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Navigating your career: Top tips for building a winning resume

Posted by James Hawley, Hays EVP, on Thursday, Jan 14, 2016

24.01.16 US Construction blog imageYour resume is the first and, often worryingly, one of the most neglected steps of the job search process. Many people just don’t know where to start, especially if embarking on a job search after a long time. Updating your resume can often feel like a daunting task so use this simple guide to help make the process as effective as possible.

A tailored approach to resume writing.
A big turn off for employers is submitting a resume that has not been tailored to the job. Not personalizing your resume could indicate that you’re not interested enough in the position to spend time researching the role – not a great introduction.

Basic resume structure:

1. Contact details
Make sure to use the phone number and email address that you use most often to avoid missing an interview or call back.

2. Personal summary
This is your opportunity to highlight what you hope to achieve in your next position and what you feel you can offer to the employer. Keep it short, to the point and tailored to the job your applying for.

3. Skills summary
To get your best selling points across quickly and effectively, try including a skills section. Compile a brief bulleted list of your skills and experience relevant to the role. Include technical knowledge as well as soft skills.

4. Work history
Work backwards from your most recent job and don’t leave any gaps; you don’t want to give potential employers any reason to suspect the worst. If you took time out, carried out an interim assignment or went back to school, say so – be sure to highlight any skills or knowledge gained.

5. Achievements
Share your successes and big wins. Did the project win an award? Did your project come in under budget because of your planning? Were you or your team recognized within the company, eg. Employee of the Month. All this boosts your profile and adds a personal element
to your resume.

6. Education and training
Use your common sense here and include certifications, qualifications or academic achievements relevant to the industry and role. Make sure to also include any training courses that you have completed.

Top Tip: Run it by a recruiter
Your recruiter reads literally hundreds of resumes per week so run it by them. Your recruiter can also tell you if there is anything specifically that the hiring manager is looking out for on your resume and help you to put your best foot forward with the application.

Hopefully the above information will help you gain a better response rate in your job search. Resume writing can be tricky, however if you get the basics right then you increase your chances of success significantly. Remember to keep it structured, relevant and interesting.

Are you making the best impression with your job applications? Get the latest career advice to make sure you’re armed with all right tools for success.

Looking for a new opportunity in Construction? Find jobs in your area, or contact your local office.

Talk to James Hawley for insights into the US construction market and other hiring and labour trends.


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