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Capture your audience

July 11, 2022 by Kelly Kendall-Jones

Capture your audience

Did you know that, on average, hiring managers spend less than thirty seconds reading a resume? Eek! That’s not a lot of time to make a positive impression and stand out from other applicants. So, what can you do to grab the reader’s attention?

Your resume needs to be succinct, easy on the eye and readable. Your aim is to articulate to the reader your career journey so far and explain how you not only meet the specified role requirements, but also why you’d be a good fit for their team.

It’s important to begin with an effective opening to grab the employer’s attention. You may decide to begin your resume with a ‘personal statement’, sometimes referred to as a ‘professional profile’. If you do, your opening statement should talk about what you have to offer to a potential employer and provide some insight into who you are as an individual.

I often read students’ personal statements that sound a lot like the following:

Environmental Science and Marine Biology graduate seeking a graduate role where my knowledge of sustainability practices and marine welfare in a real-world environment will be utilised. A self-driven and highly motivated individual who aspires to make a positive impact.

This doesn’t give the reader much of an insight into the applicant as an individual. It’s probable that most graduates in this area aspire to have a positive impact, or they wouldn’t have studied this in the first place.

Instead, what about the following:

I grew up on the beach which is where my love of the ocean and its importance as a vital eco-system began. This fascination led me to become a surf lifesaver in my younger years and, more recently, a volunteer with various marine organisations. As an Environmental Science and Marine Biology graduate, I look forward to immersing myself in a graduate role, as I am keen to learn from and work alongside like-minded people. I have a wide range of related interests, including green energy, species conservation, climate change solutions and coastal restoration, and note that your organisation also champions a number of these areas. As such, I believe I could make a valuable contribution to your team.

This version gives the reader a stronger impression of the applicant as an individual. It provides information on their interests and motivations, as well as demonstrating that the applicant has an understanding of the reader’s organisation.

The Curtin Careers team provides a range of support to help you build the most effective resume you can. You can:

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