How to write a good resume

I haven't had to update my resume for a while. When I started at Max Kelsen, I never sent in a resume.

And when I applied for a teaching role at DataCamp, instead of attaching a resume form, I typed a few sentences about my recent and relevant experiences.

I've never been a fan of resumes. I found them hard to write and always wanted to put more than was necessary.

And more importantly, an A4 sheet of paper is hardly the best way to evaluate someone's abilities.

But for some roles, like the one my brother is applying for, they're required.

So how do you make a good one?

1. Keep it short

No more than one page. Respect the time of the person who's going to be reading it. Anything more than a page is overkill.

2. Tailor it for the role

If you've got plenty of experience, cut out what's not related to the role you're applying for. Keep it short.

If you don't have much experience, list other projects you've worked on.

If you haven't worked on other projects, start working on some other projects or be honest about where you're at in a custom cover letter.

'I don't have any completed projects as of yet but am applying to this role to show my interest.'

'Over the next X months, I'll be working on Z project. Once I've completed it, I'll report back with my progress.'

3. Be honest

This is obvious. Don't list anything you wouldn't be able to talk about in length during an interview.

If you haven't got the relevant experience, address it, address how you would handle it, address what you're going to do about it (see the bottom of 2).

4. Be specific

Not good: Worked with customers every day.

Good: Served an average of 3000 customers per quarter with an 88 NPS score.

Not good: Worked on data science projects.

Good: Built a data science pipeline which saved a clients business an average of $10,000 per month in 6-weeks.

What have you worked on?

How much?

How many?

How often?

Include the details. 2-3 dot points per major experience.

5. What are you interested in?

Some are on the fence about this. But I'm for it. You can make your own decision.

Add a little human to it.

What's been getting you excited lately?

What's something non-role related you've been enjoying?

After all, if you're successful, there's a chance you will have to spend time with the people who are reading your resume.

Give to a reason to want to know more. This could be under a hobbies/interest section. Or in a custom cover letter.

6. No spelling mistakes. Ever.

Modern resume filters will discard anything with a mistake.

When you think it's ready to send off, read it again. Show it to a friend to read. Read it out loud. Does it make sense?

Use a tool like Grammarly to make sure your words are spelled correctly and are in order.

7. Have a little more

'Where can I go to see more?'

Have a presence online. A website, a blog, a portfolio, a GitHub account, a LinkedIn, a place to see that project you've worked on. You don't need them all but at least 2 would be good.

I don't plan on ever having to send another resume to someone, I've got a full LinkedIn for that. Or if they want to know a little more, I'm not hard to find online.

In a resume filtering world, having the little bit extra is what will set you apart.

My resume is below. You can copy it if you like. It's out of date but it hits the points above.

If you're looking for a guide on how to fill a LinkedIn profile, you can copy mine too. It's not the best but it's full of information.

Looking for a place to make a resume? If I had to do mine again, I'd go to resume.io, I haven't used it but it looks slick. Otherwise, there's a free template on Google Docs, Josh an I used that to make his.

All the best with the next application!

My resume for April 2018.

My resume for April 2018.