A Good Resume - Your introduction to an employer!

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A resume, sometimes called a 'Curriculum Vitae' or 'CV', is a summary of your skills, education and work experience. A good resume demonstrates how your skills and abilities match up with the requirements of a job

Your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer. It’s the first impression they will get of you, often even before meeting you. Your resume is your first opportunity to “sell yourself” as the ideal candidate for the position available in their organisation. When writing your resume, remember its objective – to stand out enough to secure you a job interview!

How long should a resume be?

A resume is not an exhaustive list - if it's too long it probably won't get read at all. The best resumes are usually no longer than two or three pages.

How do I organise my resume's information?

The structure of your resume will vary depending on your work experience, as well as your education and training background. A resume usually sets out information in a reverse order. Your most recent work experience and study details should be first on the list.

What should be included on a resume?

Here’s a brief overview of the essential details to include on your resume:

Personal details
Your full name and contact details including address, telephone number(s) and email address.

Career objective (optional)
Tell the employer what type of job you want to end up with. This shows that you've given thought to your future career.

Education and training
A summary of your education and training history, starting with your most recent studies, making sure you include all training that is relevant to the job you're applying for.

Employment history
Start with your most recent work history and work backwards chronologically, listing the name of the employer, your job title, the dates you worked there, and your responsibilities, tasks and achievements. Make sure you include everything that's relevant to the job you’re applying for – employers want to see that you have the skills and experience they are looking for.

Skills and abilities
A list of the things you're good at. These can be general skills or skills specific to a particular job. List them under broad headings such as "Communication" and "Teamwork".

Interests (optional)
A list of your hobbies and interests. This gives employers more information about you and also shows other areas of your life where you've gained experiences such as teamwork and commitment.

List people who can talk about how good a worker you are. Make sure you get their permission before including them on your resume. List their name, company name, occupation and contact details.

Resume Checklist

After you've written your resume, and before sending it, go through this checklist:

  • Proofreading - Make sure there aren't any spelling mistakes, typos or grammatical errors.
  • Tailoring - Make sure everything you mention shows how well suited you are for the job you're applying for.
  • Presentation - Make sure the resume is well laid out, easy to read and printed on clean, white paper in a standard font (like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana) and at a standard size (10 or 12 point).
  • Detail - Make sure you've provided specific examples of your achievements and how you've used the skills you have.
  • Relevance – Make sure the information you have included is relevant and set out in a clear, professional and concise manner.

What to include in a resume:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth (optional)
  • Address
  • Phone Numbers (home and mobile)
  • Email Address
  • Career Objective
  • Qualifications and/or Skills
  • Employment History
  • Licenses and Certificates
  • Volunteer Work
  • Free or Paid Work Experience
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Latest Report Card Results (if applicable)
  • Awards
  • References

What not to include in a resume:

  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Reason for leaving last job
  • Sounding desperate
  • Fussy Language
  • Number of Children
  • Gender
  • Partners Occupation
  • Political Beliefs
  • Age
  • Previous Salary
  • Negative Information
  • Out of Date Information
  • Cover Sheet with name only