Top tips for creating a standout resume

Creating a resume for the first time can seem a daunting task for many, not just those who are looking to secure their first position and commence their career, but also for those who have been in long term employment and suddenly find themselves in the job market once again. So we are here to help make it a little bit easier.

A standout resume is about highlighting your skills and experience relevant to the role you are applying for, as well as ensuring you stand out from your competition. Did you know that on average a recruitment professional will only spend an average of 6 seconds on their initial review of your resume? That is a very short period of time to make your resume stand out from the crowd. And remember you don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression.

Remember there is not one format that works for everyone, nor one size that fits all and lets face it, if there was then recruitment would be boring. Variety makes our jobs fun! Don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different formats, many varieties are available online. The main aim is to follow a few key points of common DOs and DONTs as we have tried to list in a simple to follow format below. Need any further help? Then just contact us at one of our many offices across Australia! Details can be found on our website contact page.

Resume DOs

  • Keep the length as short as possible with a high focus on quality of information and not quantity. Aim to have a resume that is between 2 and 4 pages long. Any longer and its not going to be read.
  • Ensure your name and contact information (mobile number, email, LinkedIn details) are clearly displayed at the top of the first page. Location and willingness to relocate are also good to include here.
  • Write a short introductory paragraph or personal summary, highlighting your key skills in a few short, punchy sentences. This should be a hook to entice the reader to want to read more.
  • Ensure key information is highlighted in bold font – such as key headings – Personal Summary, Experience, Education.
  • Use bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs to maintain focus of the reader.

Resume DONTs

  • Pictures, graphics, excel spreadsheets and lengthy previous publications should not be included.
  • Do not include personal information such as photos, height, weight, marital status, age…..all of these can lead to unconscious bias and are unnecessary.
  • Spelling mistakes and errors are a no-no. It does not display any attention to detail.
  • While it can be tempting to copy and paste the responsibilities from your job description, don’t do it! Focus on what you have achieved and how you have made a difference.
  • Avoid the use of uncommon abbreviations that may lead to confusion.
  • The words Curriculum Vitae or Resume do not need to be at the top of the first page – it should be obvious what the document is.