Man at desk with a keyboard, reading from papers in one hand, about to write with a pen in the other.

Top tips for updating your resume

These are the things you should pay particular attention to when updating your Resume.

Contact details

Career objective/career overview

Career history

  • this should be in reverse chronological order;
  • don’t go beyond 10 years, or the last 3 jobs;
  • You can include a sentence about other previous employment, that further details can be provided on request.

Achievements

  • meeting a target is not an achievement, but what you are paid to do;
  • Use verbs;
  • include any awards etc;
  • limit to three per job if possible.

Plug all resume gaps

  • These are a normal part of life, so don’t worry about being honest about these;
  • Be brief about the reason for the gap, and focus on any skills you may have obtained.

Education and training

  • This should be in chronological order;
  • Don’t include secondary school, unless this is your first job;
  • include industry related training, TAFE courses, and in-house training.

Professional memberships

Hobbies/interests

  • These will give the employer an idea of whether you will fit the culture of the organisation.

Referees

  • If at all possible, include your current supervisor;
  • Include phone numbers and email address;
  • Don’t attach written references, but include a sentence saying that written references will be provided on request.

Layout

  • Use an easy to read font
  • consider including contact details at the top of each page;
  • If using bullet points, keep them all the same;
  • Consider centering your career summary and contact details, and keeping everything else left justified;
  • You could use a table layout, as I did, but this can take up more space;
  • Limit to 4 pages if possible.

Customise your resume for each job application.

  • Write a general resume, and then tweak it for each job application to give the employer what they want;
  • Customise your career summary to include the top credentials that you have that the particular employer requires;
  • Modify your job history so that you highlight the duties that best fit with those in the job description;
  • Similarly, modify your strengths and skills sections to highlight those that best fit the job description.

Further Reading

Resume writing – Australian Style
What do hiring managers look for in a resume?
Four tips for explaining gaps in your resume
Customize your resume for best results

Last edited on 15/9 to fix broken link.