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Creating a superior resume

Patricia Kitson

Patricia Kitson
Career Writer

On receiving applications from job applicants, the sorting process by employers often starts with an assessment of cover letter and résumé, with the the HR professional looking for evidence of skills, abilities, education and work experiences that closely match the essential criteria for the job.

So, how can you position your application to stand a better chance of passing the pre-screening and getting through to the next round?

ˇ Apply for a specific position (or for a specific department) and ensure your educational background and/or experience is in line with the position/department.

ˇ Prepare a cover letter that provides a concise overview of your most relevant work experience for the job. It should neatly summarise why you are qualified for the position, be free of errors and easy to read. Poorly constructed cover letters are generally considered grounds to eliminate a potential candidate.

ˇ Customise your résumé to the specific position or department, highlighting the endemic qualities. If responding to an advertisement, your résumé should reflect the skills and experience listed in the job posting, including keywords that match the qualities of the position you are seeking.

ˇ Stay focused on a specific career path. For example, if you spent 3 to 6 months in a position that detoured from your main career, leave this off the résumé.

ˇ Always summarise the main duties of the positions you held in your résumé, highlighting your achievements and industry knowledge. Also, write a precise objective statement as this is usually what HR professionals read first.

For the preliminary interviews, keep your responses brief yet concise. Demonstrate your knowledge of the field, and your understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the position.

**Patricia Grant-Kitson is a human resource management & training consultant. Email
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