Resume Complete Guidelines
The purpose of a Resume is to get you an interview. It needs to show what you can do, and why you are a good fit for an employer.
Resume also commonly known as the Curriculum Vitae (CV), Bio-data, Personal details and Dossier. Learn more about what your Resume should look like, and what information to include.
Things to Consider Depending on Your Employment History
Are you applying for your first job?
If you are new to the workforce, we recommend a skills-focused Resume. A skills-focused Resume highlights your skills over your work history by bringing them to the front of your Resume.
If you have recently completed a period of study and feel your education is more relevant to the job you are going for than your work experience, you may decide to list your education after your skills and before your work history.
You can include skills and experiences from your non-working life to demonstrate your suitability for a role. Any co-curiculum, sports, volunteering or other relevant experience can demonstrate skills you have acquired.
Have you got a long work history?
You do not need to write in detail about every job you have since your first paper round. Focus on the most recent jobs you have held and any earlier jobs that are directly relevant to the job you are applying for. Any other jobs can be listed or covered briefly.
Have you been out of paid employment for a long time?
Use a skills-focused Resume to emphasize the skills and attributes you have that relate to the position you are applying for.
Emphasize the positive things you have been doing during periods of unemployment, such caring for family members, training courses you have attended or travelling. If you are returning to work after raising a family, list the skills you have developed, such as planning, decision making and budgeting.
Highlight any new skills or qualifications you have gained.
Have you spent a long time working for one employer?
If you have worked in various positions for the one company, list each position to show how you have progressed.
If you have worked in the same role, emphasize your skills rather than your work history by choosing the skills-focused Resume style.
Creating a Resume
Find out about the Sections that makes a great Resume and also what information to include in each of it.
Typically a Resume contains all or most of the sections listed below:
- Name and contact details
- Personal vision
- Working history
- Interests and hobbies
What sections you include in your Resume and the order in which you display them largely comes down to your work history and personal preference.
The way in which you order these sections is usually as listed above. However, you can put emphasis on your skills or your work history by placing either of these sections at the front of your Resume, after your personal statement.
Name and Contact Details
Firstly, you need to provide your name and contact details which include:
- First and last name (this should be in a large bolded font).
- Phone number (preferably a landline and cell phone).
- Email address.
- Home address, including area code.
- If you have an online work profile, such as LinkedIn, put it here as well.
The personal vision gives the employer a little insight into who you are. It typically includes information such as:
- What you are currently doing for employment or education
- What it is about the job you are applying for that attracted you to it
- Your reason for wanting to change jobs
- Your career aspirations.
The personal vision is usually an employer first impression of who you are. Don’t be shy, use this to sell yourself. But remember to keep it concise, three or four sentences will usually do.
If you are creating a skills-focused Resume, listing your skills is essential. If you decide a work-focused Resume better highlights your strengths, you might want to keep the skills section to a minimum, or not include it at all.
List out at least 3 -4 skill with examples of how you have demonstrated each of them (typically listed a bullet points below the heading). Skill headings can include transferable skills such as:
Or more specific skills such as:
- Customer service
- Sales and marketing
- Machine operating.
You can write these headings as the key words or phrases:
- Excellent leadership skills
- Strong customer service and sales ability
- Skilled heavy machinery operator.
It is best to stick to one heading format, do not jump between key words and phrases as this will look untidy.
Under each skill heading, identify how you have demonstrated the skill.
List your most recent job and work back. Start by stating when you held the position, the job title/position, the name of the employer and where the job was located.
Below this, list the tasks you performed. You can also list any notable achievements you accomplished.
How much information you include about each job you list will depend on what type of Resume you have chosen.
It is important to include your education and qualifications in your Resume. It should be listed after your work history or skills, depending on what style of Resume you are creating.
If you have no formal qualifications, you can just list the schools you went to and the years you attended.
Start with your most recent qualification and work back. Include:
- The name of the course or qualification you had completed.
- The training institute you attended.
- The start and finish date that you undertook the course or qualification.
You can also include:
- A brief description of the qualification and any projects, thesis or dissertation work related to the job you are applying for.
- The subjects you took and the grades you achieved, if you are a recent school lever.
- Professional development courses you have undertaken, including conferences and workshops, if you feel they add to your job application.
Include an achievements section in your Resume if you feel there are noteworthy successes you have not covered in the skills or work history sections of your Resume.
You can include things such as awards, successfully completed projects, commendations, or examples of how you helped a former employer meet their targets.
For each example, note what the achievement was and when and where you achieved it.
Interests and hobbies
The information you include in this section should be kept to just a few sentences.
It is best to include interests that demonstrate skills or abilities that an employer may be looking in an employee.
For example, including coaching sports shows leadership qualities.
It is best to avoid generic interests like reading, going out with friends or watching TV, as they do not add much to the picture of yourself you are creating for an employer.
It is fine to add some individuality, but keep in mind that Resume are formal documents.
Referees provide an employer with further insight into your skills, work history and personality. They can be a former employer, coach, teacher, or any credible person who will support your job application. Family members and friends do not make the best referees, as employers may question their impartiality.
Referee contact details should include:
- Their first and last names
- Their position
- Their relationship to you (for instance, high school teacher, former employer)
- Contact details (phone number and email address are usually enough).
It is important to contact each referee to let them know they are appearing on your Resume and may be contacted to supply a reference. Provide your referees with some context about the job you are going for to give them some background information, provide them with a copy of the job advertisement if possible.
If you do not want to add referees to your Resume, include the line ‘Referees available on request’ at the end of your Resume. This does not mean you can do without them altogether – referees are important and it is likely employers will want to contact them.