Are you in the market for a new job? Do you want to make sure your resume stands out from the competition? Let’s explore the elements of a well-structured, professional resume.
It goes without saying that all of your contact information needs to be correct and up-to-date. Include a phone number and professional email address - not the one you created back in high school that almost definitely included band names, your celebrity crush or inappropriate references. If need be, create a new Gmail or Hotmail, it’s free and worth the effort.
Summarise your experience, accomplishments and why you’re a great fit for the role in a “Summary” or “About Me” section. This should be no more than two sentences long and succinctly showcase why someone would want to hire you for the job.
Experience and Accomplishments
List, starting from most recent, your current and previous job experience. This should include the company name, your title or position, and the dates (month/year) that you worked in these roles. Under each, note the main achievements or business impact you made whilst in the role, highlighting metrics - for example, “Delivered new Self-Serve portal which improved user retention from 40% to 68% within an 6-month period.”
If your resume is light on experience, don’t forget to include related internships or charity work that will showcase your dedication.
Skills and Certifications
List the relevant education and certifications you have gained. This section could also include computer programs or foreign languages spoken fluently if this is relevant to the role.
Now that you have completed the basics, there are other elements that can really help make your resume stand out from the rest. This may include awards received within certain industries or hobbies related to the position being applied for such as coding classes taken independently or writing articles published online. In addition, adding volunteer work is another huge plus that shows a potential employer that you have community values and commitment to a cause.
Free Resume Templates
There is no shortage of templates available online, many of which are free. Although they provide structure, they also allow you to customise the design - colours, layouts, fonts, etc.
Here are our top picks of free templates:
Google Docs: Spearmint, Modern Writer or Coral resume templates
Canva: There are dozens of fun templates to choose from but make sure the design does not take away from the content.
FutureYou Recruitment template: Make a copy of our very own Google Docs template that has all the above sections in place and ready for to complete.
Helpful hint: Don’t overdo it when it comes to design. Keep it clean and simple. An employer must be able to scan through the document and easily find what they are looking for. A simple rule of thumb is to use no more than 2 different fonts. Ensure these fonts are easy-to-read and the colour is a high-contrast against the background.
Lastly, you are not required to list your references when you are applying for a role nor is it necessary to add the commonly used “References available upon request”. The employer should only ask you for these in the later stages of the interview process. You should however, contact your proposed references to ask permission to hand over their contact details so that you are well-prepared to provide them when the time comes.
Creating an effective resume can be a difficult exercise. Use our simple guidelines and free temple suggestions to make this arduous task achievable. We also have a heplful article on how to write the perfect Cover Letter to further increase your chances of getting that dream role!
Good luck in your job search and congratulations on taking that next step in your career!