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How to write a resume

How to write a resume

Writing or updating your resume can seem like a daunting task as this will impact your likelihood of landing an interview for your dream job. With these few simple guidelines and recommendations, you will be on your way to writing a winning resume that is sure to impress and make you stand out from the crowd!


Cover letter


Including a cover letter with your resume application is not always considered necessary but it is a great opportunity for you to showcase in a few words why you are right for the job. Remember, your application will be one of many that they have received, so it is important that you include relevant information to make their decision easier. 


Your cover letter should be brief, no more than 150 words - too much detail and you risk your application being overlooked. You should include the following details: 


  • The job you are applying for and expressing your keen interest  
  • Why your skills are relevant to the position description 
  • How your experience makes you the best person for the job 

Include information in dot point format so it appears concise and easy to understand. 


Formatting


The way your resume is formatted, including the style and size of font that you use, is very important. You want your resume to be readable and presentable. Make sure that you are not including any imagery, that your headings for each section are clear and that you choose a basic font, such as Arial, in a font size of 10-12. 


Contact details


The beginning of your resume should include basic information - your full name and contact details. Be sure to include your best email address and contact number. If your email address is outdated, make sure you update this to appear more professional.


It is not recommended or required that you include a photo of yourself on an application, remember we want to keep the resume details as brief as possible. 


Skill summary


It is always great to have your skills at the forefront as this will reflect how relevant they are to the position you are applying for. Make sure you have read the position description in detail so you know what the employer is expecting. 


You cannot fabricate your experience, but you can make it sound more appealing. Rather than simply saying “experience with Microsoft programs” - elaborate this to say “extensive experience with Microsoft programs, including Excel, Powerpoint and Word”. Again, ensuring that these details remain relevant. 


Display your skills in dot point format so they are clearly presented.


Education


Depending on the position or the business, they may ask for a certain level of qualification as either a requirement or a benefit to your application. Again, ensure you review the position description so you know what they are looking for. 


Include your relevant education and qualifications in this section, beginning with your most recent. Include the name of the course, the level of qualification (i.e. Diploma), the institution you attended and the period of study. 


Work experience


This will no doubt be the most detailed section of your resume, depending on the amount of previous experience that you have had throughout your career. Begin with the most recent work experience and be sure to include the position name, the name of your employer, the start and finish date of your employment status, as well as your primary responsibilities. 


If you took a break between jobs, whether this was maternity leave or an extended holiday, don’t be afraid to mention this within this section. It is not uncommon to have an extended period off work and transparency is important so the employer doesn’t make any assumptions. 


Regarding your responsibilities within each role, again, ensure that you are keeping these both relevant to the role you are referring to and the role you are applying for. There is no need to include unnecessary responsibilities that you feel would not benefit the new role. 


References


Most, if not all, employers will ask for a reference. We recommend including one professional reference, such as an existing or recent line manager, as well as a personal reference - the personal reference should not be a family member or best friend, but rather a confidant or mentor who can easily sell your skills on your behalf. Include their name, who they are and their best contact number. 

Following these guidelines will ensure that you put your best foot forward and enhance your chances of obtaining your dream position. Good luck!



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