Resumes: Let’s Talk Essentials

Article - Resumes lets talk essentials

The purpose of a resume is to demonstrate your suitability for a particular position with the intent of progressing to the following stages of the recruitment process.

The best resumes follow a straightforward structure that is simple in nature and easy to read. Your key selling points should be on the first page of the resume and easily identifiable. Remember that the reader may only spend 10 – 15 seconds viewing your resume at first glance so you want your resume to make an impact straight away.

Below are key things that should be included in your resume to help it stand out.

Contact and personal details

Your resume should include your full name, phone number, email address, and the area you live in. This is the information that the employer needs to be able to contact you to progress your application so it’s important that it is accurate and easily identifiable. Remember a good resume is user friendly!

Career Profile

This section should be similar to the summary section on your LinkedIn Profile. Include the most important things about yourself in this summary, consider what you would include if this section was the only part of your resume actually read.

Generally the summary will include your current position and employer, your most relevant qualification, other relevant previous positions held and a summary of key areas of knowledge or experience. You may also like to outline your career ambitions.

Education/ Qualifications

After your career profile you should outline any education and/or qualifications that you have completed. A good tip for this is to list your most significant qualifications at the top and make sure they are easily identifiable. You should consider the relevance of the qualification or education being on your resume.

Remember don’t waste prime space on your resume with unimportant information that is not relevant for the position you’re applying to. You can also outline significant awards or achievements, for example apprentice of the year.

Work Experience

Next it’s time to demonstrate your previous experience. A general rule is that it should be outlined in a chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Clearly identify the company and the role you held at that company as well as the duration. In this area you should list your key responsibilities and achievements under each position.

Wherever possible quantify your experience and achievements for example I managed a team of 5 – the amount of people that you managed is the quantifying of the responsibility. When outlining your experience include a combination of soft and hard skills. You can read more about soft and hard skills here.

Extracurricular Activities

This is an opportunity to outline any other activities that you have undertaken that are work or educationally related or volunteer positions. Examples can include university groups, volunteering causes and sport committees that you are a part of. This is also another great opportunity to highlight other relevant soft and hard skills that you have not already demonstrated in your work experience.

Personal Interest and Hobbies

The relevance of including this on your resume is debatable. As long as it is not taking up prime space or is included at the expense of other relevant information there is no harm in including it. It can actually be a good way to demonstrate the person behind the resume. It can also be a good way to build a connection with the viewer – especially if you happen to share an interest or hobby.


  • Include your contact details
  • Make it user friendly
  • Make key selling points easily identifiable
  • Keep key information on the first page of your resume
  • Quantify your experiences and achievements with facts and numbers
  • Identify your soft and hard skills
  • Sell sell sell!

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