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Our resume must let a potential employer know what you can contribute to their organisation. It is also the first chance you get to make an impression. An employer will generally spend less than a minute initially reviewing each resume, so it critical that you get it right. Present your information in a clear, concise and persuasive way.

Resume formats, layouts and content vary considerably depending on the type and level of job you are applying for. We’ve provided you with a format that we know works. A range of options are provided for you. The order of these key elements may vary but your resume should include each of the following:

Contact Details (make sure you use a font that is easy to read)

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone contact numbers
  • E-mail

Personal Statement

It is good to include a paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to find out more –particularly if there’s no option for a cover letter. It should help you stand out from the crowd and convince a potential employer that you are a good fit for the job and that you want the role. This may also be titled ‘Personal Profile’, ‘Capability Statement’, ‘Career Objective’ and the content may be combined under one heading with your Career Overview. It is important that it relates to the job advertisement.

Career Overview

A career overview is a snapshot of your core skills, experience and competencies, and usually relevant for people who have been working in a profession for many years. It summarises the main elements of all of your employment history and what you have to offer. It might also be titled ‘Profile’, ‘Summary of Skills & Experience’, ‘Career Summary’ and the content may be combined under one heading with your Personal Statement.

Education

  • Provide details of your education with most recent first.
  • Include your academic and professional qualifications.
  • The full name of the course(s) you’ve completed.
  • The full name of the educational institution(s) you’ve attended.
  • The subject / skills you completed.
  • Your achievement – results if you feel they’ll set you apart.

Employment History

List the most recent employment first and work through your employment history job by job. For each:

  • List the period of employment.
  • Name the company that you worked for.
  • Include the title of your position.
  • Describe your achievements and responsibilities and include outcomes. Use brief bullet points and use quantifiable measures. This allows any potential employer to scan and match your experience to the role easily.

If you have a long employment history, just include those jobs in your history that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Skills and Strengths

Outline your skills and strengths in different areas:

  • Computer literacy – list software that you are proficient in.
  • Written and verbal communication skills – provide brief detail.
  • Foreign languages and level of fluency.
  • Key ‘soft’ skills or competencies with some brief examples (e.g. people management, business development, project management etc).
  • Awards received.
  • Membership of professional associations or relevant bodies.
  • Accreditations attained by relevant professional organisations.

Interests

Include things you like to do, particularly if they are employment related. This is not a ‘must’ in a resume, but this information provides a potential employer with a more rounded and personal picture which may distinguish you.

References

This section should be placed at the end of the resume. It is not necessary to list referees in your resume. You should state that referees are available on request.
A referee is a person who knows you well enough to provide an accurate account of your skills, knowledge and experience. Ideally they should be an advocate for you in securing work.

Referees usually include current supervisors and/or managers but can include previous managers . If it is your first job, this might be someone who is a teacher or mentor. Gain permission from your referees before you nominate them. Make sure the contact details you provide make it easy to get in touch with them.

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