Resume-writing-tips

Expert Advice On How To Get The Job You Deserve

If you are serious about getting a job I can help. I’ve sat on the other side of that hiring table and know exactly what employers are looking for. Plus, having a degree in Behavioural Science and a Diploma of Human Resource Management gives me additional knowledge to help people get jobs. After seeing the job applications people submit, it’s no wonder some remain unemployed or in substandard positions.

RELATED: 6 Resume Writing Tips That Will Give You An Edge

There are plenty of qualified and experienced people out there who expect their credentials to speak for themselves. Trust me, they don’t! Unless you get work through someone you know, landing a job all comes down to the quality of your job application and employment documents.

Recently I began writing professional employment documents like resumes and cover letters. Unlike job networks which rely on people remaining unemployed, I want clients to land the type of job they deserve. I worked for one of these places and lasted less than two months. It was horrible!

So let me get on with the advice: Employers receive plenty of job applications when they advertise a position. They sort them according to how interested they are in hiring you and if your application doesn’t appeal initially, you’ll rarely get a second opportunity to impress them.

What are employers looking for?

Knowing what a potential employer is looking for is vital. It’s not just the information on the page either – there is a lot implied between the lines that potential employers and HR staff search for. This includes:

Is the job important to you?
Have you spent time on your application?
Have you done your homework and know what the job and company are about?
Do you take pride in your work?
Can you meet deadlines?
Can you communicate effectively?
What sort of personality do you have?
Do you have the skills they need?
What sort of experience do you have?
Who can they contact to confirm your claims?

When people submit ten job applications in a day with generic resumes and cover letters, employers recognise it. It doesn’t tell them that you are passionate about working for them, so you will be instantly overlooked. Instead, spend time on job applications and approach each one like you would an interview to get the best results.

The aim of your job application is:

  1. To get you noticed and entice employers to hire you.
  2. Give employers all the information they want in the most effective way possible.

How to get your job application noticed

Submitting a high quality job application is the ONLY way to get noticed. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way.

  1. Documents need be well formatted, well written, without errors and easy to read. When employers look your job application over a second, third and fourth time they will be comparing it to others. If it’s substandard, you and your documents will be cast aside.
  2. Keep documents brief, precise and accurate, but don’t skimp on information. You need to include your qualifications, the skills you have and your previous experience. Resumes produced via instruction of job networks often lack the detail required to secure a job. Remember, their job relies on you not having one!
  3. As a guide if you’ve held several positions and have various qualifications, a resume under 3-4 pages won’t have enough detail.  Your cover letter should be about 1-2 pages, depending on your experience. Key election criteria can vary, but 75-150 words per response should be your aim.
  4. Add some personality and human qualities to your resume and cover letter. This can be done via formatting, backgrounds, images and wording. Tell the employer what sort of person and employee you are. Let them know your most desirable qualities and persuade them to hire you.

Look at your documents objectively and think to yourself, have you told them everything they should know? Has it been presented with effort, care and pride? If you were to compare it to others with similar qualifications and experience, how does it compare? Most importantly, would you hire you? If you aren’t happy with how this initial representation of yourself is portrayed, it will need work. Either do it yourself or hire someone who does it professionally.

One vital tip: If you get employment documents done professionally, make sure they can be self edited! I can’t stress this enough. This can potentially save you a significant amount of money and plenty of grief. Check out the following examples of successful employment documents:

Click here for a resume example

Click here for a cover letter example

Click here for an example of a successful Key Selection Criteria

How to give employers all the information they want

Use the list above which outlines what your resume will tell employers. For example; let them know this job is important to you by spending time on the application, make the resume relevant to the company and position, use keywords mentioned in their mission statements and always get your application in on time. If you can’t submit it in time, be pro-active and contact them to negotiate a deadline.

Also, each industry has keywords you’ll need to include in your resume and cover letter. For example, in the construction industry ‘safety’ and ‘standards’ are primary keywords to include. If it’s the community service sector, use words like non-judgmental, empathy, diversity and tolerance.

What NOT to include in your resume

Lastly, it’s all well and good knowing what to include but you also need to know what to exclude. I recently rewrote a cover letter which highlighted the persons inadequacies instead of focusing on their strengths. Remember to include ONLY information which tells the employer why they should hire you. It’s best to exclude anything which presents you negatively. You’ll have enough competition without taking yourself out of contention!

Image via resumeaust.com

March 9, 2015

Resume Writing Tips

Managing your own career is vital these days and keeping your r?sum? up-to-date and ready to roll is the very least you should be doing.However, rushing your r?sum?s update is not a good idea. This is the first impression a prospective employer will have of you so make sure it’s not also their last impression of you.

To make this important job easier, CareerOne asked Tara West of Aussie R?sum?s to provide her expert tips. Aussie R?sum?s is a professional r?sum? writing service. It also carries out an annual survey of major employers to find out what they want to see and read on a candidate’s r?sum?.

What style should candidates follow when preparing their r?sum??

Tara West says that for most candidates, simple is best. While graphic artists, art directors and other creative roles might require fancy fonts and stand out tricks, most of us should avoid these along with graphics and photos.

“Fonts should be easy to read, information correctly aligned and full justification used,” advises Ms West.

