A resume is the most important document when applying for a job. Nailing your resume is essential, since it’s the first thing an employer sees. Your resume should outline your educational and working history and essentially make you stand out from all other job applicants. Creating a well-written resume is a must; it doesn’t matter how qualified you are or how suitable you are for the job, if your resume is poorly written then you’re unlikely to make it to the interview stage. The following information can help you with writing a good resume and help you to land your dream job.

What is a resume and why is it important?

A resume is a document that summarises your work experience, education, skills, and achievements. When you apply for a job, your resume is basically a marketing tool selling your biggest asset – yourself! Employers use resumes to help them decide whether you’re suitable for the job. If your resume is well-written and highlights all your important skills and experience, then an employer may decide to call you in for a job interview.

A lot of times when applying for jobs you’re competing with hundreds of other applicants. This is why your resume is important. Your resume gives you that opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make a good first impression.

What to include in a resume

The most important thing to include in your resume is your job history as well as any recent experience that relates to the job you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to list your educational history as well as any relevant courses or certificates you have. Generally, you should set out your resume in this order:

  • Your name and contact details
  • Opening statement/career objective
  • List of key skills
  • List of technical/computer skills
  • Personal attributes
  • Education and qualifications
  • Employment history and volunteer work
  • References/referees

This is just an example, and your resume can be ordered differently depending on your relevant experience and the job you’re applying for. If you’re unsure what to include in your resume or how to start, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional resume writing service or employment agency such as Ability Options, or you can easily look online for sample resumes.

Best ways to approach writing your resume

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by tailoring your resume to suit the job that you’re applying for. Tailoring your resume shows an employer that you care about the job you’re applying for and have made an effort to prove that you are the right person for the job.

If you’re applying for a job that you have had no previous working experience in, then consider listing instead all the traits that you possess which can help you to excel in the job. If you’re applying for a job in HR for example but have no previous experience, list down all the skills you picked up at your previous job or at school which can be transferred into this new role. For example, you may have had experience answering phones or performing general office duties. You might have done a short course in computer programming and can highlight this in your resume. A trick is to look at the job description and figure out what ‘key attributes’ the employer is looking for, and then try to write your resume to highlight those attributes.

The best way to approach writing your resume is to keep it simple. Try to keep the length of your resume between one and three pages. Generally, a resume is laid out in chronological order using bullet points, as this makes it easier for hiring managers to read. When listing your experience, it’s important to list facts and demonstrated examples with a focus on your accomplishments and results. This gives employers a clear example of what you achieved in your past role.

Some employers may also ask that you keep your resume at a certain length, so be sure to thoroughly read the job advertisement before applying. Above all, make sure to keep your resume free from any spelling mistakes or bad grammar. If writing or spelling isn’t your strong suit, then try using an editing service such as Grammarly, or ask a friend to help read over your resume and edit it for you. You may also wish to ask your co-workers, former boss, or submit your resume to a professional expert to help ensure your resume is written and formatted correctly.

Get help writing your resume

Started putting together your resume? Have you noticed that you might be missing a couple of key skills or traits? Reach your employment goals with Ability Options by making sure you have the perfect application combined with your talents – find out more now.

Do you know someone who could benefit from our services?

Refer them to Ability Options to help them get the support they want and deserve.

Refer a Participant