How to make your resume stand out

How to make your resume stand out

We’ve all been there. Staring at your resume for a solid 10 minutes that you drudged up on some folder from 2015 and thinking… is this still relevant? 

Can I still use my resume for this job? 

Am I missing anything?

Sometimes this part of the job search is the most overwhelming and we are here to assist you in giving your resume a quick spruce up to ensure you have all the details needed to get your application to the top of the pile.

So what is a resume?

A resume is a document that outlines your career and education, qualifications, and experience so that potential employers can evaluate its value. Your resume should provide information that an employer would expect to find to determine you are suitable for the role. It should also help them predict whether or not you will be able to perform the duties of their open position well. A well-written resume can attract the attention of hiring managers during the initial stages of the recruitment process, helping them choose someone who can best meet their needs.

What do I need to know?

The main thing to remember about your resume is that it is advertising you when you are not standing in the room. Recruiters will be sifting through many resumes, so it’s important to make it precise, clear and professional. 

So let’s get started to guide you step-by-step to help your resume stand out.

The important bits.

Contact Information

Having clear and correct information makes it easier for employers to contact you and also allows you to start with a professional footing.

  • Changed postal address? Update it.
  • Have an old quirky email address from 2005? You might want to sign up for a new Gmail account.

Education

Make sure to note down the year you completed your education sections and if you are still currently studying you can note your currently studying with an expected completion year.

  • School
  • Tafe
  • University or any other educational platform

Training

Depending on the job your applying for, you may find this a great place to note any tickets or certifications (RSA licence, forklift licence, etc) that will put your resume at the top of the list. Again remember to write down who you obtained this training through, and the year you completed/when your license expires.

Some examples are:

  • First Aid Certificate
  • RSA Licence
  • Forklift Licence

Employment History

This type of information is helpful to recruiters as it demonstrates a work experience history and also allows them to see the diversity of the experience you have conducted. Remember all skills you have built over the years are valuable and transferrable into new roles.

  • Note the business you previously worked in
  • Note the start and end times
  • Short bullet point descriptions of the tasks/role you carried out
  • Chronological order with the most recent first

Volunteer Work

Volunteer work is really helpful for recruiters to see a bit more scope into your history and adds a bit of diversity to the work experience previously mentioned. These sorts of roles may highlight a bit more of the things you are passionate about, but also apply those skills that can benefit in any working role.

Again, list these the same as you would employment history

  • Note the charity you previously worked in
  • Note the start and end times
  • Short bullet point descriptions of the tasks/role you carried out
  • Chronological order with the most recent first

Interpersonal skills

  • These are also referred to as hard and soft skills, and as mentioned before they are still transferrable to your desired role
  • Some examples of transferrable skills:
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Good time management
  • Strong work ethic
  • Work well within team environments

Outside Interests?

Are you a part of any committees? Do you play sports? A brief mention of these interests can contribute to your overall talent and skills you have developed over the years.

References

 These are really important aspects of your resume. It helps potential employers get a chance to review your character and behaviours in a previous workplace, to ensure you are a right fit for the role you are going for. You must tell your references that you have listed them on your resume and a brief description of the role and business you have applied for. This allows them the opportunity to be prepared for a call and ensures you are putting your best foot forward.

If you are successful in the role, it won’t be a surprise to your previous employer and allows a positive relationship to continue as you may need them as referees for jobs in the future.

So keep in mind that recruiters will ask for 2 – 3 referees and that’s why it is important to keep those relationships positive. 

Tips

  • Keep everything in chronological order for each section, where your most recent activity comes first.
  • Recruiters check social media. Have a Facebook post of your friend’s recent birthday celebrations in that photo? It’s probably best to flick your social media profiles to private if you want to make a good first impression.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter questions about the position. It helps to know you are interested and taking this job application seriously.

If you require more support in writing a resume, please reach out and one of our Local Engagement Officers in your region will assist you in your job journey.