Building your résumé

Illustrative representation of Building your résumé

There's lots of advice out there on how to create the 'perfect' résumé, but what does that even mean?

A 'perfect' résumé successfully communicates to an employer that you are the right person for the job.

Start simple

If you’ve never written a résumé before or it’s been a while, try taking it back to basics. 

Start by doing a brain dump of all the important information about you.

Write down your:

  • contact details - include your name, email and mobile number
  • skills and achievements - include both the technical and employability skills you have gained from work, hobbies, volunteering, etc
  • work experience - include all your previous workplace experience, even if it was unpaid or volunteer work
  • education and course/s completed - include your highest level of schooling and anything after that
  • qualifications, registrations and licences - include things like a driver's licence, safety white cards, First Aid certificates, formal industry certificates, etc  
  • referees - include contact details for at least two referees who can support your application for the job - always ask them before including them!


Tailor your résumé to meet an employer’s needs

This 'master' résumé' will form the basis for the individually tailored résumés that you will develop when applying for specific jobs. Tweaking your existing résumé (rather than starting from scratch each time) will dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to develop a tailored résumé. You'll just need to remove information that isn't relevant, include the employer's key words and/or tweak your phrasing to make a résumé that is relevant to a specific job and employer.

Need help with formatting? Use a résumé template!

Basic résumé builders are usually free. Type 'resume builder' into your internet search engine. Most will require a basic login function (registering your name and email address) to access a selection of standard format résumé templates which you can update and/or retrieve as you need it. Your word processing software may also offer a range of basic résumé templates you can use.

These tools can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.