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Resume tips

Your resume can help you to stand out from other job applicants and get you short-listed for an interview.

An employer may only scan your resume for a few seconds. Quickly you need to demonstrate that you're the right fit for the organisation and position.

Use a professional layout, tailor the content and make sure it is free of errors.

Layout and format

  • No more than 3 pages for professional roles. 1-2 pages for part-time work.
  • Group similar information under meaningful headings (e.g. Education, Employment etc.).
  • Be consistent with font and formatting of headings, sub-headings and bullet points.
  • Avoid all fancy fonts, colours and images unless you are applying for a job in design.
  • Each section should be reverse chronological and keep a consistent date formatting.
  • Include the page number as a footer.
  • Bold important titles and key terms.

Content

Tailoring your content to each job is critical.To achieve this you need to research the organisation and position before you begin writing.

  • Your content must be genuine, recent and relevant for the job you are applying for.
  • Your front page should include sections that are most relevant to the job (e.g. Industry experience).
  • Include specific, clear and concise statements beginning with an action verb (e.g. prepared, delivered, negotiated etc.). Use language relevant to the job but avoid jargon!
  • Use specific examples of your knowledge, skills and abilities and provide evidence by using the STAR technique.
  • Be results focussed and quantify if possible to demonstrate your contributions (e.g. exceeded sales targets by 10%).
  • Include extra-curricular, volunteering and community-based activities that highlight your skills (e.g. Secretary of the Deakin Engineering Society)
  • Consider adding a professional summary at the top of the first page if you have had significant professional experience.
  • Don't include information that is too personal or protected under anti-discrimination laws (e.g. religion, age, family status etc.). Read further about job seeking with an injury, illness or disability.

Get feedback

  • Get someone else to proofread your document. It must not contain errors!
  • Seek feedback on your application from your professional networks before you submit.
  • Book an application check with Jobshop on your campus.

Resources

  • Resume Builder a useful tool for creating a resume. After you fill in your details, select from the five resume styles to generate a Word document formatted as a standard Australian resume.
  • CareerOne also has some useful templates and resources suited to the Australian job market.
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