Your resume needs to show employers that you have the qualifications, skills and interests that they are looking for.

A bit like a brochure or advertisement, your resume needs to be very clear and specific in showing an employer that what you have to offer is exactly what he or she is looking for.

In the age of online job advertisements, employers can be flooded with applications via email and have to put a lot of time and effort into sifting through them. Just as you will be selecting and applying for particular jobs because they seem to match your skills, interests and needs, employers will be looking at all the applications they receive and deciding which one reflects the person most likely to match their needs. Employing someone new is a risk—employers want to be very certain they are appointing the right person. As a student or recent graduate you may have less work experience than other candidates so be sure to focus on your strengths and other points of difference. Put time into crafting your resume to make sure it’s easy for an employer to see the connections between you and what they are looking for. There’s a saying that goes ‘the resume gets you the interview and the interview gets you the job’.

3 ways to shape up your resume and increase your chances of an interview

1. Keep it simple

  • Make sure the first page includes all key information.
  • Try and keep it from being too long – around 3 pages at most.

2. Pay attention to layout and presentation

  • Keep the lay-out clear, simple and uncluttered.
  • Use clear headings and make use of dot points where you can.
  • Include page numbers.

3. Include relevant information

  • Organise information so it’s easy to follow- present information in reverse chronological order, listing the current or most recent activity first.
  • Provide clear evidence of any skills and qualities you claim to have.
  • Adapt your resume for each job application to accurately reflect the key skills and other requirements of the role you are applying for.

Key information to include in your resume

  • Personal details
  • Career objective or summary
  • Education / qualifications
  • Employment
  • Skills
  • Achievements
  • Professional memberships
  • Professional development / conferences
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Volunteering
  • Referees

Find out more…

Resumes—the lowdown on what to include

How to make sure your resume doesn’t end up in the reject pile