Your resume is an important part of the job search process. It’s the first thing potential employers will see from you and it’s often the ticket to a job interview. With so much varying advice out there, we’ve compiled the following information in categories to ensure your resume is the best it can be.

Layout

The best order of information is as follows:

You can play around with the lay out however, this is the usual order of things that most people will be familiar with and find easy to read.

Text at bottom: "You'll notice an eraser in the above template, that’s because it doesn’t have to be exactly like this! But it should include all the above information".

Additionally

  • Keep it tidy – don’t squash text in

  • Allow for some white space

  • Look over it, is it easy to read or are there too many words?

  • Use an easily legible font, nothing unusual.

Wording

  • Use ‘I’ – write in first person, avoid talking in third person.

  • Avoid extremely professional jargon – only use it where it is required to explain a skillset.

  • Try to tell a story in your summary and work experience.

  • Write like you would speak to your colleagues and boss.

  • Always spellcheck, proofread and ensure you are using the correct grammar.

Information

  • Use keywords that were mentioned in the job ad but don’t overload your resume with them

  • Tailor your information slightly to each job you apply for

  • Avoid putting numbers (for example, dates) before words. Resume parsers can sometimes discard a resume for this.

  • When talking about your responsibilities and roles, don’t just list your job description. Ensure you discuss the outcomes and achievements that you were responsible for. Show results! If numbers are a great indication of a job well done in your field, include them (after some words). You can even include specific feedback from performance reviews.

  • Try to incorporate transferable skills from other life experiences.

  • Include information about what value you could offer the potential employer.

  • Be personable in your summary, avoid being robotic.

  • Don’t include your address, especially if you live far away.

References

  • Include their name, their job title, where they worked with you and their number or email.

  • Notify your references to ensure they are aware they may be contacted.

  • You can list 2 – 3 and then say something like "Additional references upon request".

To stand out

  • Add links to an online portfolio, LinkedIn profile or other relevant online content

  • Cater your resume and use the companies name (but be sure not to use another company’s name from a previous resume!)

  • If a blue collar contractor, include a project list.

  • Name drop if you have worked with prominent people

  • Add in any hobbies or volunteer work to allow insight into your personality as well as reflecting certain qualities. For example, if you run marathons you show dedication and discipline. If you are part of a volunteer program you show that your interests reach further than yourself.

  • Be specific, not generic.

Who to contact

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