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Resume Do’s and Don’ts: How to Write a Resume

One of the most stressful parts of the job search process is writing a resume. When you crack the code on how to write a resume that can get your foot in the door, the job search process gets much easier.

A good resume covers all the bases so that employers get a snapshot of who you are and what value you may bring to the organisation. In addition to saying what your skills and achievements are and if they match the job requirements, it also helps employers assess your suitability to other roles within the business. So it’s critical to communicate clearly, concisely and convincingly.

Since your resume is your first shot at a good impression, we bring you the top resume do’s and don’ts from our recruiting experience.

Add contact information

Listing contact information may seem like an obvious thing, but many people get wrapped up in the larger portions of the resume and forget about the basics – the fact that employers should be able to get in touch with you. 

For contact details include the following:

  • Full name
  • Contact number
  • Address
  • Contact email

Your email address should be professional and not rude, silly, or “funny”. While something like [email protected] may seem catchy or humorous, it doesn’t set a good first impression. Use your name and avoid numbers if possible, opting for underscores or full stops to create uniqueness. For example, if [email protected] is taken try [email protected].

It’s unnecessary to put your date of birth or a photo of yourself.

Prioritise education and work history

List your academic qualifications and educational institutions in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). Work history should be listed in the same way. Provide details for previous jobs that are relevant to the one you’re applying for. For previous roles that do not have relevancy a short, simple dot-point list of primary tasks is all that is necessary. 

It’s important to keep descriptions short and to the point, employers may be looking at hundreds of applications and may not always have the time to read through large descriptions or blocks of text in a resume.

Include transferable skills

If you do not have any prior work experience, don’t panic. Where you would normally list work history, instead list what are called “transferable skills”. These are skills you’ve collected through life that can be applied to the job. 

You may choose to highlight your technical proficiency with any relevant software and tools, as well as any skills related to team work, problem solving, communication and so on that may be relevant for the job you are applying for. 

You might demonstrate evidence of these skills through classes, hobbies, sports, or volunteer work.

Don’t lie or use exact general phrases

Lying on your resume is never a good idea. What you claim is easy to verify and obvious during an interview. Furthermore, it’s unfair to other applicants that do have the relevant experience/skills. 

In regards to not using general phrases, we are referring to required skills or attributes listed by the employer. For example, if they say “intermediate microsoft suite skills”, don’t list “intermediate microsoft suite skills” word for word in your dot points. Instead, mention examples of when you’ve used those programs.

Design your resume to stand out

When employers are looking at hundreds of applications, designing your resume to have a clean, simple yet unique look can grab their attention. Programs like Microsoft Word have resume templates available which you can use or take ideas from. If you want to design it yourself, remember; don’t include pictures and don’t make it cluttered.

Include a resume objective

A resume objective is a statement that you should put on your resume to state your professional goals. A one line summary of what kind of job you are looking for and how you meet the requirements, tells the employer right away what they can expect from you as a candidate.

Customise your resume

A mistake many job applicants make is to send out a templated resume for each application. If you take this approach, your resume may not be strong enough, as each employer will place more value on different skills, even if advertising for the same job title. 

Customising your resume doesn’t take as long as you might think. When reading the job listing, consider which skills are the most important to your potential employer and give these maximum visibility on your resume.

We’re here to help you write a strong resume

Crafting a great resume is not the easiest task, but MTC Australia can help you there. If you’re a registered job seeker, simply choose MTC Australia as your jobactive provider and you’ll benefit from professional training and classes on building resumes, interview techniques, language classes, and more. 

Get in touch with us today on 1300 BECOME (1300 232 663) and let’s help you put your best foot forward so you can get that  dream job.