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Resume Writing | Your ticket out of unemployment | Resume Outline

Updated on February 6, 2011

The very basic of resume rules

Your resume is a document that shows your future employer what you can do within the realms of your job.

There are lots of different theories on how and what should be in a résumé. On how many résumés you should create. This is a simple resume guide.

Put in quality time to your resume well and following the guidelines for applying for a job are the key to success in your job search efforts.

Firstly an employer is a busy person, particularly if the employer is conducting the recruiting by themselves. Be mindful of their time.

  1. Keep your resume to the point
  2. List skills about 3 that relate to the job you are applying for
  3. Formatting ensure it is easily scanned in about 20 seconds but more information so it can be read properly later for a more informative decision.
  4. References, list them on your resume, some employers/recruiters will short list based on this alone.

Secondly keep it relevant to the job

Employers don’t need to know your date of birth unless the role is specifically for a certain age group this by the way is discrimination and mostly illegal in most countries.

  1. Your date of birth doesn’t need to be on your resume
  2. Your nationality doesn’t need to be on your resume
  3. Your drivers licence is a major advantage so put it on
  4. Interests, keep them legal and that show you have a life outside of work only list 4

Resume outline in 7 easy steps

1. Career Objective

Only if you are applying for that specific career of your dreams should you put a career objective and it should be more than – Surgeon. It should be a passionate statement about what you want out of your career. However looking forward. Ie. I want to work for the top surgical hospital in world and name on the top, is probably not going to get a job at one of the other top surgical hospitals. The bigger mistake is putting in something completely irrelevant. Personally its best not to a career objective unless its a creative and passionate statement about the the career.

2. Skills and Personal Attributes

This should be a list of your skills and personal attributes that should match the job you are applying for. While its a list Bold the skill and then write a blurb using previous experience to demonstrate your understanding of this position.

3.Employment History

The last job your worked should be at the top of this list, as its most relevant and shows your most recent employment history, as the may be confused by a person who worked last at something completely irrelevant. To keep it tidy the format should look something like this:

2009 - 2010 Company Name town, state
Your role

  • duties
  • list the most important ones
  • Or most relevant to the job you are applying for

4. Education

Some professionals will tell you to put this first, however if you only have very basic qualifications or a similar education not exactly what they are looking for I put it here. No need to expand on it a lot, just where you studied what year you finished name of qualifications.

5. Volunteer work

It's not a deal breaker if you don't have a volunteer history but it sure does help. Similar to employment, only list details if exactly relevant to the job.

6. Interests

List four maximum, and don’t give it a higher placement on the resume. It is not vital for an employer to know your interests, but it is a good gage of well rounded person.

7. Referees

At least 3 and make sure they will say good things about you.
Name - position where - phone number

Written references are great, however provide them up front as references on request generally mean to an employer you don’t have any. Some recruiters will not take an application further with out references. It is very easy to scan in your written references.


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    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 6 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      That's the spirit!

    • Davorunner profile image

      Davorunner 6 years ago from Australia

      You're right about it being almost a science! Well for now as long as I'm still looking, who knows what might happen?

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 6 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      It is incredibly depressing and awful to have to keep putting yourself out their to be rejected. However you need to understand that there are so many factors involved in choosing employees its almost a science to guess what "which" employer is looking for.

      It's best though to accept that you will get rejected a lot of times, choose a huge number.

    • Davorunner profile image

      Davorunner 6 years ago from Australia

      Hmm You have an excellent point about the tailor made resume's I'll have to give it a try.

      Sometimes they just fired people because they are cleaning house, and eliminating people they dont need. You DO raise a good point there, though.

      It gets really depressing the more you try and fail, but I guess I just have to keep trying 'till I succeed.

      A lot of good ideas here

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 6 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      Davorunner, I believe that for every job you apply for you should tailor your resume. I do appreciate that it makes it more work, but it really is worth it. And all employers should feel like they are the chosen job (becuase those are the only people they give jobs to, as they hate having to constantly hire and train.)

      Thanks for your feedback. Yep this economy is difficult and that is why its so much more important to tailor your resume to every job.

      Ha ha, that's classic, about the "we just fired some people" Although the thing is they might be just cleaning house wanting some fresh faces! So you might be in for a chance!! :)

    • Davorunner profile image

      Davorunner 6 years ago from Australia

      This is really good. Unfortunately mine is more of a general one as I'm not seeking specific jobs... it is pretty hard in this economy though I've had the reply back more than once "We just fired some people but I'll take your resume anyway"