How to write a good resume

A strong and good resume is your master key to the Australian job market and if done well, can open many doors for you. The  job market here can be both competitive and ruthless, and some studies have even suggested that recruiters can spend as little as six seconds reviewing a resume1. That’s right, just six seconds.

When developing a resume, think of it as an advertisement that tells a powerful story about you, your achievements and the value you can offer an employer. And like any good advertisement, you want you resume to be easy to follow, to hold the reader’s attention and convince them of your value. You want it to be memorable and of course, based in truth.

There’s a vital concept that currently underpins resume writing and that is, your personal brand. Essentially, what this comes down to is what you want to be known for or what you stand for. For example, when we think about Oprah, Trump or Kim Kardashian, whether we like it or not, distinct images and feelings come to mind. That is personal branding at its very best. A strong personal brand will help you set yourself apart from others, but can be a tough concept to grapple. We will explore this concept in further posts, but here’s a great little video by Personal Branding Expert, Ben Angel to introduce you to the concept2. He discusses and influential personal brand can dramatically increase your influence and credibility.

Source: Entrepreneur

So, before you start sending out your resume to employers, remember the six second rule, and take the time to develop a strong document that tells a compelling and powerful story about you. You can start by using a free resume template from SEEK or picking up your current resume and giving it a give it a quick boost by checking it against these key pointers:

  • showcase your value: focus on your key skills and achievements, including measures of success
  • make it compelling: focus on what sets you apart or makes memorable i.e. your personal brand
  • easy to read: use simple and clear formatting and keep it up to two pages long
  • easy to understand: avoid using jargon
  • true and accurate: don’t fudge facts, you are bound to get caught3
  • make it flawless: ask someone to proofread it

When you start applying for jobs, one extra step you should take, is to tailor your resume to each specific job you are applying for. Do this by drawing keywords from the advertisement and job description, and carefully lace them through your resume to highlight that you have the knowledge, skills and qualities required of the job. Whilst this takes a bit of extra time and effort, essentially this process makes it easier for recruiters to identify that that you have the motivation for the job and have met the relevant criteria required for interview. It could be what separates you from the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile.

If you are needing help with your resume, it could be worth seeking the help from a resume writing company specialising in the Australian job market or email for a recommendation.

  1. “You have 6 seconds to make an impression: How recruiters see your resume” by Will Evans, The Ladders. 12 March 2012
  2. “The One Thing You Really Need to Know About Personal Branding” by Ben Angel, Entrepreneur. 18 August 2016
  3. “ICAC investigation leads to arrests of SA public servants Veronica Theriault and Alan Corkhill” By Leah MacLennan, ABC News. 22 Sep 2017

2 thoughts on “How to write a good resume

  1. Refreshing view on personal branding and authenticity. And great checklist!

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