Creating your resume can be challenging however, it is important that you take the time to create a good resume to show your potential employer why you would make the perfect candidate for their organisation.
A good resume can either make it or break it in the recruitment process and that is why we have created a list of ‘Must Do’s’ when creating the perfect resume for you.
Is Your Resume Easy to Understand and Follow?
A good resume should be simple, formatted well and easy to read/ follow. Try to keep your pages to a minimum, as less is more! This will be dependent on your work experience however, consider keeping your resume to a maximum of about 3 pages.
When formatting your document, it is important that you use a simple layout with headings, subheadings and bullet points to ensure your resume is easy to follow and understand.
Keep your font basic and your colours minimal. A professional looking document is what employers are looking for, so you must ensure there are no grammatical errors and that the text is consistent. To make sure the text is consistent in your resume, the font style and size must be the same throughout the entire document.
- Maximum 3 pages
- Simple layout – Headings, sub-headings, bullet points
- Simple font style
- Consistency – Same font style and size
- Colours minimal
You can download a resume template below to use as a base when creating your resume.
What do you know about the Organisation?
When applying for a job role you must ensure that your resume is tailored to that specific organisation and position in which you are applying for. Sending a generic resume to countless organisations is a waste of time as you aren’t grasping that opportunity to show potential employers why you would make the perfect candidate.
Take advantage of your opportunity and do some research into the organisation and job role in which they are advertising. If the job description is not available, research a similar job role online so you can look at the relevant skills needed for that role. With this, you will be able to tailor you resume as you now know what the employer is looking for.
When you tailor your resume to a specific organisation, you’re not only creating a resume that your potential employer will be interested in, but you are also preparing yourself for that first phone interview. One thing that employers hate the most is when they call a potential candidate for a phone interview and the candidate has no idea who the organisation is or what job role they applied for!
If you are prepared and can answer any question that is thrown at you, you will surely leave a lasting impression and will be asked to take that next step in the recruitment process!
Is Everything in Your Resume True?
Some people think that in order to get your foot in the door you need to exaggerate in your resume and tell little white lies. This is not the case!
Employers will always respect honesty and although exaggerating in your resume might get you that interview, your lies will quickly become undone when the employer starts to ask you specific questions about what is included in your resume.
Honesty is the best policy!
Have you Clearly Expressed Yourself?
Employers are usually time poor and don’t want to have to search for information in your resume. If the information you provide is not relevant to what they are looking for, they will simply move on to the next candidate.
Keep your information relevant, concise and to the point. Unnecessary information that you don’t need to include in your resume includes your age, date of birth, marital status, nationality, religion or any photos.
The only information the employer is looking for is whether you’d be a great fit for their organisation or not!
Is Everything Up to Date?
One thing people usually overlook when sending out their resume is making sure that the dates on their resume are current. You may have written your resume 6 months ago, but have you checked all the dates before sending it to your potential employer?
It is important that this minor mistake is not overlooked as employers will think it’s unprofessional and that you lack attention to detail.
The timeline of your work experience will also need to be updated. Don’t leave any gaps in your resume. If you went travelling or have been studying, add this in your timeline so your potential employer can easily see what you have been doing.
Your work experience and education should be listed starting from the most recent date and work backwards.
What Past Experiences Apply to this Particular Role?
It is important that the work experience you include in your resume is current and relevant to the job you are applying for. You want to demonstrate to employers that your work experience can be used in this new job role.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave out past experiences that you don’t think are relevant. When listing your work experience, start from your most current position and work backwards. Employers are usually interested in where you have worked in the past 1-5 years and so, any other work experience before this, should be listed as a summary underneath this section.
If you don’t have much work experience include things in your resume that may be relevant to the job role such as any internships or special projects that you might have worked on in school.
This demonstrates to employers that you have worked in a variety of different organisations and if they see something of interest, they will be able to ask you to elaborate on this in your interview.
What Does your Resume and Online Profile say About You?
Your resume must be professional and a reflection of your character. Begin your resume with a summary about you. In a short sentence or two, include your career objectives.
It is important that you make a good first impression. The email address you use to send your resume is also a reflection of this so make sure you don’t use an email address that looks like it was created back when you were in primary school!
In the 21st century, employers now look for potential candidates online, so you need to make sure that you have a respectable online presence. Ensure your social media accounts don’t have any offensive data or photos that may tarnish your image. You can also select security options which allows you to choose who is able to view your social media.
Another thing to consider when applying for jobs is to create a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a professional online platform that is essentially a way to showcase your resume electronically and build your professional profile. Employers will be extremely interested in this and you will be able to see who is showing you interest.
Have you Asked Your Referees for Permission?
A common requirement of a resume is to include any referees, so your potential employer can find out a little more about you and how you operate in the workplace. You need to make sure that you have asked for permission from your chosen referees to hand out their contact details and let them know that you have applied for specific jobs roles, so they can expect a call.
If you would rather not include your referees contact details on your resume, that’s OK too. Just make a note that you will be able to provide this information on request.
If you haven’t had any previous work experience, you can use a character reference such as one of your teachers, your coach, a family member or even a friend of yours.
Have you Included all the Necessary Information?
Many employers list a number of submission requirements for candidates to follow when applying for a job.
Always submit your resume with a cover letter. Many employers will not look at a resume without a cover letter. Often, cover letters are required to be submitted as a separate attachment along with your resume. Make sure you read the job advertisement properly as there may be alternate instructions on who to send the resume to. It is important you send your resume to the correct person!
Your resume should be attached separately to your cover letter, any certificates or any other attachments that you would like to share. Less is more, and you don’t want to bombard employers with information they didn’t ask for.
What can YOU Bring that Others Can’t?
What makes you stand out from the other candidates? What could you include in your resume that would make employers choose you over others?
The world of work is beginning to change, and employers are now looking for different skillsets of potential candidates that will be of benefit in the future.
An example of this is employers are now interested to know if you are bilingual. Do you know more than two languages?
Knowing two or more languages may be very appealing to potential employers as we are connected to the rest of the world more than ever before. Many Australian companies currently work or plan to work with other countries in the future and this is where being bilingual can be of great benefit to an organisation.
Think outside the square, you might not think that your personal skills, critical thinking skills or problem-solving skills are important, but think again!