1. Layout

Successful resumes are resumes that are easy and inviting to read. There must be plenty of white space and the layout should have a ‘logical’ flow. A confusing layout that is too busy will not entice the reader to spend any time reading your document. If the resume is too hard to read, then it will be placed at the bottom of the pile. Your resume should be professional looking, fresh, well written and applicable to the position that you are applying for. Try to avoid using short statements because your resume may end up looking like a shopping list.

2. Spelling and grammar

Poor spelling and grammar are some of the most common errors made on a resume. Nothing looks worse than seeing a document submitted with words underlined in red showing the spelling errors that have not been corrected. Take the time to use the spell check and/or ask a friend to read over your document as an extra precaution. Make sure that you use the Australian dictionary when using spell check on your computer.

3. Resume length

A resume that is too long can most often hinder your job application. No one wants to sit and read 10 pages of technical jargon that in most instances, may not even be relevant to that particular role. A successful resume should be no longer than 3 to 4 pages and should relate directly to the role that you are applying for. A resume that is too short can also be overlooked. Make sure that your resume confidently displays your strengths and experiences and highlights how you would be the most suitable candidate for the role.

4. Generalised skill set

To ensure that YOUR resume stands out, do not use generalised terms for your skills and strengths. You need to catch the attention of the reader and make them feel like you are worthy of an interview. If 99% of the job applicants use the phrase ‘Excellent customer service skills’, you need to be the one that says something different. Example – ‘Excellent client service credentials, delivering a service that is dedicated, constant and outstanding’.

5. Resume focus

Make sure that your resume is focussed on the skills and attributes advertised in the role. You will need to highlight your abilities and the ways in which you would suit the position. A resume that lacks focus will be overlooked.

How to Write a Winning Resume, with Ramit Sethi

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