Below we have listed the basics of what your Resume needs to look like, gathered from more than a decade of experience in recruitment across a variety of roles and industries.
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Include your Name, Contact Details (email and phone number,) and location at the top of your first page. The old days of including address are gone, saying Perth, WA is fine.
If you are applying for a job in the next suburb then include your suburb, as this is a big positive for some people (hard for you to be late!). However it can work in reverse and put employers off if you live far away, which is why we like to keep it general.
You can also include a link to your Linkedin page if it’s up to date and looking good.
Make sure your email is something that’s professional.
Birth date and marital status
You don’t need to include your birthday, marital status, religion or any other info on your Resume. Sadly, discrimination and unconscious bias is common, so we’d advise to leave it out.
Keep it simple, no unnecessary multiple spacing, with small 10 or 11 point font such as Arial or Time New Roman. Use bullet points and keep it easy to read.
Avoid tables unless you know what you’re doing and are using the Resume for networking purposes only. Otherwise it may not scan through a company or recruitment agency system and therefore end up in the trash pile.
Your critical first page
Don’t spend half a page of text on what you want to do and who you are. List your key strengths & experience and achievements straight up on your first page as a highlight reel or snapshot of sorts.
Use bullet points where appropriate to keep it easy to read. Don’t go overboard about 4-6 in each section is good.
Don’t bother with an objective unless you’re telling a story that your Resume or Cover letter doesn’t mention.
- REVERSE chronological order.
- Include your job title, employer name and dates of employment.
- Include a short sentence on the employer (industry, size, projects etc) in case they may be unknown to the reader, and then your responsibilities, what you did and achievements in bullet form (it’s easy and fast to red).
- Keep your responsibilities concise, specific and to the point. Consider all the different areas that you had involvement in and then pick out the ones that count ie “Attend weekly meetings”, it doesn’t matter. Unless you were taking the minutes or chairing, the company secretary etc then it would matter. Be specific.
- If you managed a budget, what was the amount? If you managed staff – how many? Did you do their performance reviews? Recruit them or mentor them?
- Include 2-3 achievements per job. Be specific and list things that weren’t just a part of your job description. These might include times you were rewarded, commended by someone, averted a big problem, saved the company money, increased sales or productivity, were promoted, finished a project ahead of schedule or under budget.
People email asking me to update their Resume because someone has told them 5 pages is too long and they want to condense it to 3. There is NO magic number but we think 3-5 is usually a good amount. If you’re a tradie or site worker with a lot of qualifications, up to 6 is fine. It’s the quality of information that counts.
Education and Training
Start with your most relevant and “best” qualification or training/tickets first. NACE II, BOSIET, Degree – right up the top.
This section will include any degrees, courses, in-house training, tickets etc. Unless you only left school in the last 5 years, leave it out.
Include the ones that are current and relevant to what you are doing near the end of your CV.
These should be the last thing on you Resume. Include the name, job title, company name and contact details for your referee.
Unless you just left school then character references don’t count. We don’t care if family friends think you’re great, we only want to speak to your employer (and by that we don’t mean your friend who sat next to you, we want your manager/supervisor) .
You can include “References available upon request” if you prefer, so that no one calls your references and bothers them without your prior permission.
Hobbies and interests
We don’t recommend doing this unless it relates to the job you’re applying for or you’re fresh out of school. Some people may dislike what you enjoy doing or even discriminate or feel jealous/threatened by what you list.
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