Your resume or CV 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. You need to briefly demonstrate that you're the right fit for the organisation and position.
Traditionally a resume was a brief summary of your skills and experience where a CV was a more detailed account. These days in Australia the terms are interchangeable. When applying for academic positions generally you would utilise a more traditional CV and some in some countries there is still a distinction between the two.
Use a professional layout, tailor the content and make sure it is free of errors.
It is vital that your resume is well presented and organised in a way that highlights information that is most relevant to the role you are applying to
- Most employers prefer 2 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.
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 someone else to proof read your document. It must not contain errors!
- Seek feedback on your application from your professional networks before you submit.
- Book an application check on or off campus.