Write an effective resume
Your resume plays an important role in your application for an advertised vacancy. It will provide us with an accurate understanding of you and your capabilities. Your resume will provide us with the necessary information to accurately assess your application for a new role within St.George.
Creating a great resume requires careful planning and preparation. Effective resumes are concise and informative so it is important that every word you use proves its value by presenting you in the best possible light. This is something that will require a reasonable amount of time and energy, however an effective, well-written resume is an investment in your future and the time and energy you spend now will pay dividends later.
We have provided some helpful tips to assist you in writing your resume, however you should also allow your individuality to shine through!
We recommend updating your resume regularly and to update your job profile on the careers@St.George website with your most recent resume.
Your name and contact details should be listed at the top of the first page. Make sure these details include your postal address, a direct telephone contact and a personal email address.
You will need to include information relevant to the position you are applying for such as qualifications and/or professional memberships.
Career summary (optional)
You can summarise your career to date, outlining your strengths, major skills and achievements in one paragraph.
Skills summary (optional)
You can also provide a quick reference point to specific skills relevant to the position you are applying for.
Present the highest level of education you have achieved first, working backwards from the current or most recent qualification. The level of detail you provide will depend on the balance between your qualifications and your work experience.
- As a general rule, list:
- the name of the institution
- the qualification you received
- the date you received your qualification
Summary of awards, memberships and additional courses
Support your application by providing additional information using a similar format as your education section.
Present your employment history starting with your current or most recent position and working backwards.
You should cover the last five (5) to ten (10) years in detail focussing on information that is relevant to the position you are applying for. To explain any breaks in your employment history, simply state the reason for the break, such as "overseas travel" or "caring for a family member".
We recommend you use the following format to present your employment history in your resume:
- Employer and organisational history
List the name of the employing organisation, including a brief overview of the business of this organisation.
- Dates of employment
Outline the duration of your employment, listing the month and year.
(e.g. November 2005 – March 2006).
- Position Description
State your job title.
Your position description provides the outline for this section. You should detail aspects that relate to skills and experience of interest to the position you are applying for. Make sure you maintain confidentiality by avoiding specific details of projects, clients or business domains.
- We recommend that you use bullet points in this section so we are able to easily assess your skills and experience.
Provide an overview of the projects you have worked on and highlight specific achievements. This will help demonstrate your contributions and success.
You can choose to conclude your resume with a list of referees or alternatively, you can offer to provide them later in the recruitment process by writing on your resume “advised on request”. We recommend you use your two (2) most recent managers/supervisors who are able to confirm your skills and experience.
- Seek permission from your referee before you list them in your resume.
- Remember to inform your referees that they may be contacted and provide them with some background information about the position you have applied for.
Things to do
- Ideally, your resume should be no greater than four (4) A4 pages.
- Keep your resume concise, factual and accurate.
- Use a common and clear font in a sensible size, such as Arial in 12 point.
- Think about the electronic format of your resume. Microsoft Word (.doc) is the most widely accepted format and easiest to view. Try to keep your file sizes under 1MB.
- The layout of your resume should be clear and consistent with easy-to-follow headings.
- Emphasise points in your resume using different text styles, like bold, italics or underlining.
- Your work history and education details should begin with the most recent first.
- Check the spelling and grammar in your resume.
- Use bullet points to present information as clearly as possible.
- Include pages numbers in case the pages of your resume are separated.
- Write clearly and concisely using active verbs, such as accomplished, created, enhanced (e.g. “Accomplished project delivery within client specified timeframes and under budget.”)
Things to avoid
- Abbreviations, acronyms and jargon- many are not universally understood..
- Using different types of fonts or clip art throughout your resume.
- Attaching a photograph of yourself to your resume.
- Using paper that is coloured or has a background image.
- Trusting the spell check function on your computer.
- Does your resume look professional and clear with a good balance of text and white space?
- Is your resume easy to follow and does it feature blocks of text that sit beneath major headings?
- Are there any obvious gaps in the resume content? For instance, breaks in employment adequately explained.
- Are all headings the same font type, point size and text style?
- Is the body copy (that is, text other than headings) presented in the same font type, point size and text style?
- Have you checked and rechecked the spelling and grammar of your resume?