A resume is your first chance to convince an employer that they should hire you. It’s a marketing document to show that you can do a job well and fit within a workplace.
Employers look at your resume to decide whether to shortlist you for the job and offer you an interview. Employers form an opinion about a person within the first 10-15 seconds of looking at their resume, so you have a very short time to sell your skills. Be clear and concise.
Please note: This information is based on Australian resume conventions. If you are writing a resume for another country, check that country’s conventions and also see the International student careers portal.
The more you know about the organisation you are applying to, the more likely you will be offered an interview. What does the organisation do? What is important to them? What are their core values? A good resume reflects the job you are applying for.
Note: from ‘Contact details’ to ‘Referees’, accordion subheadings are replaced by resume with annotations (ie like Seek example discussed in meeting). The text below is used in text boxes, sidebar text or similar, pointing to relevant section on resume, instead of existing as a subheading.
Contact details must be current and professional. You only need to include:
- your name in bold larger lettering
- mobile and landline (include country/area code if applying for positions interstate or overseas)
- professional email address (for example firstname.lastname@example.org)
Make the career objective tailored to the job you’re applying for – begin with a strong, focussed statement that summarises you, then the role or career you’re moving towards.
Include tertiary education only, with your most recent qualification first.
2001-2003 Master of Communication, RMIT University
Include key university projects that are related to the career you’re aiming towards, so that employers understand significant technical skills, industry knowledge, etc.
List any significant achievements with a brief description of each.
Select three or four skills you have that the employer is asking for.
- List them as sub-headings.
- Provide one or two examples for each skill that are evidence of that ability.
- Wherever possible, include specifics (data, names, percentages, facts).
- Try not to repeat the content of your projects and employment history in this section.
As well as paid jobs, include any Work Integrated Learning (university work placements or industry projects) or other voluntary work that relates directly to the field you’re aiming towards.
- List any further training and short courses you have completed that you would like the employer to know about.
- Format exactly the same as the education section of your resume.
These are activities/clubs/associations/community work that you are involved in outside of work and study. They tell the employer more about who you are.
- List three or four recent activities and provide brief details of each.
- Include any awards you have been given for these activities.
- Referees are generally people who have worked with you, normally your supervisor.
- Give two or three referees and make sure you get their permission before including them on your resume.
- Include each referee’s name, job title, company, telephone number and email address. Details must be current and contactable.