New or recent entrants to the HR job market are finding out fast that when they sit down to format the content for their resume it’s difficult to do when you don’t have much work experience.
This has always been a challenge for Early-Career HR Professionals but particularly so given the challenging market conditions we are facing right now.
So what should your resume focus on, what should it look like and should you include any other documents?
If you are early in your HR career, here’s some advice that we strongly recommend you consider:
1. Make sure your resume is to an acceptable standard for the corporate world. It should be well formatted, simple and clear with conservative use of styles and fonts.
2. Keep it short and no longer than two pages. When you get more experience and have more jobs to include it can creep up to three pages and then four maximum.
3. Demonstrate you understand the professional world. Fun email addresses are fine in your personal world but not in corporate land.
4. No lies please! You will get caught out and you will damage your chances, without a doubt.
5. Attention to detail. Please check your resume and then get a friend, colleague or family member to recheck. Do not under any circumstances simply rely on spell check or you can end up with crazy stuff like you get when predictive text goes wrong.
6. Your skills. Be truthful how you present them. No, you are not experienced enough yet to be a ‘brilliant manager’. That may come in time but for an entry level person it just sounds ridiculous and you will be fooling no-one.
7. Show and tell. Your resume should reflect what you HAVE achieved, so tell us. If you have written articles or have a blog, include the link. Tell us about any awards you have or achievements at school, sporting or otherwise.
8. Work experience. Include it as it’s very important. If you don’t have any then think about going out and getting some.
9. Include a targeted and concise covering letter with your application. It’s worth it. Not everyone does and it’s your opportunity to show your character and personality a little more freely than you can in a resume.
10. And finally, even though there’s been a lot of publicity about social media profiles and personal branding we still see some really inappropriate profiles. Make sure your publicly available social media reflects the message you want to give.