10 tips from a recruiter on how to write the resume that will land you a job interview.

Resume writing can be super tough - what to include, what not to include, how many pages, what structure - the questions are endless.

Of course some aspects of resume writing do come down to personal preference, but there are some must-dos that everyone should consider implementing. But don't take it from me - take it from these recruitment experts instead.

Mamamia spoke to experts in the industry about how to craft the best resume

As one says, "Your resume is the most important tool that you have to impress potential employers or inform recruitment companies. Particularly when competing with multiple other applicants, your resume is a vital tool to differentiate yourself, capturing attention, and showcasing how well aligned you are with both the role and the company you’re applying to."

So without further ado, here are ten tips on how to create the resume of an employer's wildest dreams.

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1. Craft a strong lead.

According to the Director of Robert Half, Nicole Gorton, being able to sell yourself and your abilities in the first section of your resume is key.

"Hiring managers are evaluating a number of applications at any time so the top of the page is valuable real estate that can either capture or lose their attention," she explains.

"Think of these important two or three sentences as your 30-second elevator pitch - they should quickly summarise your experience and training and highlight your relevant skills for the role you're seeking. If making a pivot or career change, you should also reinforce how your personal or professional background lends itself to the new career direction."


2. Keywords are crucial.

"The most effective step to getting noticed is building out your resume with appropriate keywords," says Nicole from Robert Half.

"Many companies scan resumes and cover letters for the keywords used in their job postings. Tailor your resume for every job description you reply to by including some of the language the company uses."

3. Quantify your impact.

Another must-do is quantifying the positive impact you have had in previous roles, says Nicole.

Examples could include data specifics, anecdotes of your work that led to a development/improvement/sale and/or success, or even a note of how quickly you received a promotion or were given more responsibility. 

"The bulk of your resume should focus on your work experience with a results-driven approach to describing your duties and accomplishments. That means including specific information about how you benefited a project or the company using data or clear outcomes."

4. Stick to a simple, efficient and clean format. 

This is especially important when sending your resume to a recruiter or submitting your resume via job recruiting platforms such as Seek or Indeed.

"If the resume is made in a complicated format, then it makes it hard for the recruiter or employer to read. A simple Word document is the best way to go for readability," says Joanna Ward, the Co-Founder and Director from MAYDAY Recruitment.

Some may have resumes with brightly-coloured boxes, but Joanna suggests keeping things simple and monochrome.

"If you're applying for a job in a creative industry, then it may be an exception but overall it's best to stick to neutral tones - particularly just a white background with black writing."

She continues: "The biggest thing, for me is attention to detail. Make sure your fonts are all flowing through nicely, your bullet points are in alignment, and there are no spelling or grammar errors too. A big mistake that people make is they'll have one CV and then they'll just add and add to it over the years. But in doing this, there are often different fonts or inconsistent capitilisation. So always make a point to have a really good look through your resume before sending - there's a level of detail required."

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5. Be sure to include a web link to your LinkedIn page in your resume.

It's important to showcase a personal brand. And there's no better way to do this efficiently and quickly than with a link to your LinkedIn page included in your resume. 

"This is a great idea," Joanna from MAYDAY Recruitment says. "Just make sure to update your LinkedIn to match your resume and ensure there are no discrepancies."

6. Say what you are looking for.

For those who are applying for lots of different job ads or sending their resume to a recruiter, it's great to note in your resume exactly what you're looking for.

Are you only up for permanent work? Are you open to part-time or temping roles? Whatever the case, be sure to specify.

7. It's okay to have gaps in your resume - just acknowledge and explain them.

For many of us, there have been periods in our working lives where we haven't worked for a certain reason.

And when it comes to listing the dates of work experience, the gaps are easy to spot. And that's okay - we just need to explain for them.

As Joanna from MAYDAY Recruitment says: "It's always good to account for your time. If there happen to be gaps for whatever reason, it is better to acknowledge the gap rather than 'hide it under the rug'. Examples could include parental leave, maternity leave, looking after an ill loved one or travelling."

Joanna also recommends including a short brief on each company you have worked for - a short sentence or two explaining the company itself and what it does should suffice. 


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8. Birthday dates and photos continue to be no-goes. 

The same goes for anything on the personal side, including addresses as well.

"We tend to steer clear of including images, birthday details or a residential address as these things can leave you open to discrimination or privacy issues," said Joanna from MAYDAY Recruitment.

"An employer will get an idea of your age anyway based on your work experience. And instead of writing a full residential address, opt for just a suburb and state."

9. Reinforce your skills.

When looking over your resume - because remember, multiple edits and check throughs are needed - be sure to go over the job description again. By going over the job description with a fine-tooth comb, you will see which of your skills need to be promoted more in your resume.

As Nicole from Robert Half suggests: "Using the job description as a guide, discuss your expertise with the software or technical expertise required for the role. It's also good to include certifications and training in a list format. The same approach applies to outlining soft skills - when talking about a responsibility, be sure to include relevant interpersonal skills like problem solving, adaptability, leadership and collaboration."

10. Last but not least - be unique.

At the end of the day, you want to stand out to your future employer. So there's nothing wrong with injecting a little bit of personality and uniqueness into your resume.

Are you part of a social group? A local sports club? Do you have an interesting hobby which relates in some way to the role you're applying for?

As Nicole from Robert Half explains: "Many hiring managers like to gain a more complete picture of potential employees so don't be afraid to mention some outside interests, particularly those that relate to essential soft skills. Captaining a social sport or organising a community group shows leadership, artistic extracurriculars suggest creativity of thought while foreign language fluency is a great way to standout in a multinational organisation."

Do you have any resume-related tips and advice? Let us know in the comments below!

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