The job market in Nigeria is crowded; your résumé should help you stand out from the crowd.
This is especially true for new graduates who are entering the job market for the first time. For employers to give you a second look, your résumé needs to summarize your skills, be targeted for the specific job you want and be error-free.
The purpose of the résumé is to get you an interview which is the first stage of the hiring process, so it should showcase your most relevant skills and qualifications, it should be focused, clear and concise.
Because the recruiters review a large volume of resume, they often spend only a few seconds reviewing the résumés they receive, so they have to make a quick impression.
One thing is certain: If you don't capture their interest the first time, you'll get passed by for the job. If you do capture their interest, the employers will at least take a more in-depth look at your résumé.
Here are 5 tips to help job seekers entering the job market for the first time write the perfect résumé:
- Target the resume to the job you want. Don't use one résumé for all job applications. The vast majority of employers think your résumé should be tailored to the position you're applying for. Be sure your skills and qualifications stand out for each job you are trying to land.
- Choose the right words. Because many employers use computer software to filter résumés, you should include keywords from the job posting in your résumé to help you survive the filtering.
- Proofread. One of the quickest ways to get eliminated from consideration is by having grammar and spelling errors in your résumé. Recent research shows that nearly all employers reject candidates due to errors in résumé.
- Be concise. People who are entering the job market for the first time should stick to a one-page résumé. To save space, eliminate the objective statement and the "References available upon request" line.
- Highlight your accomplishments. Rather than just listing your experience, highlight what you accomplished in those jobs. Nearly all employers prefer to see verifiable achievements on a résumé because they show how well you performed in past jobs.
In most industries, the current job market favors employers, so it's very important to follow these guidelines.