The purpose of a good resume is to get you to an interview.
It’s a summary of you, your education, skills, and work history. But there are no hard and fast rules, so you should add anything extra that may impress the employer and make them want to meet you.
Let’s have a look at some common resume elements, basic information and a simple structure.
- Don’t mess around with fancy fonts, use one font that is simple and easy to read.
- Divide sections clearly so it is easy to read. Try making your headings bold to stand out from your other text.
- If you want to use colour, keep it simple. No brightly coloured fonts or crazy patterns. Keep it professional.
- Name and Contact details – no silly email addresses, make one just for work if you don’t have a professional sounding one
- Career Objective – a quick introduction as to why you are applying for this job, mentioning some of the key skills you have and perhaps one of your professional aims if it is relevant
- Outline your education and training, starting from your current or most recent level and going back to senior high school
- Work History –order in the same way as education starting from the most recent. Include skills you learnt in this experience relevant to the job you’re applying for
- Interests – don’t get too personal, just include two or three hobbies that give an impression of who you are as a person
- Referees – include contact details for two or three referees, they may be teachers, coaches, host employers or real employers. Personal or character referees are good too. Real employers have more credibility than family and close friends.
- Microsoft Word has resume templates or google it.
Your cover letter/email is how you really get noticed. This is where you can say why you are keen on the position and what you believe you will bring to the job.
You can also highlight anything special, such as how well you did in a related course or subject, or how much you loved work experience in a related field.
Be professional, but still let your personality and enthusiasm shine.
Don’t lie on your resume, include the best and most relevant information for the position you’re applying for and be genuine.
The more you tell the more you sell. Instead of bullet points like “Reliable” and “Team Player” add a simple sentence or two to evidence the point.
“I won an attendance award at school for the least days absent”. Or, “I’m proud to say my previous boss said I was one of the most reliable workers in the business”.
Have several good people proof read your resume for typos and solid content. Ask them if it really sells your strengths, or not.
Ask for a manager or supervisor if handing it in to a store, and make sure you remember their name so you can follow up with a phone call a week or two after you’ve handed in your application.