Tips and advice for writing a good resume

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Advice on writing a resume

The aim of a good resume is to demonstrate your skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

If you haven't had a lot of work experience, you may need to think of more innovative ways to communicate your skills (for example like listing any work experience you may have done).

There is no set format for writing a resume, however it may help to take into account the following areas listed below:

Resume considerations

Resume layout

Example of a resume


ConsiderationsResume considerations

Give consideration to your layout:

  • Keep it simple - use fonts that are easy to read (Arial 11 points).

  • Use clear, bold headings for each section.

  • Aim to keep the size to about 2 pages.

  • Use bullet point format to list various skills and experience.

  • Avoid using big blocks of text to describe your skills.

  • Accompanying the resume with a presentable photo of yourself can often be a benefit.

  • Keep your resume black text on white background.

  • Use spell and grammar check on your document and if your English is not perfect, get an English-speaking friend to proof read your resume.


Resume layoutResume layout

A standard format includes:

Contact details

  • Centre contact details at the top of the page.

  • Include name, address, phone number, mobile and email (you should also include your name and phone/email contacts on the top of all pages in your resume).

Personal / Career Statement

  • This is about communicating your strengths upfront.

  • This section is trying to grab the employer's attention as to why they should consider you and to also convince them to keep reading. Keep it to just a few short sentences and cover all the bases - skills, experience and attributes. You may even like to use dot points to highlight your key skills that would be relevant towards the job you are applying for.

  • It is a good idea to also include; that if you are on a Working Holiday Visa, when you are able to start work; and how long you are able to commit to.

Employment History / Work Experience

Outline your employment and work experience history in reverse chronological order.

You should include:

  • Job title,

  • Employer - include the name of the employer and a couple of words describing the employers business (e.g. retail clothing store) and location of employment.

  • Dates of employment - when did you start working for them, when did you finish.

  • Your responsibilities - Keep this brief (3 to 5 dot points). Here you are trying to match the responsibilities of the job you are applying for (look at the job requirements), to the responsibilities of where you worked previously (even if the job was nothing like the one you are applying for). For example, if you are applying for a waitering job and have no waitering experience, focus on how your previous roles may have involved face-to-face communication and customer service.

Educational Experience

  • Outline your education in highest qualification first.

  • Include your university, college and school details.

  • Also, include any courses you may have done in preparation for the job you are applying for e.g. Responsible Service of Alcohol course (often can be done as a separate heading).


Some people choose to include their referees while others do not.

Option 1:
Referees will be provided upon request


Option 2:
Name: Referees name
Relationship: (Provide details of the professional relationship that had with you e.g. former manager at Company XYZ)
Referees contact details: email, phone number


Resume layoutExample resume

Joe Blogs
123 Sydney St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone 0444 123 456
D.O.B. 23 March 1990
Nationality: United Kingdom
Working Holiday Visa expires: 01 May 2012

Personal / Career Statement

I am a hard working, responsible person in Australia on a one-year working holiday. I will be in Sydney for the next six months (until March 2012), before continuing on with my travels. I have previously worked for three years in roles where I have gained considerable experience in customer service, face-to-face communication and teamwork. I have also completed my Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate and a course in bar skills. I am available to work straight away.

Employment History / Work Experience


Retail sales assistance
Gap Clothing (International retail clothing company), London
Employed from 13 January 2010 to 20 January 2011

My responsibilities

Shop floor face-to-face customer service and sales
Working in a team environment
Processing payments
Maintaining cleanliness of store front

Kitchen Hand and shop floor assistant
Simons Deli (local delicatessen), London
Employed 20 February 2008 to 10 January 2010

My responsibilities
Serving customers
Taking orders and payment
Preparing food
Cleaning the store and food preparation areas



2010 - completed Bachelor of Business a University of London

2007 - completed Higher School Certificate

Other Qualifications

2011 - Completed Responsible Service of Alcohol course (New South Wales)

2011 - Completed Bar Skills course at the Sydney Bar & Cocktail School



Available upon request.