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Tips for a Successful Resume

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Changing jobs or returning to the workforce have one thing in common - you need a great resume.

During my 15+ years in the recruitment industry I’ve seen lots and lots of resumes; some have been great, some not so great, and some have been all out bad! Many candidates I deal with ask me for feedback on their resume, so I’d like to share some tips for a successful resume that have consistently helped my candidates get in front of employers.

Having your resume reviewed by the employer or recruiter is the first step in securing your dream job. You need your first impression to be strong, and this starts with your resume.

5 key factors to consider when submitting your resume for consideration

1) Finding a new job is a job in itself - you need to manage the process. Have a notebook ready as you apply for jobs or submit your resume to companies. Record the name of the company you applied to, what the job title was, and who the contact point is, along with the date you submitted your resume so you can follow up if need be. Consultants are impressed when applicants are organised, so be organised when you call to follow up with your recruiter!

2) To add a picture or not to add a picture - adding photographs or logos on your resume in Australia isn’t the norm, and therefore not recommended. Pictures and logos can take away from the important information that an employer or recruiter is looking for when reviewing your resume.

3) Dates (and no, I don’t mean Tinder dates!) - your resume will require correct and accurate dates of when you worked for previous or current employer/s. Best practice is that your resume includes the year and the month of your start and completion, i.e. April 2014 to August 2016. Your resume should also be in reverse chronological order, i.e. you should include your most recent role first.

4) Font and colour - using any colour other than black or adding lots of bolding and highlighting is not preferred. Your resume is a reflection of your career. It is a serious document, and making it look like a rainbow makes it hard to read and will not help in highlighting your great experience.

Fonts I recommend are: Calibri, Verdana and Arial.

5) Interests and extracurricular achievements - many large companies and top tier firms place a high emphasis on excellence outside the workplace. If you have sporting achievements at a high level, I recommend that you add them to your resume. Adding up to 3 or 4 interests is also acceptable. This area of your background should be the last thing on your resume.

If you don’t have any genuine interests that are appropriate to share, don’t feel pressured to create any.

For more ‘do’s and don'ts’ when writing your resume, take a look at the Resources page on our website.