Preparing a Resume
Your resume should contain facts about you, your skills and work experience that are likely to interest an employer.
Different employers will be interested in skills and work experience that relate specifically to the jobs they have available.
Target your resume by placing emphasis on the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job you want. If you intend to apply for completely different types of job, you may need to develop more than one resume, each with its own emphasis.
We have attached a traditional Resume Template as a guide for you but don't feel you have to create your resume in any one particular way. Experiment until you are happy that your resume gives the facts about, you, your skills and work experience in a clear and persuasive way.
Using a computer with a word processing program makes it easy to try out different layouts.
When printing your final copy, make sure you use a good quality printer.
Some tips on content
- Use positive language and a confident tone.
- As well as listing your duties at a particular job, you could add a few lines or dot points about the skills you acquired at that job.
- If particular skills or experience is important to the job you are applying for, write more about it; if some skills are not as important to the job mention them but don't dwell on it.
- Take care with dates. Account for every year. Employers may think you are hiding something if they see too many gaps.
Some tips on layout
- Don't take more than two pages; you will probably need two, to give enough information to capture an employer's attention.
- Use two separate sheets of paper, rather than one sheet printed on both sides.
- Put your name at the top of the second sheet, in case the two become separated.
- Your resume should look neat and tidy, with all the information easy to find.
- Most employers will expect a resume to be laid out in a traditional format, but others (particularly those in creative areas of work) might like one that looks more unusual.
- Use bold print for headings that separate different sections.
- Bold print can also be useful for highlighting important points.
- Avoid Underlining; it can give the resume a rather old-fashioned look.
- Avoid using clip art or other graphic design; it can detract from the important information.
- Use good quality white paper and a printer that produces a clean neat output.
- Compare your resume with a job description for the work you're applying for. Have you shown you have the skills the job needs?
- Remember that a resume should give evidence, from what you have done in the past that you have the skills to carry out the job to which your resume is targeted.
- Give your resume a final check.
- Is it neat and tidy?
- Is it clear and logical, with information that is relevant and easy to find?
- Get a friend to look over your resume and give you a second opinion.
- Remember that your resume will need a covering letter, to introduce yourself and summarise the main points that you hope will attract the employer.