The thought of writing a resume could be a daunting task to some (Don’t worry we have all been there). Here at Alex James we would like to take some of that pressure off your chest so you can focus on the more important things, like enjoying your time gaining valuable experience in the work force. 

We wouldn’t say we are the authority to writing a stellar resume (everyone has their own style, and that is perfectly okay!) But we do have a constant flow of resumes we receive from potential candidates and sometimes if you go through enough, you pick up on aspects that work in favour of the candidate and others that don’t. 

The team at Alex James has taken the liberty of compiling a list of few things we noticed were important in the makings of a good resume:

Correct spelling and grammar
This is at the top of the list because it is imperative. Resumes with incorrect spelling may be viewed as unprofessional and make a swift exit to the ‘No’ pile, we don’t want that. When we come across resumes with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, it has us celebrating with little party hats and confetti parades in our office as it makes its entrance to the Shortlist pile. 

Month and Year and not just the Year
This is a subjective one. But a poll was taken in the office and the result was that in most resumes, it is best to include the month along with the year that a candidate was employed.
For example:
January 2012 – June 2014

November 2014 – Current

Simple and Consistent Layout
Renowned architect Mies van de Rohe once said, “Less is more.” We live by this brilliant notion when it comes to the layout of the resume. 

Employers go through ALOT of applications when in search for the perfect employee. Sometimes, keeping it simple and straightforward is best. It allows them to spend more time reading through the information rather than navigating through a maze of creative layouts and designs. Also, consistency is key. Font style and size should be constant throughout the resume. A good size will be 11 or 12 with an easy to read font choice. 

Succinct and to the point
Employers are often very busy and have very little time to read through paragraphs of information. So bullet points can help a great deal in this department. 
For example:
·       Two years experience in luxury retail with face to face interaction with clients
·       Facilitated in store operations, stock management and visual merchandising
·       Ensured the satisfaction of clientele with follow up enquiries via email and phone
·       Worked toward monthly sales targets of $x amount
·       Awarded incentive for most client information capture rate
·       Achieved items per transaction (ipt) of 2.3

There is no universal decree on the amount of points you make, though four to six points are a good start. Also, sometimes when responsibilities for one job overlap with another, try not to replicate points word for word. Paraphrase instead!

Remember to be specific with your points. “Excellent communication skills” sounds great but vague. A more professional and informative way to write it could be “Excellent verbal and written skills acquired through studies”. 

Up to Date Information
Make sure information is current and contact details are up to date. There have been a few instances when we had tried to contact a potential candidate after reading a great resume only to find the number had been disconnected.  

We hope we have helped you somewhat demystify the world of resume writing. There are a range of resources available on the internet that provides a step to step guide in writing a resume. Our favourites are linked below. Feel free to have a browse.