Your job application: How to write a resume to impress

Prepare the résumé

Winning Resumes

The goal of a résumé (resume) is to get you an interview so it needs to encourage the employer to notice you and want to find out more about you at an interview. Build a base résumé that you can tweak for each position that you go for. There is no right way to write a résumé, and ultimately you need to make judgements about your documents.

In Australia, a résumé is also called a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and is usually between 3 and 4 pages. In some other countries, there is a distinction between the two, where the CV is much more comprehensive and a longer document.

Résumé formats.

• CHRONOLOGICAL – This is a traditional résumé and lists your education and work history in reverse date order with the emphasis on your work history.
• SKILLS-BASED OR FUNCTIONAL – The focus here is on demonstrating your skills relevant to the job, with less emphasis on your work history.
• HYBRID or COMBINATION – I prefer this kind of résumé as it is a combination of the chronological and skills-based résumé. It gives you the opportunity to highlight skills and experiences gained both at work, studies and life in general.

Résumé Layout

Remember employers allow between 30 seconds and 4 minutes to read your résumé. Your goal is to get them to not only begin to read the résumé but to keep reading…right to the end! The first page is prime real estate for you.
Therefore, your résumé needs to catch the reader’s attention and be clear and easy to read.
Here’s a checklist for you to consider as you draft your résumé.
The layout or setting out of your résumé needs to be consistent the whole way through.
• Have white spaces
• Keep headings consistent. For example, if you leave a line beneath a heading you need to do this after each heading not just sometimes.
• Bold text for keywords you want to draw the reader’s attention to.
• The text should have a consistent font and size, for example Arial, 12.
• Generally you would only reflect the past 10 years experience unless it is relevant. Anything older is possibly too dated.
• Do not include photos or logos.
• Avoid writing acronyms – write everything in full.

Suggested headings for a hybrid résumé.

Personal details
Career objective (future) or Career profile (summary of past experience).
Skills and achievements
Employment history
Professional Associations
Interests (if applicable).

When the time is right for you to take more action, you are welcome to email me at

Bye for now,