Tips for creating a standout Resume.

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Your resume/CV is one of the most important things to focus on when starting the process of looking for a new role or applying for new jobs.

Identifying your dream career and aspirations is something separate, and it is important to ascertain that before curating your resume/CV, find out more about identifying your dream job in our e-book which you can purchase on our shop page for just $1.99 https://personalbestworldwide.com/shop


Today we will be talking about your CV/resume and why it is important, along with how you can curate it to suit ATS systems, what to include on it, and how long recruiters spend looking at your application. Times have moved on since I first entered recruitment (back in 2006) and ATS systems did not really exist then, but now most companies and recruiters use ATS systems to help them field and harvest resumes/CVs for their open roles. If you are a job seeker in the USA or UK, you can check out our open jobs on our website. We help various businesses across the UK and USA with recruitment and have various job openings on our website.



What do ATS systems do?

ATS systems extract information from your CV/resume and enter it into a company database, this helps companies or recruiters build a pool of candidates for open roles. The ATS system will extract a variety of information including your name, location, education, and level of experience, and take snippets from that CV/resume and include an overview of your profile. Most US recruitment companies and UK recruitment companies use ATS systems.

ATS system

Why is it important to make your CV/resume ATS-friendly?

Well.. the answer is simple, you need to do this so that you are not incorrectly auto-rejected or put in a pile of no’s because your information is not laid out in a way the ATS likes or can pick up.


How do I make my CV/resume ATS-friendly? 

There are a variety of free templates online that can help you to create an ATS-friendly resume along with great guidance on what to include and what not to include, you can find available resources here: https://www.myperfectresume.com/career-center/resumes/how-to/ats-friendly


Including a photograph on your resume, is it necessary?

Picture in resume

The simple answer is no, it is not something that is particularly favored by Western employers (USA & UK) and with UK recruitment and US recruitment, it’s not common to see people put their photograph on their resume. I believe there are a few reasons why people in these locations are not accustomed to doing these, and these reasons are.

  1. It gives more room for judgment on appearance rather than skills or experience.
  2. It potentially allows the employer to discriminate against gender, age, etc without even knowing they are doing it. 
  3. It takes up space on your resume that could be used for other, more valuable information, such as your profile or top skills.
  4. ATS systems don’t recognize photographs on resumes.

Whilst other countries do commonly use photographs on their resumes and in some countries, it is preferred by employers, it’s not necessary for the regions noted above.


How about an objective section on a CV/resume?

Objective on CV

Is it needed or is it a waste of time? 

Some recruiters will argue that the objectives section of a resume is redundant, and as a professional recruiter with over 17 years of experience, I must agree.

The reason why objective sections are not helpful is that we already know your objective is to find a job, hopefully, this job, the one you are applying for.


So what can you put in place of an Objective section?


Use a summary. A summary should include your current job title, and a summary of your aspirations, for example, “SARAH JONES, PROJECT MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT, a PMP certified project management assistant looking to take the next step in my career and bring my wealth of experience to a project management role within the construction industry” OR “JAMES SMITH, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY, experienced attorney with 12 years experience in employment law, seeking growth in a firm where I can become partner”

Summaries help the prospective employer understand a little bit about who you are and what you do, as well as what you want to do.


Key Skills, are they important? 

Skills on CV

In short, yes, a key skills section at the top of your resume BEFORE your education or experience is highly recommended. The reasoning behind this is that it has been proven that recruiters will only spend an average of 5 seconds looking at 95% of resumes, from that 5 seconds you either go into the reject pile or the further review pile. To make it into the further review pile, you need to have caught their attention and stood out very quickly, having a key skills section on your resume is an effective way to do this. Looking at facts and figures helps us bring you the most relevant information and advice to further your job prospects.


So, what should you include in your key skills section?

Anything you think you are good at, that is relevant to the role or requires technical expertise, you should include systems you have worked with, programs you know and can use, and soft skills.

If you are applying for a project management role, some key skills you could list would be

  • Budgeting & Estimating
  • Procore Software
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Timeline management
  • Team leadership
  • Google Suite
  • Commercial & residential construction PM 6. PMP certified.

This helps recruiters and employers to ascertain straight away if you meet their minimum requirements and work in the industry they are looking to hire for. 


Resume templates and designs, do you need them?

Resume template on CV

The short answer is no, a simple resume well crafted on Word and converted into PDF will suffice. If you need help with crafting a resume and want to use a template, use a simple template with clean lines and not too much going on, try to avoid colorful resumes or resumes with lots of flowers/design aspects unless you are applying for a creative role such as a marketing manager for a flower shop or as an actress etc where you would need to show creativity. 

You can find free resume templates here: https://create.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/resumes



In short, we briefly discussed ATS-friendly resumes, using photographs on resumes, using summaries instead of objectives, and included some valuable resources for creating resumes and using templates.

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To purchase our eBook where we delve into curating the perfect resume in more detail, visit https://personalbestworldwide.com/shop

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