Start with your name at the top, not ‘CV’. Format it to be in large letters (larger than the rest of the document, so it stands out), and in the middle of the page. The next section must cover your personal details. One important thing to remember is to discover what the cultural norms of resume writing are in the country you are applying for. i.e. in Australia and the U.S., you are not expected to give you address or place a photo of yourself, while in most European countries you are. Make sure you put your email and telephone at least. You can also put ‘Drivers licence’ or ‘Completed Service’ (military) depending on the country and position you are applying for. Remember that a resume is all your future employer has to go by, so it is all about first impressions. The more you know about your employer before applying, or even the HR rep him/herself, the better you can sell yourself to them.
Next put a title on the left hand side of your document ‘Employment’. For each employment, list the dates between which you worked, the name of your employee, the position you held, and 1-2 major accomplishments. Your employer will hire the person who is best fit for the position, meaning the person who excels at the work that will be required of him/her, will fit into company’s culture, and will bring something new and amazing to the company. So do not be afraid of ‘showing off’ slightly, as your employer knows nothing about you. He/she is only just getting introduced by your resume and cover letter.
Only list relevant work experiences, i.e. do not list ‘worked in a café’ for a position in finance. Alternatively, you can list some slightly different occupations with notes underneath on how it is relevant and what you drew out of it that you can bring to your new job. i.e. Military Service can be good for a management position due to learning leadership, attention to detail, and responsibility.
Next under the title of education list any relevant courses or learning that you experienced in the field you are required to work. Finally finish with “other achievement, awards and interests”. Under this section place anything else you would like to add i.e. ‘2011 Entrepreneurship Award from RMIT University’. You can also list sports and hobbies to help your assessor see you as a full person, someone who will be part of the team and not just a robot machine.
Keep in mind to accentuate the most recent work experiences and or studies you completed. You employer will not be so interested of you amazing achievements 5 years ago as he/she will be of those in the past few years. Also remember to keep it relevant – i.e. you may not want to list professional football player when applying for a job in accounting, unless this was a side achievement or extracurricular activity. Side achievements, hobbies and extracurricular activities, even if payed, should be under the “other achievements, awards and interests” heading.
Finally, remember to keep your formatting neat and tidy. Your resume must look nice and be easily readable, or else the HR representative will simply throw it away. It must also contain good information to back up your neat, tidy, professional and high achieving personality (this is always the personality you are trying to bring across). The next step for you is to open a sample resume on Google, and start building a resume. The tips provided in this article have been given to me by a HR rep in a top-tier global company so I suggest you use them rather than those of sample resumes.