She suggests using good quality white paper for hard copy r?sum?s that will be posted or hand delivered. R?sum?s delivered online should use popular formats such as Word or PDF.

“When emailing your application, keep in mind that certain fonts may be on your computer but not necessarily on another.

“Arial font is widely accepted, is ‘open-faced’ and looks professional. Ensure your font size is readable by viewing your document at page width. Generally 11 point is sufficient.”

How long should my r?sum? be?

For most roles, no more than four pages is required, says Ms West. For senior roles, a r?sum? can be up to six pages.

“It is very rare for an employer to request a one to two page r?sum?,” she says. “From comments received by employers in our survey it was stated that one to two pages does not adequately demonstrate (a candidate’s) skills and qualifications.”

“Of course, an exception to this would be a recent school leaver or TAFE, college or university graduate with limited experience.”

What should I put in my r?sum??

Your r?sum? should contain information relevant to the job application such as employment history, education, training, memberships to industry groups and any industry or work-related awards you have won.

Ms West says candidates can also provide “personal” information they wish the potential employer to know.

“Many employers responding to the Aussie R?sum?s Employer Survey stated that they liked to see a pertinent mix of an applicant’s work and personal life,” says Ms West.

“This provides the employer with the opportunity of not only identifying a candidate’s skills, but also gaining an understanding of the person behind the r?sum?,” she says.

January 14, 2003

Resume Writing Tips Continued

Ms West says that employers taking part in the Aussie R?sum?s survey claimed that “personal” information was not used to make a final decision as to whether or not to employ the candidate.”For recent graduates, your r?sum? needs to demonstrate your educational development and achievements, in addition to highlighting any transferable skills you can apply to the position,” says Ms West.

“As your r?sum? may not demonstrate a vast amount of experience, it will be vital that your application includes a covering letter addressing the advertised criteria,” she says.

“Both the r?sum? and covering letter will be a strong marketing tool.”

“No application is complete without a dynamic covering letter,” says Ms West.

“This compliments your r?sum?s and briefly outlines your expertise.

“Unless addressing selection criteria, your covering letter should be no more than one page, typed in a clear readable font with full justification.”

Should I send my r?sum? by email or should I post a hard copy?

“Overwhelmingly, employers prefer applications by email and in most cases do not require a follow-up in hard copy,” says Ms West.

Most employers advertising a position will say in their ad how they want r?sum?s to be sent to them.

“If you are sending a r?sum? by email, it’s important to email your cover letter and r?sum? as one document and not as two separate attachments,” says Ms West.

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to www.careerone.com.au for more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing: editor@careerone.com.au

January 14, 2003

Resume Writing: What Employers Want to See?


Contemporary advice on resume writing appears to fly in the face of what employers actually want to read in a candidate’s CV, according to a survey of employers.

Aussie Resumes, a professional CV writing service, surveyed 2,000 organisations specifically to ask employers what they wanted to see included in an applicant’s resume.

Senior writer Tara West said key areas included resume length, including a birth date and how referees should be presented.

The majority of employers rejected the accepted wisdom that CVs should be no longer than two pages. Ms West said 82 per cent of respondents regarded the two-page resume as an American format that did not provide Australian employers with the detail they required. She said that the preferred length was three to four pages and up to six pages for a top-level executive.

Birth date is another prickly issue. A growing number of job seekers are choosing not to include their date of birth on their resume, as is their right under privacy and anti-discrimination legislation.

However, only three per cent of the employers surveyed said they didn’t want to see a candidate’s birth date.*

The rest most certainly did. One employer said the reason was that “if applicants don’t supply their date of birth most employers assume they are hiding something negative.”

The Aussie Resumes survey also revealed that 75 per cent of the employers like to read an applicant’s “career objective” in their resume but only if it’s the “right” objective for the role on offer.

The inclusion of full referee details was another issue raised by the survey. Despite the fact that it has become commonplace for candidates to write “referees available upon request” to protect the privacy of those willing to provide them with references, this does not suit many employers.

Ms West said that of the 2,000 employers surveyed, only one found this practice acceptable. All the others wanted to see a list of referees spelt out clearly on the resume.

Finally, you should create a new version of your resume each time you apply for a job to ensure it’s tailored to the specific requirements of the role you are going after. “Employers have told us they don’t like to receive generic resumes,” says Ms West. “They do like an applicant to spend some time structuring their resume to suit the position being advertised. Of particular interest to employers are the applicant’s key competencies and career objectives,” she said. “These details should directly relate to the position being advertised.”

“Also, the cover letter needs to address the specific requirements in the actual advertisement but at the same time be brief and to the point with no waffle. “It is very important that candidates check the job ad carefully to see if a job description or selection criteria is available,” advises Ms West. If these documents are available Ms West urges all job seekers to take the time to get them and then carefully tailor both their cover letter and resume to the key points outlined.

By Kate Southam, editor of www.CareerOne.com.au

* Editor’s note: HR managers know the law about including personal details such as your birth date. If you want to leave your birth date off your CV, then go for it. Sadly, it’s a fact of life that some employers do discriminate along age lines. Shame on them!

Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing: editor@careerone.com.au

November 5, 2002