Search Advice
Career Advice » Resume & Cover Letter» Resume » Golden rules to resume writing

Golden rules to resume writing

If the thought of summing up your life's work in only a few pages is daunting, you are not alone.

Career Development Association of Australia Queensland president Jenni Proctor says more people are visiting career counsellors for help with their resumes.

“People are asking for help to get ahead of the competition,” Proctor says.

“They are first of all seeking reassurance they are looking in the right place if they are making a career change, and then seeking help writing effective resumes, and then seeking help with confident presentation at interviews.

But that doesn't mean it is an impossible task to master.

Amanda Horswill spoke to career experts Gillian Kelly of Career Edge and Outplacement Australia, Rick Bowman of Teachers' Professional Resumes and Cheryl Peel of Advantage Career Solutions to get their top tips on writing a job-getting resume.

CareerOne has a compiled a three-step guide to writing a resume based on these tips.

Top tips for resume writing

Step One: Compile a job-history

  • Write down every job you have had for the past decade, when, and what tasks you did, and some successes you had in those roles.
  • Find facts and figures to back up those claims of success, such as “achieving sales targets-met sales budget in 2006-2007, exceeded sales budget by 170 per cent in 2007-2008”.
  • Isolate the skills required for each job, such as “Filing receipts-analytical thinking to classify receipts; know how to use computerised retrieval system”, or “Achieving sales budget-written and oral communication skills, teamwork, network building, computer data entry, logistics management, commercial finance skills”.

Step Two: Organise categories of strengths, taks, skills and responsibilities

  • Look for common skills, as these could form the basis of a “key strengths” summary.
  • Organise that job-list information in a timeline starting with your most recent position. Cut down the “what tasks you did'', into a one-paragraph description, with the headline” Responsibilities”.
  • Choose four or five main skill sets that you used in that job and present them in dot points under the headline “Key skills”.
  • Under that, choose three or four quantifiable successes and group them under the headline “Achievements”.
  • Put time into writing a “Key Strengths” section to go at the top of your resume, above the job listings. Make sure that the skills you most want to display are highlighted.
  • Each time you apply for a job, it is wise to look at what the job ad is asking for and then rework your Key Strengths information to suit. Include four or five key areas.

Step Three: Format and check for consistency

  • At the very top of your resume, write your contact details and at the end, add your three referees, after consulting with them to make sure it's OK to give out their personal details.
  • Present the resume in a clear font, such as 11 point Helvetica, and ensure that it's easy on the eye and therefore easy to read.
  • Don't forget to spell check it, and proof read for any grammatical errors. And voila-your resume is done.
  • Keep a hard copy handy and store several electronic copies, and, if you can, turn it into a portable document format (PDF) in a program such as Adobe Acrobat.

Latest Jobs

Frontline Retail Melbourne
Posted: 08/01/2014
Melbourne, VIC
Ready Set Staff
Posted: 08/01/2014
Highett, VIC, 3190
Ready Set Staff
Posted: 08/01/2014
Brookvale, NSW, 2100
Ready Set Staff
Posted: 08/01/2014
Yatala, QLD, 4207
Recruit Easy
Posted: 08/01/2014
Adelaide, SA, 5000

Want more personalised results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

INTERVIEWING

Preparing for an interview
Follow these techniques which will not just
cool an applicant's nerves, but help dazzle the
selection panel.

SALARY & BENEFITS

How to negotiate for your pay rise
Having that discussion is never an easy task
however knowing what needs to be done helps
in making the process easy.

ATTRACTING CANDIDATES

And the most sought-after skills are...
Hiring in many sectors is back to pre-GFC
levels leaving many employers "bracing for a
skills shortage".

MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Alt text
We have seen the recruitment market improve,
with online job listings growing by over 33 per
cent over the previous year.

INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES

Ten tips to hire the right candidate
You need to ask the right questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business.

WORKFORCE PLANNING

Toolkit for employers
Our resource centre will you keep you informed on the latest industry trends and help you manage your workforce.

FOR SEEKERS

Advance your career
Higher education, vocational education and professional development.
Email me jobs
Save a customised job search and get new job alerts sent to your inbox.
High impact resume
Want a professional, keyword-rich resumes crafted by the experts?
Post your resume
Upload your resume for free and let employers come to you.
Job Seeker's Toolkit
All the tools and advice you need to start your job hunt.
Career Advice
Browse more than 20 specialised sections to get ahead in your career.
Create a Cover Letter
A cover letter is the best way to put a face on your resume.

>>More Career Advice

FOR EMPLOYERS

Post a job
Post your job in minutes. It's simple and affordable from $170.
Bundled Offers
Find the offer that's right for your business.
Resume Database
Access thousands of qualified candidates.
Optimise your ad
How to enhance the performance of your job posting.
Online Tutorials
Need help to post your job? See our online demonstations.
Resource Centre
Workforce management advice, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Employer Toolkit
Most popular material for employers to get you started.

>>More Employer Advice

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook
Interact with us, have your say or just get helpful career advice.
YouTube
Watch our career advice videos and TV commercials.
Twitter
Follow us to receive the latest employment and industry news.
Twitter InspireMe
Receive a dose of inspiration to start each working day.
Personality Profiler
Do the test to find out your personality and work style.
CareerOne iPhone app
Now you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.
Blog: Cube Farmer
Kate Southam gets to grips with the highs and lows of work.

OTHER LINKS

Jobs and Career Resources
Find Jobs and Explore Career Resources
Company Profiles
Research companies, view company profiles and find thousands of recruiters.
Courses
Advance your career with higher education, vocational education and professional development.
What's new?
Take advantage of the new and improved features and functionality of our website.
Security Centre
Expert advice on avoiding online fraud.
Help
Read our help topics, privacy policy and FAQs.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About CareerOne | Work for CareerOne | Partner with Us | Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Centre | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 CareerOne - All Rights Reserved Australia.
eTrustLogo
- V: 2014.4.35.44-304