Your resume is kind of a big deal when applying for a job. Regardless of whether you’re applying online or in person, employers are expecting a clear, concise and complete resume. You know the drill- it needs to be relevant for whatever you’re applying for, free from typos and somehow make you look better than anyone else applying for the job.

Prep work

Before you even start writing your resume (and after you finish reading this article), it’s a good idea to know what you’re actually going to put on it. You’ll want to figure out what jobs you’ve done, what skills you have, what you’ve achieved and what’s relevant for the job you’re applying for. Scribble it all down to give yourself a better idea of how you’re going to sell yourself and build your resume from there.

Know what’s not needed

Personal info (like your name, phone number and email) is essential and should be somewhere around the top of the first page. But other things, like birth date/age, head shot or nationality, generally don’t need to be included and should be cut to make space for more important things.

When you have shit all experience

For most of us, the ‘past employment’ section is going to be pretty empty (check this out for a list of jobs that don’t require two degrees, five years of experience and your first-born child). You might only have your casual hospo job, a couple of weeks of work experience and the baby sitting you do on the weekend, or you might have absolutely NOTHING… but don’t stress. You just have to think of things involving ‘transferrable skills’. Did some cool extra-curricula stuff? Coached your local sport team? Actively participated in your high school’s ‘Environmental Committee’? These are the experiences that can be applied to pretty much any job- think customer service, communication, training, technology and problem solving.

good with people

Sell yourself

The whole point of a resume is to sell yourself so don’t understate your achievements or skills. You’re literally trying to show off as much as possible. Obviously, make sure you’re putting in things you’ve actually done (if you get caught out in an interview lying about speaking three languages then the whole thing is pointless). But, if you’ve received any relevant awards, qualifications or done something so damn good it needs to be shared- put it on your resume.

Clean it up

If your resume is longer than three pages it’s too long. Some argue that 1 page is enough, even in the crazy Proper Adult Job industries. Your resume is your highlights reel, so you need to make sure you have only the most important info on there. Employers want to figure out who you are with minimal effort, so the more succinct you are the better your chances of getting the job. While you’re editing fix any typos. Use a spell checker, read it out loud or send it to your mum to read. Just make sure you don’t cost yourself the job because you got lazy, said ‘no ragrets’ and decided to send your resume into the world without proof-reading it.

 

Emma Kocbek