Did you know that employers spend less than one minute scanning resumes? Therefore, if you want yours to stand out, a simple and concise format which quickly demonstrates that you are a good fit for the job is essential.

The key to creating an effective resume is to tailor it to each position you apply for.  The first step involves researching the job and the organisation so that you have a clear understanding of what the employer wants and are able to reflect this in your resume. Next, think about your most relevant skills, experience and achievements in relation to the requirements of the position and highlight these using strong action verbs (eg. ‘Co-ordinated media liaison at numerous corporate events’). However, avoid generic phrases like ‘team player’, ‘creative problem solver’ or ‘excellent communication skills’. Instead, provide specific examples that demonstrate your accomplishments (eg. ‘Developed website content including design aspects, graphics, links, forms and programs ‘). Most importantly, don’t waste time including information that doesn’t add value to the job for which you are applying. Remember, the one thing that employers want to know is what you can do for them.

So, what if you have limited relevant work experience? The best way to address this is to identify the transferable skills you’ve acquired during your time at Uni. Consider the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through assignments, team projects, placements, part-time jobs, extra-curricular activities, volunteer work etc (eg. ‘Developed working knowledge of legislation impacting upon the criminal justice system as part of legal studies project’ or ‘Consistently delivered high level of customer service while working at Coles’).

Here are some other general tips to keep in mind when putting together your resume:

  • Organise information strategically (ie. most important information comes first)
  • Use clear headings and consistent formatting
  • Present information in reverse chronological order
  • Don’t make your resume read like a job description
  • Proof read the document to ensure there are NO errors

Find out more…

A beginner’s guide to resumes

Resumes-the low-down on what to include

Book an appointment for feedback on your resume from a Careers Consultant at the La Trobe University Career Development Centre.