Here are some ideas on resume layout and content. It’s not comprehensive but it will give you an idea on how professional resume writers approach their work. Putting an summary in up front and focusing on achievements are must-dos.
Put contact details at the top of the page. Include name, address, phone number, mobile and email. Make sure your name and phone/email contacts are on each page just in case the pages get separated after being printed out in hard copy. Only use professional-sounding email addresses.
Keep it simple Font style should be easy to read like 11 point Times New Roman or Arial. Bold for headings is easier to read than bold and underline (overkill). Use dot points if you want, but just the one type. Also avoid colours. The content of the resume is the most important thing.
Summarise your strengths upfront
A Key Strengths or Professional Capabilities area is a good idea. I’ve written these as dot points but you can also write a 70 word paragraph. Write it like you have 15 second to pitch for the job.
- High level computer skills including Excel, Word and Powerpoint.
- Five years experience in customer service both face-to-face and phone based.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills acquired via study and customer service work.
Achievements show potential hirers what you are made of and what they can expect you will do for them, eg:
Current-2017, Customer services manager, A-1 Clothing Care Service, Wollongong
First opened for business in November 2016, the company provides a national telephone and email consumer service to the end users of its 35-fashion retail or design clients.
Manage a team of 30 call centre agents who advise consumers on garment care, product updates and where to purchase particular garments.
Update and distribute new research to call centre agents; manage technology suppliers.
Plan and project manage technology and service improvements.
- Recruited, trained and established a start-up team that was fully operational within a month – one week ahead of schedule.
- Introduced technical efficiencies that resulted in an improved customer response time of 150 percent.
- Worked with the sales team to create new products and services that resulted in a 40 percent increase in our customer base in 2017-2018.
- Named Employee of the Year 2018
Education and Training
Start with your highest qualification first. Unless you are fresh out of school, leave your secondary school history out. Education and Training section can cover university, TAFE training, industry courses, in-house courses, and any other professional training.
Include only those relevant to your career as well as an indication of how active you are in the organisation.
References/Referees come at the end. Names and phone numbers are the most acceptable presentation. Add a sentence: “Written references available upon request”; if you wish.
How long should my resume be?
For school leavers and those that have been in the workforce for a few years, two pages is fine but for everyone else, three is pretty much standard. There’s no hard rule on this. I find shorter is better.