YOUR GUIDE TO CREATING
A SUCCESSFUL RESUME

Before you read our resume tips, please enter your details.
This helps us understand who’s interested in our content,
and if you tick the box to allow us to contact you, we will
share further content and tips to help develop your career!

TO OUR RESUME GUIDE

Whether you’re writing your first CV, or updating an old version,
in this CV Guide you’ll find all the tips and advice you need to ensure your resume stands out.

Here’s an overview of what you’ll find inside:
(Click to navigate)

01

7 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU BEGIN

It can be tempting to dive straight into writing your resume to kick off your job search.

But, if you want to create a tailored document which is going to deliver
the results you're looking for, it's important you first take some time
and think about what you really want in your next position.

So, before going any further, ask yourself these questions:

1. Why are you looking for a new role?

2. What salary and benefits package are you looking for?

3. Which role would be a sensible step towards your long-term career goals?

4. Which technical and soft skills are you looking to develop?

5. What kind of culture and work environment would you like to join?

6. What are your deal-breakers?

7. What are you prepared to be more flexible about?

02

PLANNING THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR RESUME

Now you’re ready to start creating your resume:
one that both reflects you as a professional and the type of role you are suitable for.

First, plot out the structure of your resume in a Word document:

1. Name, address and contact details

List the phone number and the professional email address you use most often.
You should also add links to professional online profiles, provided these are up
to date and synced with the details on your resume.

2. Personal statement

Summarize your career story in a few sentences, highlighting why
your skills are a good match and what you feel you can offer to the employer.

3. Employment history

Provide details of your work history, including any paid work,
plus any relevant volunteer or work experience placements.

4. Achievements

Give a list of your relevant achievements which clearly highlight
your suitability for the roles you are applying for.

5. Skills summary

Add a brief bulleted list of your skills, focusing on those
which are most relevant to the roles you are interested in.

6. Education and training

Keep this relevant and remember to include any training
courses which relate to the jobs you are applying for.

7. References

Actual references are rarely included on CVs;
it is usually fine to simply write ‘References are available on request’.

03

WRITING YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT

Your personal statement should be added directly underneath your contact details.
Remember, this is the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will read on your resume,
so you will need to impress.

Here’s how to ensure yours does:

1. Introduce yourself

Tell the reader who you are and what level of experience you have.

“I’m a hands-on Finance Manager with strong stakeholder engagement skills
and a results-driven attitude.”

2. List your skills and experience

Outline your key skills and evidence the achievements
which set you apart from the competition.

“With six years industry experience, I’m able to increase visibility within a business,
drive efficiencies and implement cost saving measures that increase profits
and provide a greater return on investment.”

3. Explain your ambitions for the future

Finish by outlining what you are looking to achieve next in your career,
ensuring it links to the role in question. This will instantly indicate to
the hiring manager that you should be shortlisted for an interview.

“I would now like to develop my skills in a global business environment,
where I can progress my career within accountancy.”

Dos and don’ts to remember

DO include relevant action verbs to evidence achievements.

DO use keywords from the job description where relevant.

DO keep your personal statement to around 100-150 words.

DO tailor your personal statement to each role you apply for.

DON'T switch between the first and third person (e.g. I have excellent
interpersonal skills/Vanessa has excellent interpersonal skills).

04

PLOTTING OUT YOUR
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Now, it’s time to plot out your employment history, starting with your most recent role.

Remember to:

Format each job in the following order:

• Job title

• Company

• Dates of employment

• Key responsibilities and achievements

Avoid leaving career gaps

If you were unemployed for a period of time, explain how you made use of this time;
whether it was job searching or travelling. Whatever your reasons, be as transparent as possible.

Within each entry of your employment history, focus on the value you added,
not what your duties were. If any of your roles were temporary, say so.

Identify the keywords for the job vacancy you are applying for,
and use these where relevant in your role descriptions

Provide more detail for those roles which are
most relevant to that which you are applying for.

Once you have plotted this section out, you are ready to bring your experience
and achievements to life with the language you use.

05

BRINGING YOUR
ACHIEVEMENTS TO LIFE

As you write your employment history, make sure you use action verbs
to communicate your successes and evidence your achievements.

