Your resume is your most important tool when applying for a job. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are, or how much experience you have – if your resume is poorly presented or badly written, you’re going to have trouble getting the job you want – or even an interview. Taking the time to work on your resume is really important. The information on this page offers some tips and advice on how to make your resume the best it can be.
Your resume is a marketing tool. It needs to demonstrate:
1.That you are employable
2.How you meet the job and the organization’s requirements
3.That you have the right qualifications and education
4.That you have the right experience and skills
5.That you have the right level of professionalism for the job
There are a number of things that every resume should have on it. Check out the resume templates on our Sample Resumes and Cover Letters page to get an idea of what each of these sections should look like.
Make sure you include your name, email address and a contact phone number on your resume.
An opening statement is a summary of who you are, where you’ve studied and/or worked, and what you bring to the job. It should be about six lines long and written in first person without the personal reference (i.e., don’t say “I did this” – say “Did this” instead).
Your opening statement should start with one sentence about who you are and what you bring to the job, then describe the skills and attributes you have that suit you to the job.
Key Skills & Strengths
Your resume should include a list of between 10 and 15 skills that link your experience to the job you’re applying for.
If the job you’re applying for was advertised, either the ad or the position description may provide a list of skills and experiences that are essential for doing the job. It may also provide a list of “desirable” skills and experience. Your list of key skills & strengths needs to respond to all of the items on the “essential” list and as many items as possible on the “desirable” list.
Your Educational History only needs to show your highest level of education. You don’t need to include your results, unless showing them proves how well you’re suited to the job.
If you can, you should also include a few bullet points listing your academic achievements (e.g., school or class captaincies, awards you’ve won, or groups you’ve been part of).
When providing your employment history, start with the your most recent job and go backwards from there. Give the position title and the dates you worked there.
If you haven’t had a job before, you can use other things to demonstrate your experience, including:
- Work experience you’ve done through school
- Work placements or internships that you’ve done through university or TAFE
- Volunteer work you’ve done
- For each job provide a list of the things that you achieved while in that job, and the significant contributions you made to the organization. Make sure that these achievements and contributions match the key skills and strengths listed earlier on your resume.
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