie WMS, Paragon, and GTS).
There are sales roles in almost every industry sector. Due to this, there is often slightly different key focuses for different roles. In general, education and sales achievements are particularly important and resumes should be structured with education at the top including any A-levels and GCSEs.
Sales resumes need sales figures. What were your targets? What did you achieve and what are your key wins? Opt for quantitative over qualitative achievements: achieved 150% of sales target in 2016 (target was $1m, achieved $1.5m).
It is also important to highlight what you have sold and who you have sold to. Include specific commercial information in your work experience sections and include your key wins and what you have achieved against your targets.
When writing a resume for an HR position, there is an increasing need for candidates to showcase the fact that they truly understand business needs. If a course of action or a project you undertook made savings, increased staff retention or motivation, then make the results tangible. For example: achieved a 40% cost saving and staff retention hit highest percentages in last 10 years as a result of the campaign. Use industry-specific jargon in context as it can add significant value to an HR resume.