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Write an outstanding CV or Resume for all job situations. Use your Career Tools to track job selection criteria and tailor your application for every job opportunity.

Resume formatting tips

Use this handy reference guide to make sure your resume looks perfect!

The basics

  • Contact details
  • Include your name contact details clearly at the top of your resume

  • Font
  • Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri or any simple font, size 10-12 point. Be consistent throughout, as multiple fonts look messy.

  • Use headings
  • Begin each section with a simple heading for easy scanning

  • Leave space
  • White space helps you resume to look clean, and organised

  • Justify & align
  • Justify text for neat presentation, and align all headings

  • Use good paper
  • Use paperstock that feels good to touch, preferably in simple white

  • .PDF format
  • Email your resume in .pdf format to preserve formatting and content upon delivery

  • Simple formatting
  • Use bold and underline sparingly and rarely at the same time

  • Page numbers
  • Include in the header or footer

  • One side printing
  • Print your resume on one side of the paper only

  • Spelling
  • Double and triple check. Would you hire someone who can't spell, or who can't be bothered checking their own resume for correct spelling?

  • Grammar
  • The same rules apply to grammar, as apply to spelling. If in doubt, have someone that you trust check and correct your resume.

Exceptions

In creative industries, it is common and accepted practice to enhance the presentation of your resume with colour, graphics and other visual devices, to reflect your creativity and design skills.

Resume Length

There are no universal rules for how long your resume should be. Keep in mind that the purpose of a resume is for you to secure an interview, at which time you can delve into detail about your career history. Leave no doubts as to your capability and interest, while preserving some information for your meeting.

The following lengths should serve as a guide:

1 - 2 pages is a reasonable length for graduates and applicants with relatively little work experience, or when changing careers where you have only limited relevant information to convey.

3+ pages is typical for senior executives or those with extensive career experience and accomplishments.

Consider using an addendum / appendix for additional information.

Language

Use active language to tell what you did, and the result of your actions.

Examples of poor language

  • Implemented compliance procedures
  • Drafted new HR policies
  • Prepared management reports

These statements tell what you did, but fail to impress the reader because they don't say how well you performed your duties.

Examples of better language

  • Implemented new business procedures resulting in effective compliance with AASB101.
  • Designed new HR policies resulting in decreased staff turnover and higher engagement
  • Delivered management reports to deadline to increase decision making effectiveness

Use action verbs to convey a sense of energy, action and achievement.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Corrected
  • Founded
  • Led
  • Researched
  • Analysed
  • Advised
  • Addressed
  • Created
  • Generated
  • Gathered
  • Maintained
  • Reduced
  • Managed
  • Reorganised
  • Operated
  • Delivered
  • Mapped
  • Guided
  • Devised
  • Reported
  • Designed
  • Aided
  • Resolved
  • Improved
  • Headed
  • Represented
  • Monitored
  • Illustrated
  • Developed
  • Helped
  • Negotiated
  • Reviewed
  • Budgeted
  • Identified
  • Scheduled
  • Directed
  • Ordered

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