15 June 2022

How to write a great resume

How to write a great resume

Your resume is the first impression you’re providing to your next potential employer, so you want to make sure it’s a great introduction.

This document alone, often is how managers and talent teams decide wether to get to know a candidate better, and they are often sorting through tens, sometimes hundreds, of resumes. So, how do you ensure yours stands out.

Clean, simple, and packed full of the right information (but not too much information), is the key to an excellent resume.  This guide will help you craft your next resume, and ensure you get that balance right.

Easy to use resume template

Access our resume template on Canva, easy and free to use

Layout

Depending on your experience, your resume should be 1-2 pages long (plus, a Cover Letter when necessary). 

Your resume should include the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • Career summary or objective
  • Work experience
  • Education and qualifications
  • Professional development or courses undertaken
  • Skills: Soft skills and technical skills

 

Resume builder

Depending on your skill set and how comfortable you are with design and formatting, you can use a variety of programs for developing a resume.

  • Canva: Canva is a fantastic and easy to use design tool which can be accessed for free online. It has more functionality than Word and allows a little more creative flair. We’ve actually built a template for you to use, you can access here
  • Microsoft Word: Word is the most commonly used program for designing a resume, and Microsoft Office has pre-made templates you can customise. TIP: Ensure you download and save your resume as a PDF document before you send to employers, to ensure your formatting and design ‘sticks’.
  • Novoresume: Novoresume is an online software for filling pre-created resume templates. Novoresume has a free version with templates, or a paid version for more functionalities. 

 

Content

Let’s break down what to include in each section of your layout.

Contact information

Your contact information should be at the top of the page, clear and simple to access. Ensure you include:

  • Full name (using your preferred name)
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Location (City)

Career summary or objective

This is a short paragraph to explain to the hiring manager your career journey and plans, which provides context for your career move, i.e. “I’m a student, in my final year of university looking to start a career in Marketing; or, I’m a career changer, having spent 10 years working in manufacturing as a manager, I am excited to be upskilling in the digital field of User Experience”. 

Work experience 

This is your work experience to date, keep it in chronological order, with your most recent role at the top, and provide a short explanation of the company and what your responsibilities and achievements are, or were. Utilise the following format for each experience:

Company name
Title 
Employment start and end date (month and year)
Location (optional)

Sentence providing overview of of who the company is.

Responsibilities and achievements:

  • Use dot-points to outline what you did in your role in this experience

Education and qualifications

Keep your education and qualifications information short and succinct. You may like to include:

  • University degrees
  • TAFE or equivalent training
  • High School qualification
  • Industry based qualifications

Include the following information on each education entry:

  • Education provider name
  • Degree or qualification name
  • Year obtained

Professional development or courses undertaken

Much like education, this is an opportunity for you to outline any further study you have undertaken, or short courses which perhaps do not fit into the education section. This may be software training, certificates etc.

Skills

Use dot points to list out your main 5-7 soft skills or areas of expertise e.g. team leadership, project management; and your major technical skills. These may be software or programs e.g. Microsoft Suite, or they may be areas of expertise e.g. Search Engine Optimisation.

 

Final tips

  • Keep your resume layout and formatting consistent throughout – e.g. if you have used a company’s full name, ensure to use their full name throughout, if you have used date format as 1 January 2022, ensure you use that date format throughout
  • It is your resume so keep your personality present throughout in the design and language you use in the content
  • Stats, facts and numbers are a great way for hiring managers to scan and perform a quick read of your resume, so where possible pull on data