25 January 2021

8 out of 10 resumes are discarded with only a 10 second glance - make your resume your best marketing tool!

What you include on your resume matters. What an employer sees on your cover letter and resume should quickly demonstrate your ability. It should clearly show your skills, experience, any education and qualifications that are relevant to the role you're applying for, showing the employer the best you have to offer.

It’s about selling your skills and capabilities and demonstrating that you’re the best person for the job. here’s some tips on preparing a great resume:

Layout and Presentation

  •  Use a resume template - there are many available to download for free online .
  •  Keep it simple and easy to read with a standard font 10 or larger.
  •  If you need to print your resume, do it on quality paper.
  •  Be direct and concise, keep your sentences short (1-2 lines maximum).
  •  Always check your spelling and grammar and have a someone proof-read it for you.

Clearly demonstrate the benefits of hiring you 

Don’t just describe your responsibilities or duties, but include your achievements and back these up with supportive statements i.e.:

  • Served customers in a 100 person venue and memorised the specials menu each day.
  • Experience with POS sales terminals, receipt roll replacement and coffee machine cleaning - asked to demonstrate these processes to new employees.
  • Recognised as 'Employee of the Month' in December 2020, while managing a team of 3 people.

 

Structure

  • Personal Contact details – Include your name, address, telephone number, mobile phone number and email address. The more ways you give someone the chance to contact you, the better. 
  • Skills Summary – List your top 5 skills relevant to the role along with a short description e.g. "Problem Solving - I am adaptable in fast-paced environments such a warehouses and cafes and capable of using my initiative while managing multiple tasks." The desirable skills for a role can be found in the job description. You can find out the difference between skills and competencies to know which to add.
  • Work history – Start with your most recent job and work backwards. Include:
    • company name;
    • position title or positions held;
    • duration of employment (e.g. December 2019 - July 2020);
    • key duties and responsibilities; 
    • any key achievements in this role.
    • If you have had gaps in your employment history, assume you will be asked about it and have a short explanation of why.
  • Education and qualifications – Include any tertiary training, trade certificate, degree / diploma or online course listing the most recent first. After these you can list any current licenses, blue card, or if you are fluent in any languages. Furthermore First Aid Certificates, Bronze Medallion or Working with Children checks are great to add in this section.
  • Volunteering – Here you can list any volunteering work you have done. You can include volunteering at events, with a charity or not-for-profit group or as part of a team like a board or committee.
  • Referees / References – Include the names and contact details (phone number and email address) of two people who have agreed to act as referees for you. Past employers are ideal if they will provide positive feedback. Otherwise, you could also include include family friends, or a teacher where the course is relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you have their permission to include their details. 
    • E.g. Jane Smith, Marketing Manager at Awesome Business Pty Ltd, jane@awesomebusiness.com, +614 33 222 888

Resume Dos

  •  Ensure your resume is error free by checking spelling and grammar
  •  Have a friend read over and provide feedback
  •  Include key words that ‘mirror’ what the advertised job is asking for
  •  Highlight your strengths and capabilities
  •  Back-up your achievements with supporting statements
  •  Research the company before the interview, your effort will show throughout the interview
  •  Use action words - e.g. improved, planned, reduced, negotiated, facilitated, helped, assisted, collaborated with, trained, teamed with, served, worked with etc.
  •  Ask yourself, ‘does this resume sell me as best as it can?’

Support your application with an awesome cover letter

Your cover letter is the other essential part of any job application.

It is a 1 - 1.5 page (depending on the role and the requirements) letter submitted with your resume, outlining what makes you the best for a specific job. There are many good templates for cover letters online, however it is essential you tailor each cover letter for every application you submit.

The content of your cover letter complements your resume and provides an additional opportunity to sell yourself as the best person for the job. Generally the cover letter is read first (by a human being or scanned by HR software), so it's your first chance to impress!

Some tips for writing an awesome cover letter:

  • To open your cover letter, address the person or use "Dear Madam/Sir". Add a line break and words to the effect of "My name is Jane Doe and I am writing to apply for the position of Warehouse Logistics Assistant at Wicked Warehouses, advertised on SEEK (/ LinkedIn / Community Notice board / source of the job ad).
  • Depending on the role and selection criteria you may need to address - a good length for a cover letter is 200 to 400 words
  • Keep to the point; be sure to tell the employer how great you are in relation to the specific skills and attributes that they are looking for.
  • When talking about your skills, use words from the job advertisement (e.g. skills or desireable qualities listed) to help your letter stand out.
  • Don't send the same cover letter, it's important to tailor a cover letter for every job you apply for.
  • Use positive and upbeat language to keep the reader interested.
  • Say why you're applying for the role in 1-2 sentences - do some research on the company, a bit of background knowledge will add substance to your letter.
  • Use action words - e.g. improved, planned, reduced, negotiated, facilitated, helped, assisted, collaborated with, trained, teamed with, served, worked with etc.
  • To 'sign off' you letter, thank the person reading for considering your application and that you look forward to hearing from them.
  • Before you send, ensure spelling and grammar are correct.

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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