To make a good first impression, a well-written resume needs to be clear, concise, and neatly organised with content relevant to the position you are applying for.
The simple rule is to make it as easy as possible for your prospective employer to find the key information about you.
We have outlined a step-by-step guide, along with a sample CV and practical tips to assist you in making a good first impression.
You will need to include your name, postal address, contact number (mobile is usually preferred) and email address.
If you have an old email address that looks unprofessional, we suggest taking some time in setting up a new email address for job applications. We strongly suggest that you avoid using your current work email address and phone number on your CV.
Provide a brief description about your career aspirations, how they relate to your current qualifications and why you are looking for a new position (for example: you want a new challenge or up skill in a new area etc).
Key strengths / attributes
This section should be in dot point (minimum of 3-4 points and maximum of 10 points), which outline your skills, your personal strengths and abilities or software packages you have experience with.
Tip: Usually job descriptions for new roles include a ‘candidate attributes’ or ‘role responsibility’ section. Try to match your specific skills to those that are required in the job description.
Legal Experience / Work History
Include a list of all your recent and past employment history (make sure the experience you are including is relevant to the role you are applying for).
A good format to follow is:
Tip: Put yourself in the mind of your potential employer and think about what key responsibilities and experience they would be looking for.
Education & Training
Your education and training section can include university degrees, diplomas, certificate courses and any other training you may have undertaken during your career.
A good format to follow is:
Hobbies and interests (optional)
You may consider including a short list of your interests and hobbies to give your potential employer a sense of who you are. You may find that the potential employer has the same interests as you, but be mindful in terms of what you want your potential employer to know about you.
Referees are not required and you can include a line in this section saying, “Referees will be provided upon request”. Referees are usually only contacted when a job offer is about to follow and firms will rarely contact your referees beforehand.
When providing referees it is important to provide details of a former employer, manager or senior colleague who has worked with you. The referees that are most valuable are those people that you reported to directly.
Presentation and content is key
A well-written CV is always carefully and clearly presented. Use simple text, that is easy to read and that everyone can understand and avoid using cluttered or complicated layouts with headers, footers, tables or other items that may not look right when viewed on different computers.
Ensure there is plenty of white space and we recommend not placing too much information on one page as this may distract the reader from the content.
When writing your CV your focus needs to be on describing the experience you have gained which will be a fundamental factor.
Be brief and to the point
A good CV is clear, concise and informative and usually fits on two to four pages. Make sure you remove any experience that is not related to the opportunity you want to pursue (e.g. working at a café during high school) and give more detail about your current or recent roles.
Understand the job advertisement
Make sure you read the details and requirements of the advertisement from start to finish. Take notes and create bullet points, highlighting the areas you meet and be sure to focus on the strengths and skills you have for the opportunity.
Keep to the employers submission requirements
Often both a resume and cover letter is requested in a certain file format (e.g. pdf, word) and sometimes employers request applications to be addressed in a particular way or to a particular person. Make sure you follow these requirements, as you may not get noticed if you don’t follow the specific requirements in the advertisement.
Make sure you also run a spell check to pick up any errors, or if possible ask someone to proof read your CV for any spelling, grammatical or layout errors. Take the time to get it right, as it is the first impression your potential employer will make of you. Attention to detail is key.
For tailored advice on writing an effective resume contact one of our Consultants on (03) 9909 7187 and they will be happy to assist you.