How to Write a Resume?

Typewriter

There are so many articles and information on the Internet about what to put into a resume or how to present information. Each of them deals with a wide range of topics about your resume and all sorts specific topics. Rarely does a post deal directly with the most asked question - How to write a resume?

In this guide we will examine the key points you must get right in order to present a professional resume. If you read one guide to writing a resume this should be it. This guide will cover the key areas you need to cover when preparing your resume.

Consistent Structure

The format of your resume must be consistent. Choose a structure or style that is easy to replicate across a number of different pages and ensure that you remain consistent. It is important to have your resume in a structure that is easy to read, clear and consistent. Use bullet points and subheadings where possible. A small amount of colour will highlight your resume to a potential employer without causing distraction. Make sure your name is larger than the rest of the text and clearly identified. When presenting your resume it is important to understand that the majority of applications are reviewed or read online.

Contact Details

It is not uncommon for job applicants to leave out vital contact details. Include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Ensure that each of these is easily contactable and regularly checked. Highlight your contact details at the beginning of a resume to ensure a potential employer can quickly make contact if required.

Main Headings

As professional resume writers we have refined the structure for the preparation of a professional resume. When considering how to write a resume you should include the following key headings:

  • Transferable skills
  • Professional development
  • Employment history
  • Referees

The order of these headings are very important. Separate each section with a main heading that is larger then the rest of the text. This will make it clear to an employer when reading each section and ensure that your resume is well structured.

Transferable Skills

The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview of the skills and qualities that you can offer an employer. You need to interpret your employment history and qualifications in a short summary that will allow a potential employer to understand your claims against the position. Your ability to provide a short and concise summary of this information will help in preparing your professional resume. We have included below a selection of transferable skills for an administration officer:

  • Ability to develop and organise administrative systems appropriate to business operations
  • Competent in meeting legislative requirements associated with business such as taxation requirements
  • Ability to develop and maintain personnel files ensuring compliance with legislative requirements and business expectations
  • Demonstrated ability to manage the delivery of high-quality customer service in a reception environment
  • Experience in maintaining a range of databases and spreadsheets to reflect operational requirements
  • Well developed computer literacy with an ability to use Microsoft office and internal applications

You will notice that all phrases are very short and concise.  All statements are based on skills and use language that highlights what you have to offer.

Professional  Development

When considering how to write a resume your qualifications are very important as matched to a position. Subheadings can be used again to group training and courses. The title of courses is the most important part of this section and additional descriptions are not required. Always include a driver's licence and associated code. Order your professional development in priority. Trade and tertiary qualifications should be followed by certificate level courses and internal training.

Employment History

The employment history for a professional resume is often the most under utilised section. After your research on how to write a resume leaving vital information out of your employment history will not help in securing positions. An employer is most interested in the last five years of your employment history. Under each position include a set of duty statements that clearly demonstrate the tasks you have undertaken. It is important not to assume an employer has an understanding of your duties as a result of the position title. Each role is different and has different responsibilities. We have provided below a structure for presenting your employment history.

2007_001

The important components to this example include a clear and easy to follow structure, short and concise information along with clear date, position title and organisation.

Referees

Referees are an important component to writing a professional resume, review our recent blog on how to select referees.  Important components to this process include the following:

  • Always, always select people that have direct, first hand experience in observing your work
  • Check with a referee first, it is polite and lets them prepare
  • If you are suspicious someone will provide a bad report do not use them
  • Provide the most relevant contact details
  • If they will be away or unavailable at any time don’t use them
  • Select your current or most recent supervisor if possible, this demonstrates a good relationship
  • Use their name and not a nickname

Final Checklist

If you have followed our guide on how to write a resume you are on the way to a professional document. Here is a final checklist:

  • Name and contact details are easily identified and presented at the beginning of the resume
  • Complete a grammatical check and show your resume to other people to get help
  • Keywords used that match your industry such as safety, computer applications or other information
  • Structure is consistent throughout the resume
  • Font and size of text is consistent
  • Headings are larger in size and sections used between different areas
  • Duties are clearly explained
  • Document is available in Microsoft Word or PDF

The process we present in our guide on how to write a resume has been built from extensive experience as professional resume writers for more than 13 years. In our experience it is important to note that everybody will have a different opinion on your resume. The most important aspect to consider is if you are satisfied an employer has an understanding of your capability based on the information provided.

Best of luck with your application.