Resume Builder

Your résumé is the most critical of all of the job search elements. Your success, or failure, in getting to interview will depend on how well you ‘sell’ yourself and the relevance of your background to the role. 

It is your opportunity to present to a prospective employer all of the information that proves that you have the required skills and experience for the position. Résumé preparation is not the time to be modest; rather you should tell the reader what you have done in an honest and positive manner.

Preparation

Before you can put pen to paper, you need to spend time reviewing your work experience. You will need to identify your current and past job responsibilities and duties, your past accomplishments and achievements, and your skills and abilities. You must keep in mind that the reader will be asking themselves three main questions: Who is this applicant? What sort of job does this person want? What abilities or skills is this person offering?

General Guidelines

  • Be wary of information overload - although there is no set rule, it is suggested that résumés be between 3 and 4 pages long. Do not write a novel!
  • Use of bullet points, short sentences and short words will help to make your résumé easy and quick to read. Résumés may not always be read but simply skimmed for the relevant information by the reader!
  • Use action words - action verbs (e.g. accomplished, created, enhanced, launched, negotiated, etc) should be used in addition to adjectives. Pronouns (I, we, they) should be kept to a minimum, or avoided altogether. The use of 'I' tends to emphasise what you want rather than what you can do for the employer.
  • Take care with presentation - layout and design should be legible, consistent and easy to follow, with good, clear headings and large, easy to read font, e.g. Times New Roman, Arial. Use good quality, plain A4 paper. Coloured paper or fancy borders should only be used if the job requires creativity. Do not send poor quality photocopies.
  • Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Keep it honest - don't exaggerate your experience to make your résumé sound more impressive. You should not include anything on your résumé that you cannot substantiate at interview - to do so could impede your chances of getting the position.
  • Put work history and education details in reverse chronological order, i.e. starting with the most recent.
  • It is not advisable to include: photographs, date of birth, spouse's/partner's occupation, current or past remuneration details, religion, weight, height, health information, marital status, number of children, etc.

Résumé Structure

Opinions vary as to the correct contents and structure of a résumé. Careful consideration should be given to the relevance and order of information being provided. E.g. you may wish to promote or demote your academic qualifications dependent on your strengths and experience. A basic résumé structure should always include the following:

Personal Details

Include your name, address and contact details, such as telephone, e-mail addresses, etc. Stating your residency status is also useful as employers need to know whether you are legally able to work inAustraliaand for how long.

Career History

When detailing your employment history, you should include your job title, dates of employment, a description of the employer and a description of the position held, including major duties and responsibilities, e.g. number of staff supervised, primary tasks, etc. Your employment history should be presented chronologically, with your most recent positions detailed first.

Achievements

Brief statements detailing your achievements during the course of work experience, education, training or other activities should be included, e.g. suggestions for improvements or your sales achievements. You should not rely solely on a position description when preparing this part of your résumé. Instead, highlight what you actually did and how good you were at it. Demonstrate your success!

Education/Qualifications

This section should include:

  • Formal qualifications held and other relevant professional training and education undertaken.
  • Professional Memberships (if membership of professional bodies is important to the job they can be specified separately).

Referees

Your referees should be past supervisors, or managers, who are familiar with your responsibilities and skill levels. If you elect to include referee details, you should include the following information: name, job title and name of organisation, telephone number and nature of work relationship (e.g. supervisor, etc).

Important Note: To avoid privacy legislation issues, it is strongly advised that you contact your referees to gain their permission prior to giving out their details.

Alternatively, you may elect to supply your referee details upon request.

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