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A resume (also known as Curriculum Vitae) is a snapshot summarising your qualifications, skills and qualities. The information you provide is used by the employer to determine if you met the job requirements and whether or not to select you for an interview.

To make a good first impression, a well-written resume needs to be clear, concise, and neatly organised with content relevant to the position you are applying for.

What to include

Personal details
  • First and last names
  • Current address (and postal address if different)
  • Home and mobile phone numbers (recorded messages should be professional, if applying for work overseas, include international codes)
  • Email address (avoid using unprofessional email addresses)
  • Citizenship or residency status (only if requested by the employer)

Don't include personal information such as your date of birth.
Education
  • Course dates (eg 2010 - current)
  • Full course name/qualification
  • Include majors or minors
  • Educational institute
  • Achievements and awards related to your course and any course related research projects that are relevant to the job.
Skills and qualities
  • Highlight your skills that are relevant to the job (look at the job ad or selection criteria)
  • Include any technical, generic or transferable skills (eg team work, problem solving)
  • Write these as a dot point summary and provide an example of each.
Career objective
This section is optional and should be a short, targeted statement that is specific to the job explaining why you are applying.
Employment history
  • Period of work
  • Job title
  • Business name
  • Key responsibilities (summarise in a dot point list, with the sentence starting with an action word ie. advised customers of various products).
  • Achievements and results
It is usual to list your jobs starting with the most recent. However, if you have course-related jobs you can include these first by using section headings. Include jobs from the past five to six years that demonstrate the skills the employer is looking for.
Voluntary and community work
  • Period of work
  • Title
  • Organisation name
  • Key responsibilities
  • Achievements
Include participation in community work, clubs, sporting associations or youth groups. This shows initiative, leadership and interpersonal skills.
Professional development and further training
  • Relevant certificates, short courses and training
  • Period of training
  • Title
  • Training provider, organisation or association name
Achievements
  • Awards and prizes
  • Scholarships
Professional memberships
  • Name of Professional organisation
  • Period of membership
  • Scholarships
  • Work achievements - e.g. employee of the month
Interests and hobbies
Write a dot point summary of your personal interests such as community, sporting or cultural activities.
Referees
List two or three people who have seen what you are able to do in an employment or academic environment. Try not to include friends or family members or non-work referees. Always get permission from referees before including their details on your resume. For each referee, include:
  • Name
  • Job title
  • Organisation
  • Phone number
  • Email address
Otherwise, write 'referees are available on request' and have their details ready to provide to an employer when asked.

Resume tips

Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Create different resumes for jobs that are academic, casual, graduate, postgraduate, voluntary, vacation, industry-based learning or in the creative industries.

Format

  • Use 10-12 point standard fonts (eg Times New Roman, Arial).
  • Write in plain business English (avoid SMS language, abbreviations, jargon and slang).
  • Use sub-headings and bulleted lists to draw attention to important information.
  • Ensure plenty of white space between paragraphs and margins that are not too narrow.
  • Write in the third person, don't use I, me or my.
  • The layout (including indent alignments) must be consistent throughout the resume.

Length

  • 2 - 3 pages for a graduate with little professional work experience.
  • 3 - 4 pages for a graduate with a considerable work history.

Styles - there are three main types

  • Hybrid - this is the most suitable for graduates as it combines the best features of the chronological and functional styles.
  • Chronological (reverse) - information is listed in order from most current employment/work history.
  • Functional - highlights your skills and achievements (good to use if you are changing careers).

Check out the different styles by viewing our sample resumes.

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Monash University Gippsland students studying at Federation University, view details on services provided.

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