Examples of action verbs:

Demonstrate your creativity:

Built, crafted, devised, implemented, pioneered, initiated, established

Demonstrate your efficiency:

Enhanced, advanced, capitalized, maximized, leveraged, improved

Demonstrate your leadership skills:

Headed, coordinated, executed, managed, operated, organized

Demonstrate improvements made:

Refined, remodelled, strengthened, upgraded, transformed

Demonstrate your management skills:

Guided, fostered, motivated, recruited, enabled, united

Demonstrate bottom-line contributions:

Reduced, decreased, consolidated, saved, yielded, increased

Demonstrate overall achievements:

Awarded, exceeded, outperformed, surpassed, earned, granted

Action verbs in action:

Rather than stating you have strong communication skills, use verbs like:

‘wrote’, ‘published’, ‘edited’ or ‘swayed’

As opposed to writing that you have good organizational skills, try:

‘facilitated’, ‘programmed’, ‘coordinated’, ‘allocated’ or ‘arranged’

And rather than writing that you always achieved your target goals, try:

‘reached’, ‘surpassed’ or ‘accomplished’

06

REPLACING ANY CLICHÉS

Action verbs may emphasise your skills, but clichés will dilute them.
Below is a list of the most common clichés to avoid:

“Works well independently”

If working independently is a genuine strength of yours, then give an example
of a time you showcased this strength and the results. For instance, try
“I independently developed a new strategy that increased customer engagement by X percent.”

“A great team player”

Stand out from the competition by providing evidence that you can work well with
colleagues to reach a common goal. For instance, “I worked with our international
and local marketing teams to implement a global rebrand across 12 countries.”

“Results driven”

Instead of simply stating you are results driven, you should support this claim with facts.
Ensure that you give quantifiable evidence of your results, such as “I increased sales by 25 percent.”

“A hard worker”

Prove your productivity and time management skills by giving examples,
for instance; creating a successful product launch in a short time frame or
never missing a deadline in two years in your last role.

“Good communication skills”

Be more specific by giving examples of situations in which your communication skills
have really shone through, such as a presentation or sales pitch you gave which won
a new client for your business.

“A fast learner”

If you really want to demonstrate your aptitude, you need to put your money
where your mouth is. Describe a time you grasped a new concept quickly.

07

SHOWCASING YOUR SKILLS

Next, it’s time to draft your skills summary - a bulleted list of your skills which
relate to the role you are applying for. These skills can also be referenced in
your personal statement and employment history sections of your resume
and should include the keywords that you have picked out from the job description.
Remember to include the below:

Technical skills

These are the skills which you have gained throughout your professional career,
which are either required or desirable for this role, for instance:

• Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook)

• SAP

• Sage

• QuickBooks

Soft skills

These are your personal attributes that allow you to work well
with others and achieve your goals. For example:

• Decision making

• Communication

• Time management

• Conflict resolution

• Problem solving

• Stakeholder engagement

• Business acumen

If you are stuck, think about the transferable skills you may have learned in previous roles
or whilst you were studying; for instance, you may have honed your writing skills at university.
Also, think about when you have taken it upon yourself to upskill in any way - for example,
you might have taught yourself how to use WordPress when writing your personal blog.

08

ENSURING YOUR RESUME
IS ERROR-FREE

You have come this far and worked so hard to craft the perfect resume.
Don’t undersell yourself by forgetting to proofread it properly!
Here are the most common resume errors to look out for:

1. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors

• Use the spell-checking software on your computer (ensure it is set to the correct language)

• Print off your resume and/or cover letter - you will find it easier to pick up on mistakes

• Read your resume aloud - again this will highlight any glaring errors to you

• Read your resume backwards – it might sound odd, but this is a proven way to pick up errors

• Ask a friend or relative to proofread the documents for you

• Make use of free online software such as Grammarly,
Slick Write or Paper Rater to help you spot any grammatical errors

2. A lack of consistency

• Ensure you are consistent in your use of abbreviations and capitalizations

• Consistently use the same simple font and font size throughout your application
– the same goes for bold and italicized copy

• Don’t switch from writing in the first person to the third person, and vice versa

• Similarly, ensure you maintain a professional tone throughout

3. Formatting issues

• Keep it simple – avoid the temptation to get carried away using backgrounds, borders or clipart

• If using Word, zoom out of the document to get a clearer view of formatting

• Print the documents out to quickly flag formatting errors – this way,
you will soon see if something doesn’t look quite right

• If your resume is more than one page, ensure your page transitions are smooth,
for instance, don’t start a sentence on one page which carries on to the next

• Once you are happy with the formatting, try converting the document into PDF,
which should ensure the formatting stays as you intended it

• Check your resume reads well on desktop, mobile and tablet devices

09

REGISTER YOUR RESUME
WITH MANPOWER

Once you think your CV is job application ready, register an account on our website!

Upload your now completed resume to your Manpower profile.

Apply on our job board:

Meet with one of our recruiters!

Online registration takes under a minute. Once you have registered your resume,
one of our expert recruiters will be in contact with the latest opportunities within
your area of expertise and preferred locations.

Please enter your details below.

This helps us understand who’s interested in our content,
and if you tick the box to allow us to contact you, we will
share further content and tips to help develop your career!