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How to write a fabulous resume

The current job market is highly competitive and there are thousands of people looking for work. This means that the potential employer might spend on average 60 – 90 seconds on an initial scan through each resume. If you did not outline your experience in a simple format you are risking some important information to be missed.

Your goal as a job seeker is to stand out from the crowd and show the employer why they should hire you.  A strong resume, excellent presentation and a great attitude at interview are the key elements of a successful job application. General Structure Below are the 6 ingredients required to create a stand out resume.

General structure

Below are the 6 ingredients required to create a stand out resume.

  1. Front Cover – this should include personal Details.  Remember to list your email and contact number
  2. Overview – 10-12 bullets points outlining your strengths for this role and interpersonal skills
  3. Education/Courses
  4. Experience in reverse chronological order
  5. Referees
  6. Hobbies, interests

1. Formatting your resume

  • Your resume should be easy to read and understand. This includes using a plain but professional language.
  • Always use bullet points when outlining your duties in positions. Each bullet point should be no more than a 1.5 lines in length.
  • Bullet points are much easier to read and the important information doesn’t get lost.
  • Make sure that you use the same format, font and size throughout your resume. Following a strict format will make your resume look professional. You should use standard fonts such as Arial or Calibri in 12 point.
  • Ideally a resume will be between 5 and 7 pages long.

What you should include

  • If you have extensive experience, we recommend including your detailed work history for the past 3 positions. Mention the prior experience, but do not go into too much detail unless relevant to the role you are applying for.
  • If your resume is well over 7 pages you can cut it down.  Simply show the job title, the length of time in the position and the organisation.  Leave the duties out.
  • If you are a recent graduate or you are at the early stages of your career, you should include all your work experience including volunteering. Have a look at advertisements for the roles you might be interested in and make sure you include any relevant experience and skills you have for those types of roles.

What not to do

  • Do not include a “Career Objective”.   People are often over looked because their potential employer can misinterpret this information.
  • Never underestimate the value of your resume.  Treat your resume seriously and take some time writing it. If you are not 100% happy with your resume, leave it and come back to it later with fresh eyes.
  • Never send your resume out without having run a spell check. Make sure you do not make any spelling mistakes as every single one of them will be noticed and this will be considered that you lack attention to detail.
  • Never send your resume out without another person proof reading it.
  • Do not include any personal information, such as your age, religion, marital status, children, etc.

2. Tips to make your resume stand out

  • For each role, write a short paragraph about what the organisation does.  This will then put your skills and tasks into perspective for the potential employer.
  • At the end of each position, include 1 or 2 major achievements accomplished in the position.


  • By including a 10 – 12 bullet point overview at the front of your resume you will show the employer how suitable you are for the position.
  • It is crucial to tailor the overview for each role you are applying for. The overview should include your strengths and experience you have suitable for the role you are applying for.  The overview should also include “soft skills” – things about your personality traits that cannot be shown in your experience or skills.  For example, being proactive, reliable, or having a friendly and outgoing personality.

Tailoring your resume for a particular role

  • Take the extra time to add information about your skills and experiences relevant to the particular job requirements. Read the job description, tick of all the tasks you have experience in and then make sure you include them in your resume.  Too often people have the experience, which is why they apply for the role, but they fail to show their experience in their resume.  Employers are not “mind readers” – so you will need to list all your skills and tasks.

Extra activities, hobbies

  • You will never know what people you might meet and what interests they might have. If the employer has similar hobbies as you do – it might be an “ice breaker” to start the interview.
  • Also, this information will assist the employer in understanding who is the person behind the resume.
  • Our final tip.  Before applying for positions, you need to make sure your Facebook and social media activities are suitable for potential employers to see.  Over 62% of future employers will check out job applicants on social media.

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