Writing Your First Resume: 10 Things You Must Include

 

1. Contact details

Your name, address, email and telephone number, clearly displayed

  • Is your email address appropriate?
  • Is the message on your mobile phone appropriate?

2. Career Objective

Only include this if the job you are applying for

  • is part of your career plans
    eg To gain experience in office administration prior to studying for a Bachelor of Business in 2012
  • Is related to something you  are passionate interested in
    eg To use my many years of horse management and riding experience to assist in the care of performance horses.

Don’t include a career objective if you just want to “get a job” which has no relation to your interests, career plans or prior experience.

3. Education

Your school and current year level.

  • If your grades are good include them.  If they aren’t it is better to leave them out.

4. Achievements

These important aspects of your life tell a prospective employer a lot about you.  This is not the time to be modest or to underestimate what you have achieved.

Try to write your achievement statements starting with a strong verb eg Achieved, Created, Lead, Managed, Won, Assisted or a passive verb eg Awarded, Given.

  • Awards
  • Leadership positions in school and sport
  • Certificates
  • Special responsibilities
  • Membership of Associations, Choirs, Service Groups  eg lifesavers
  • Membership of sporting teams and years of involvement
  • Achievements in the Arts – Music, Art, Drama

5. Skills

  • Languages
  • High level of mathematical ability
  • Musical ability
  • Technology Skills
  • Basic computer use – Indicate the level
    o Word
    o Excel
    o PowerPoint
    o Internet
  • Advanced computer skills
    o Graphics
    o Photoshop
    o Video editing
    o Excel
    o Solving hardware problems
    o Solving software problems
    o Programming
  • Other technology skills
    o Electronics
    o Film making

 

6. Work Experience

Paid, informal and volunteer work all tell the prospective employer a lot about you.

a) Paid work:
Any work that you have done for an employer where you had to give them your tax file number
Include

 

  • Job title
  • Name and address of employer
  • Dates that you worked for them eg Jan 2009 – April 2010
  • Responsibilities

b) Informal work:
Baby sitting, helping in a family business, pet care or gardening, school work experience.
Include

 

  • Job title
  • Name and address of employer 
  • Dates that you worked for them eg Jan 2009 – April 2010
  • Responsibilities

c) Volunteer work:
Fundraising, door-knocking for recognised charities such as Red Shield Appeal, caring for elderly relative or neighbour, assisting at a school or church function.

 

7. Interests

Let them know something about you as an individual eg singing with a band,  running in fun runs, surfing.
- Modelling, fashion or shopping aren’t interests to list….unless you are looking for work in a fashion retail store and then it would be important to mention these interests!

 

8. Referees

Referees are people who know you as an individual and are willing to speak in support of you.  You must ask someone first before putting them as a referee on your resume.  Consider asking a teacher, family friend, sporting coach or a parent of one of your friends if they are happy to be a referee. It must be someone who actually knows you as a person, not just someone who can say they have known you since you were born  but doesn’t really know much about you as an individual. 

Put their name, relationship to you, phone number and email address at the bottom of your resume. Referees are likely to contacted if a prospective employer is thinking of giving you a job, so it is great if you hear that they have rung your referee.

 

9. Personal Characteristics

Try to demonstrate these in your achievement statements and/or your cover letter.  You can have a section that outlines the sort of person you are, but it is more powerful if you can show them what you are like through the way you write your resume.

 

10. Layout

 

  • Simple clean layout
  • One font throughout
  • Consistent formatting
  • No spelling mistakes  (Don’t trust spellcheck on the computer!)
  • No grammar mistakes
  • No typos

 

Jenni Proctor
http://CareerClarity.com.au