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How to write a Resume

Writing a resume can be a daunting task. Whether you're at the beginning of your career or looking for your next job, your resume tells the employer if you're a valuable fit for their organisation.

Unsure where to start? These 9 steps will help you write a resume from scratch, putting your best foot forward - all on one page.

 

 

1. Choose a Format

The first thing you need to do is decide on the overall look of your resume. It's a little known fact that recruiters typically take a glance at a resume before deciding to properly read it and proceed with an interview. This is why it's important to select a clear layout.

A typical resume will cover:

  • Your work experience
  • Your non-work experience, including professional organisations, community involvement, or side projects
  • Your education and certifications
  • Your skills (specifically hard skills) and interests

The most common layout is the reverse chronological order. This means you organise your experiences from most recent to least recent.

Alternatively, you can opt for a combination resume. This is a mix between a reverse chronological resume and skills-based resume. It highlights your skills at the top and then your job and school experience below.

A great starting place is a pre-made outline, such as these free Google Docs templates. Canva also has a fantastic range of templates you can customise!

2. Start with Basic Information

Your contact information should always go at the top of your resume. If an employer can’t contact you, there’s no point in perfecting the rest of your resume.

Information you will need to include:

  • Your full name (preferably the name you use across the web)
  • Your phone number
  • Your personal email address

Additionally, you can include:

  • Social handles (if relevant to your job) 
  • Personal Website URL
  • Your address
  • If you're open to relocating (if relevant to your job) 

3. Add in your Work Experience 

This is the juicy part of your resume. 

You’ll want to include:

  1. Each official job title, the company. 
  2. The years you worked there.
  3. Below that, you’ll add into a few bullet points explaining what you did in that job. Include the skills you built,  the tools you used, and the outcomes of what you did.
  4. Don't forget to mention any accomplishments you made during your time there. 

It should look something like this:

Job Title, Workplace 

Start date or employment - End date of employment (Current - if you are currently in that role)

  • Bullet points outlining your responsibilities, contributions and achievements.

Where relevant include/attach examples of your previous work.

4. Consider Including Volunteer Work or Other Experience

This section is helpful if you have limited work experience or are looking to showcase how well-rounded you are.

Some examples you can include:

  • And additional jobs/side jobs you have
  • Volunteer work
  • Special projects
  • Leadership experiences
  • Any clubs or organisations you have been involved in

5. Education

If you’re still in school or have just graduated, your education can go at the top of your resume, but for everyone else, this goes near the bottom.

Again, list everything reverse chronologically. This will include your school, degree(s), any awards, thesis, exchange/study abroad. Make sure to include the dates you started and completed (or ended) that specific level of education.  

6. Top it off with Skills and Interests

Here you will list any hard skills and applications you’re familiar with, specifically those that are relevant to the job.

Consider also listing any hobbies you may have in a separate section below. It can be a great conversation starter with the employer, and it can indicate that you’re a good culture fit.

7. Consider a Resume Summary Statement

Although they aren't common, you may want to include a summary near the top of your resume if you would like to add clarity or context to your resume.

8. Tailor it to the Job

Once you have typed out your resume, it's essential to revisit the job description to the role you are applying for and make sure your resume presents itself as the candidate they are looking for. 

It's a good idea to tailor your resume to include the same language they're looking for. Do any of their desired skills and experience match up with yours, if so, have you included it in your resume?

9. Edit and Refine it

After you're done, make sure to look over it again. Once you’ve given it a few good looks, consider sending it to a friend or colleague to get a second opinion. Ask them to provide feedback on your resume. It's a good idea to send the job description too, so they can see if your resume is addressing it appropriately. 

These steps are courtesy of TheMuse.

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