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Ten big resume tips

May 21, 2020 by Susan Surgener

Ten big resume tips

What’s a sure sign you’re adulting?  You’ve got an effective resume!

Writing a resume is one of those tasks we all love to leave to last! If you have to update, or create, your resume – it can be one of those times where suddenly housework or any other mundane chore can take precedence!

Why is that?

Maybe it’s because to write a resume we have to think about ourselves! It’s way too introspective. Plus, it then should be checked, rechecked and reviewed by somebody else. It’s a time consuming exercise, but it is a necessary one.

Here’s a top 10 list of handy tips:

  1. Read any employer instructions on the length of resume they’re looking for. Some will state no more than two pages. Otherwise, rule of thumb says, two to three pages is fine.
  2. Use an easily readable font such as Arial or Calibri, size 10 or 11. Make your headings a little bigger, say size 12, or use capitals to make the sections stand out.
  3. Write everything in reverse chronological order (start from today and work backwards) - your current or most recent qualification, job, training certificate, etc. should come first.
  4. Include your contact details at the top and your referees/directions to accessing references at the bottom.
  5. If you’re going for a graduate program/position, think about adding a career objective. Only add this if you can succinctly say something of value. Otherwise, scrap it.
  6. Include a skills summary. Make your resume skills-focused over employment-focused.
  7. Use action words and bullet points. Don’t make a list where every point starts with ‘I’. Be more creative with words e.g. Created xxx, Developed xxx, Collaborated with xxx, etc.
  8. Lead with employment/experience that’s the most relevant. This can be easily done by creating a ‘Relevant Employment/Experience’ section and following up with an ‘Additional Employment/Experience’ section.
  9. Include your interests – if you think they bring something different and connect to the rest of your background story.
  10. Read it, review it. Ask for feedback. Ask the question: Are you impressed? Does this resume make sense and fit the job you’re going for or the field you want to enter?

There are a few different styles of resumes, so you can play around with what works for you.

Remember, every resume is still unique – because you are.

If you’re just starting out with putting together a resume, we’ve created a really useful resume writing module for Curtin students on our Careers Challenge platform. If you’re looking for other resume resources, head to the Resources in UniHub.

At our next online Cube Q&A session, we’ll be joined by a panel of industry recruiters who will share their top tips on successful resume writing.

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