Resumes 101: Tips to Help Land Your Next Job

The key to any job application is a good resume, standing like a trophy case showing off all your achievements. It’s one of the first things an employer sees when they’re looking to hire someone, so if you’re going to land that interview for your next job, you’ve got to make sure you have a killer resume.

Whether you’re going for your first graduate position or want to level up your career, showing off your education, skills, and experience with a well-written resume is a great way to make a good first impression on a potential employer.

So, welcome to Resumes 101. Whether you’ve never written a resume before in your life, or are about to send one off for the hundredth time, this crash course of do’s and don’ts should help put you in the best position to land your next job.

The DO’s

Prioritize important information – You shouldn’t be submitting a generic catch-all resume. You know what position you’re applying for, so put the most relevant experience, skills, and education front and centre. If you’re going for a position as an office manager, you could highlight your Diploma of Business Management from SIBT.

Make it easy to skim – Hiring managers often don’t have time to read through every little detail of each resume they receive, so keep things concise. Try using short (2 lines max) bullet points, write either your previous companies or roles in bold, and be sure not to squish everything together. 

Have a separate ‘skills’ section – Putting all your relevant skills in one easy-to-read spot helps show the employer that you’re exactly the person they’re looking for. You still need to highlight them in the context of past experience though, you can’t just say ‘Teamwork’ and leave it at that.

No experience? No worries! – If you’re going for your first graduate position, or entering a new industry for the first time, you should focus on showing off transferrable skills, side projects, or academic experience. Pair this with a strong cover letter and you’re good to go.

PROOFREAD! – There’s nothing more embarrassing than realizing you misspelled a word after you’ve sent off your application. Get a friend or family member to have a look at your resume before you submit it.

The DON’Ts

Tell your life story – A resume isn’t a complete history of everything you’ve done, rather, it’s kind of like a marketing flyer selling you as the best person for a job. A firm looking for an IT support officer won’t be interested in your high school Maccas tenure, so don’t brag about it too much. Instead, tell them all about your Diploma of IT from SIBT and highlight the skills you learned completing it.

Get too fancy with the formatting – It’s great to have your resume stand out, but don’t go overboard with the design. Unless you’re a graphic designer of course, go nuts! Make sure it’s professional above all else, using the same fonts everywhere and appropriate sizes for each aspect. Contact details, keywords, and sections should be clearly visible.

Explain why you want the position – That should be done in your cover letter. The only time you might mention this in your resume is if you’re changing industries, but make sure to keep it brief.

Forget the submission requirements – Sometimes employers request applications in a specific format, like a PDF or .docx file, so be sure to check that you’re sending them what they’re expecting.

Final thoughts…

Having a good resume can make the difference between landing an interview and never hearing back, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Sometimes it can be tricky figuring out just what you should and shouldn’t have in there, but not to worry, our Student Learning Advisors are there to lend you a helping hand.

Looking to add another qualification to your resume? With SIBT, you can earn diploma certification in just 8 to 12 months, picking up the knowledge and skills of industry professionals there to guide you every step of the way. If you decide you want to take things to the next level, you can take advantage of guaranteed entry into year 2 of a bachelor’s program at Western Sydney Uni, Sydney City Campus. With flexible study options and 3 intakes every year, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your resume.

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