How To Write A Resume: Your Guide To Wowing Recruiters With A Sparkling CV
— 11 February 2023

How To Write A Resume: Your Guide To Wowing Recruiters With A Sparkling CV

— 11 February 2023
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

Despite the best intentions of most schools, none of us really learn how to write a resume until we’re already in the workforce. Even if you’ve already got a resume, you might have been in your last job for years, meaning you’ve completely forgotten how to write a resume, which only makes the already stressful task of job hunting even worse.

Never fear, however, as that’s exactly what we’re here for, not just to explain how to write a resume that conveys your experience well and reads impeccably, but also to get some tips from an expert in the business of job hunting. At the end of the day, a resume shouldn’t be a painful experience to update, but it’s still important to get it right as it’s the first impression you’re likely to have on your future employer.

How To Write A Resume Like An Expert

I spoke with Tom Miles – Associate Director of Accounting & Finance at Morgan Consulting – about exactly how to think about writing your resume, a few elements you should always include and a few red flags to avoid. When starting the updating or writing process, it’s important to ask yourself, “how can I provide an arcuate and informative snapshot of my career and personality, which provides enough information to entice the potential employer to want to know more about me and my suitability to the organisation and role,” Miles explains.

how to write a resume

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“The traditional resume is typically an organic document that you’re keeping up to date regularly, whether you are searching for a job or not. The resume objective is to give a clear and concise picture of your past roles, responsibilities and achievements in your career but also should include selected relevant achievements, be they educational, personal projects, self-development, sporting or anything else, which will help elevate your application and provide further insight into you as a person.”

If you’ve never needed to write a CV before, don’t be intimidated. There are lots of helpful resume template tools out there that can help you create your first professional resume, but it’s also worth starting by making a professional email address to include in your contact details for hiring managers to reach you.

As far as a typical resume format goes (which any good resume builder should show), writing out your experience and education in reverse chronological resume format is typically considered to be the right resume format for most jobs. Even if you haven’t had any previous jobs, a quick Google search should show you a number of different free resume templates to give you a guide to the most functional resume format that’ll help you get your foot in the door.

Regardless of the job title you’re gunning for, it’s always worth carefully reading the job description so you can tailor your resume to suit it as much as possible, giving yourself the highest chance at being the best candidate. Especially if they’re unusual hard skills or soft skills, making yourself stand out from all the other applicants is key to securing your dream job.

As an example, there might be something in the job ad you’re applying for that you’ve got experience doing, but didn’t previously mention that experience in your resume summary because it wasn’t pertinent to your current role. “You always want your skillsets and experiences to accurately reflect the job you are applying for,” says Miles.

While you definitely don’t want to come across as over-confident, celebrating the professional achievements you’ve had is also important. “Don’t be afraid to have a humble brag. This is the story of your career, you want the reader to know about all the amazing achievements you have had throughout.”

Another thing to always consider when you’re updating your CV is the way it visually presents. “You want to be able to provide as much information as you can, as succinctly as possible,” Miles suggests. “Big slabs of text are not visually appealing and could lead to a prospective employer skimming over the details and moving on to the next application.

“A lot of hiring managers don’t have time to sift through pages and pages of content. I find that using bullet points always presents better than large slabs of text,” says Miles. Unless you’re an executive with decades of professional experience, your CV shouldn’t be longer than two pages as a rule of thumb.

Perhaps the most important part of a CV for all job seekers is the “Career Objective” or “About Me” section.

“Your “About Me” section can be a make-or-break paragraph as to whether you progress to an interview or not,” says Miles. “Tailor this section and make it relevant to the company and role, explaining why you are suitable for the job and why you want to work there. If your experience and key skills don’t stack up to the brief, the “About Me” section might.

 There’s a lot in a great resume that you should do, but there are also a couple of things you definitely shouldn’t do. Spelling mistakes and the appearance of dishonesty are at the top of that list.

 “It sounds obvious, but you would be amazed how many people don’t seem to proofread their CVs,” says Miles, going on to advise that, “it’s an immediate red flag when a candidate’s CV is inconsistent with their online profile (LinkedIn). Make sure any online platforms accurately reflect your CV.

 While writing a compelling resume is most of the battle, the cover letter can be equally important and a good opportunity to explain in more detail exactly who you are and why you’re submitting the job application. Especially the soft and hard skills you have couldn’t fit in your main resume, the cover letter is a good place to elaborate on any technical skills or communication skills you might have to offer. Depending on the company you’re applying for, its applicant tracking software might pick up on keywords in your cover letter that see you move past the first stage of its applicant tracking systems.

“Cover letters are like dress code, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed,” says Miles. “While cover letters are becoming more and more outdated, it won’t hurt you to provide one when applying for a role.

“One fantastic way to differentiate yourself from 95% of applicants is to add a customised video cover letter. It gives you an opportunity to show your personality, communication skills, and enthusiasm for the desired job.

“Additionally, if your background and experiences are not an exact match to the job requirements but you feel you have transferable skills and an ability to learn new areas, then it gives you an opportunity to highlight these points. From the perspective of the employer, this is important information to consider especially in a talent-short market.”

Finally, another way to show relevant skills in communication and distinguish yourself from the others in the recruitment process is to call the hiring manager to discuss your relevant experience, professional skills, personal traits and work history.

“Being proactive with your job search is an excellent way to separate yourself from the herd,” suggests Miles. “I would always send my CV before the call though as you want the recruiter or hiring manager to be able to have something in front of them to reference during the call.”

So if you’re in the market for a new job but have been wondering about the best ways to show off your hard and soft skills, or even simply to make a resume as you enter the job market for the first time using the correct reverse chronological order format, these are all of the things you need to consider.

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Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


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