A resume is a “billboard”; essentially it is an advertisement to entice an employer to invite you for an interview. If this document does not stand out no interviews will be forthcoming! This is a door opener and the information needs to be captured in a maximum of 2 or 3 pages. Most bilingual job seekers design a resume employing the “one size fits all” approach. Resumes should be a work in progress, tailored to the requirements of the particular job. This does not mean inventing facts, it means reading and understanding the job description and adapting the resume to highlight skills and experience which match the requirements of the position.
Remember these 6 tips when tailoring your resume for a particular position:
1. Determine what to highlight by looking closely at the job description and position requirements. Closely mirror the language used in the job description to show how you are a good fit for the position.
2. Determine what skills and experience the employer is seeking and highlight only those relevant from your experience. Make sure to list relevant skills in a bulleted list and match them up as best you can to the order in which they are stated in the job description.
3. Eliminate any irrelevant information. For example, if you teach yoga in your spare time leave it off unless it is relevant. Irrelevant information on a resume acts as a distraction and might lead to questions concerning commitment to the job at hand. Similarly, if your long term goal is not in sync with the immediate position do not include it.
4. Avoid using more than 2 fonts when creating your resume. Instead, highlight where necessary using bold and italicized text. Remember to use highlighting sparingly!
5. The reader will scan your resume quickly looking for key points so endeavour to preserve as much white space on the page as possible (be brief!)
6. Don’t forget that you are applying for a bilingual position and your resume should contain more than a mere statement of your ability to speak the required language – show how you’ve mastered it and have employed it successfully in previous positions.