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What does your resume say about you?

November 15, 2022 by Natasha Walker

What does your resume say about you?

Does your resume effectively showcase your skills, knowledge, and experience to potential employers?

According to current job market trends, work in Australia is becoming more skilled with around 90 percent of new jobs likely to require vocational education and training or a university qualification. It is important that your application documents effectively showcase your qualifications and introduce you to employers as a high quality candidate.

Your resume is an active document that needs constant revising and updating to reflect your growing skills and knowledge. It can be a powerful marketing tool and learning how to create and target your resume to your industry is an important life skill and a vital element of your future success.

Adapting your resume to each position you apply for doesn’t mean having to create it from scratch each time. There will be information that will remain on every resume you submit, such as personal details and certain educational attainments. Sometimes you will omit or add information, and other times you will just change the ordering of your sections. Above all else, your resume should be concise, well structured, easy to read and only contain information relevant and specific to the employer’s needs.

A few resume do’s

  • Read job advertisements carefully and ensure key words and phrases are mirrored in your resume. If the job advert asks for analytical and reporting skills, make sure you include these skills with examples.
  • Research the company focusing on the organisation’s products/services, current projects, and their values and missions so you can demonstrate how well you will fit with them.
  • Be sure to describe how you attained and used the skills and experience included in your resume. Use positive action words like achieved, improved, arranged, developed, facilitated etc.
  • Place the most relevant content at the role at the top of your resume. If your most recent work experience is not the most relevant to the role, you could replace ‘Employment History’ with ‘Relevant Employment’.
  • Use a power writing formula – action word + task/skill + result – and keep your sentences concise and supported with specific evidence. For example, Increased customer satisfaction by implementing a customer check-in service which resulted in customers reporting higher levels of service satisfaction.

Some resume don’ts

  • To avoid potential discrimination, don’t include your marital status, photograph, or date of birth.
  • Only include your home address if highly relevant i.e., if you are in the same or neighbouring suburb to the employer’s premises.
  • When listing work experience, avoid using general statements like ‘customer service’ in isolation. Elaborate on the skill you want to highlight and state the task in which you utilised that skill.
  • Don’t repeat information. If you have a few jobs that have the same duties combine them into one entry.
  • Only list referees that have given you their permission to be listed.

Don’t miss the online Graduate Gateway – Resumes workshop on Wednesday 23 November. This workshop will give you the knowledge and tools needed to produce a professional resume that will increase your chances of success in today’s competitive job market.

Can’t make it next week? Book a spot anyway and we’ll send you a recording of the session afterwards.

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