Resume Builder

Your all-in-one guide to building the perfect resume

What is a resume?

A resume or Curriculum vitae (CV) is a formal document that is used by a person when applying for a job position. To put simply, it is a summary of a person’s education, work experience, accomplishments, skills, and personal details. The key purpose of a resume is to provide employers with an overview of the applicant’s professional background and abilities. This helps recruiters decide if the applicant is suitable for a particular job.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, returning to school, or seeking a new job within or outside your current career, you need a resume. Not just any resume, but a great one that stands out and helps you land the job you want.

Remember to Tell YOUR Story

Your resume should tell the story of your professional life. Include relevant experiences, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and any self-taught skills. Make your resume engaging and reflective of your career journey and future goals.

 

This guide provides comprehensive advice to make your resume the best it can be.

 

Step 1: Focus on Your Goal

Before diving into resume writing, remember what you aim to achieve. Your resume should reflect who you are and attract the right employers. It acts as a filter, so be honest and stand behind what you include. While technology plays a significant role in the job searching process, the key principles to creating a solid resume remain the same.

Step 2: Don’t forget the Most Important Part: Contact Information

The most critical part of your resume is your contact information. Without it, even the most impressive resume is useless. Make sure your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable) are clearly visible. Avoid putting this information in the header or footer, as online application systems often miss these sections.

Example resume front page that shows education and experience

Step 3: Quality over Quantity: The Myth of the One-Page Resume

Contrary to popular belief, your resume doesn’t need to fit on one page. This advice is outdated, especially if you have significant experience. However, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Avoid filler content: Don’t pad your resume with unnecessary information.
  • Use a readable font: Use a font size that is easy to read.
  • Keep your content balanced: Aim for full pages; make the appropriate edits for a clean fit.
  • Focus on quality: Prioritise relevant and impactful information more than word count.

Step 4: Create an Organized and Easy-to-Follow Layout

Resume guide to include relevant skills and qualifications example

A well-organized resume is essential. Try using a professional template that highlights your skills and experiences without being too busy. Consistency is key—use the same formatting, font, and style throughout. The Staff Australia resume template can help guide you through the process.

Step 5: Be Concise but Clear

Your resume should be concise but detailed enough to illustrate your experiences and skills. Remember to provide specific examples. However, you do not need to sacrifice clarity – make sure you explain your roles and experience.

Step 6: Be Impressive, but Also Be Honest

Honesty is vital. Avoid exaggerating your skills and experiences. Use accurate terms like “assisted” or “contributed” if you were part of a team. Employers appreciate honesty and can usually tell when a candidate is being truthful.

A sketch of a man with a long nose sitting a job interview

Step 7: Keep References on the Sidelines (For Now)

You don’t need to include references on your resume. Employers will ask for references if they need them. Keep a separate document with your references ready for when they are requested.

A red cross over blurred references on a resume

Step 8: Proofread: Flawless Grammar is Essential.

Mistakes can overshadow your qualifications. Proofread your resume and consider having someone else review it. You can also use an AI writing tool like Grammarly. Attention to detail can greatly work in your favour.

Step 9: Make Multiples: One Resume Doesn’t Fit All

Tailor your resume for each job application. Adjust your objective, highlight relevant skills, and tweak the focus of your resume to match the job description. This shows that you have put effort into your job search and application. It demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in the position.

Step 10: Store and Backup Your Resumes

Organise multiple versions of your resume for different types of jobs. Name your files descriptively and include the date of the last update. Consider using cloud services like Google Drive for easy access and backup.

Make an Impression

Use our Resume and CV Checklist:

Here are our top tips to ensure your resume stands out:

  1. Add contact details: Your name and contact information should be clearly visible.
  2. Prepare it for the company: Tailor the content to make it relevant to the advertised role. This shows that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the position.
  3. Keep it recent: Fresh information is more engaging and will be easier to discuss in an interview. Regularly update your resume with recent roles, responsibilities, and achievements.
  4. Prioritise important information: Highlight the most critical aspects of your work experience, training, goals, or interests that are relevant to the role.
  5. Use good formatting: Maintain consistent font types, sizes, margins, and bullet points.
  6. Keep it simple: Avoid fancy fonts and formatting. Keep it simple and professional to ensure your resume is easy to read.
  7. Correct your grammar and spelling: Proofread your resume. Mistakes can leave a negative impression.
  8. Back up your strengths: Provide examples of your specific experiences to back up your strengths.
  9. List your achievements: Document your achievements. Highlight what you and the company gained. Showcase what sets you apart from your coworkers.
  10. Keep personal information out of it: Keep your resume focused on professional qualifications and experiences.

In the End, Your Resume is Only the Beginning

Remember that your resume is basically a timeline of your professional life.

Your resume is a living document that evolves with your career. Update it regularly by adding your new experiences and achievements. Remember, your resume is just the first step. Ultimately, you are the key to making a great impression in interviews and on the job.