How to write a winning resume

How to Write a Job-Winning Resume

Top tips to ensure you secure an interview

Hey there job seeker!
Your resume is the golden ticket to impress potential employers, so let’s make it shine! Follow along to check out our tips for effectively communicating your skills, education, and experience—regardless of whether you’re just starting out in the workforce or have years under your belt.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of updating your resume, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

1. Cover the basics

First thing’s first, let’s jot down your essential information:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • Your LinkedIn URL (show off your professional side!)
  • Your availability (if applying for a part-time or casual gig)

2. Prepare your summary

Next up, it’s time to prepare your summary. You can think of this as your ‘elevator pitch’ that sells you by summarising what you have to offer in a few short sentences.

Be sure to include information about your experience, professional accomplishments, and the value you can bring to the company.

For example:

“A university student with a strong passion for delivering high-quality customer service. I am seeking to develop my experience and grow my career in a fast-paced retail environment.”

“A high-performing store manager with over five years’ experience in retail management. I have strong demonstrated skills in customer service, staff management, and consistently meeting and exceeding sales targets.”

“A personable food service team member with 12 months’ experience in a fast-paced hospitality environment. After building my customer service skills, I am eager to advance my career with a new position within a food service company.”

Next, create a list of at least six soft skills and six hard skills. Soft skills are communication skills, time management, teamwork, work ethic, and problem-solving. Hard skills involve technical knowledge such as computer, project management, and marketing skills.

3. Detail your experience and education

When it comes to highlighting your experience, it’s important to outline it in a clear and impactful manner. Write a list of your previous work experience and responsibilities, listed from most recent to least recent.

When it comes to listing your experience it’s best to keep things fresh and relevant. You want to showcase your recent and most fitting experience for the position you’re after. So, try not to go too far back in time (around 10 to 15 years should do the trick!).

For each job, use bullet points to describe your role, including your responsibility and achievements. Be sure to use action-oriented words to describe your responsibilities, rather than simply providing a list of your duties. For example, rather than simply stating ‘roster management’, you could say ‘effectively managed staff roster to ensure the consistent smooth-running of the store’. If you have not had any experience, instead, list any volunteer work, special school projects or achievements.

Then, provide a summary of your education history and any certificates or qualifications. If you have completed any relevant short training courses, we recommend including them within this section too!

It’s generally a good idea to limit the number of past jobs you list to around 7. That way, you won’t distract the recruiter with an overload of information. Instead, keep it focused and engaging.

4. Include references

Finally, finish off by providing contact details for two references who can vouch for you and your skills. For those who have had a job before, it’s best to opt for a past boss, manager or colleague. If you’re new to the work force and just starting out, perhaps you could list a family friend, sports coach or teacher.

Make sure you contact your references in advance to ensure they are happy to provide you with a reference. Alternatively, you may note that references are available upon request. You’ll lay a solid groundwork of trust and dependability by incorporating references into your resume.

5. Review and edit your writing  

Once you’ve wrapped up your draft, it’s time to proofread! Read your resume out loud and keep those eagle eyes peeled for sneaky spelling mistakes or pesky typos. If you can’t spot any errors, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to give it a once-over. After all, two pairs of eyes are better than one, right?

When reviewing, be sure to check that your resume reads as a quick snapshot, not an essay! If it stretches beyond one or two pages, take a moment to assess and snip out any unnecessary information. Your resume should get straight to the point, keeping all sections short and sweet.

6. Choose the right format 

You know what they say about first impressions, right? Well, resumes are no exception! Employers often judge a resume based on its presentation, so it’s important to make it shine.

Keep it sharp and clean by using a consistent font while also paying attention to formatting details. Trust us when we say that a visually appealing and well-structured resume will grab their attention and leave a lasting impression.

7. Send it to employers

Now it’s time to get the job hunt started. Send your shiny new resume off to potential employers with a personalised email or cover letter. Good luck—you’ve got this!

Further information

Hungry for more information? Check out these additional resources:

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