Job Search Youve Got This

Winning Resume Tips

15/04/2020By author: Tracey Mesken

Did you know you have about 30 seconds to impress a potential employer before they decide to move onto the next application?

It is essential that you commit adequate time to "getting it right" in order to present you, your skills, and your experience in the best light.

Sure you may meet all the required skills necessary to succeed in the job advertised, but if an employer rejects your resume after not seeing anything that grabs them in that first 30 seconds, then you're in trouble.

So how do you create a resume that gives you every chance of success?

Here is some useful information to assist you in writing a job-winning resume:

Common Resume Misconceptions

Avoid these resume traps to become an appealing candidate.

1) You can use the same resume for every job application.


One resume that you dust off and send for every job, no matter how "good," works even less than a pair of pants labelled "one size fits all." Resumes need to be tailored for the specific position and company. Don’t use the same resume for every job application.

2) Landing a job is a numbers you need to blanket the earth with your resume.


This is one of the least productive methods to find a job. Sure, if you send enough resumes and wait long enough, then yes, eventually you may get a job offer this way. But few people want to take those kinds of chances and wait that long.

3) Using fancy fonts, pictures, bright colours and a unique layout will get you noticed.


Always remember that the ability to quickly scan your resume is key. All of the above may get you noticed...but for the wrong reasons. Remember, you only have about 30 seconds, so don’t make the viewer spend 20 of them figuring out how to read your resume.

Getting Started

The hardest part about writing a resume is where to start but don’t let it put you off.

Before you start actually writing your resume, think about what you want to do, what image you want to project to your potential employer and how your past experiences relate to your current aspirations.

Remember, an employer is always thinking “why should I speak with this person? How is she/he different from all the other applicants?”

Try writing some of your experiences onto a piece of paper.

Don’t think you have any experience?  Then think again!  Brainstorm and think carefully about your:

  • Education

  • Activities

  • Interests

  • Work experience

  • Awards and recognition

  • Skills and abilities

In each heading, think, “what did I do?” and write it down.

Once you have all that on paper you should start focusing on items that are important to the job you are applying for.

Remember a resume's purpose is to show how well you fit a particular job and NOT to share your life story. Keep the 30 seconds to impress rule in mind.

For the list, you wrote above, write short and concise sentences for each heading. Each sentence should be structured so that it is interesting and compelling, using action verbs at the beginning of each of your sentences.

Click here to view a concise list of Action Verbs

Elements of a Great Resume

Here are some features of a great resume.

Be sure to keep this in mind when writing your own. Never let poor resume writing affect your chance of getting your perfect job.


The more targeted a resume is, the greater your chance of getting that interview. Employers want to know exactly what you can do for their company. Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for (it only takes a few sentences to do this). Remove any irrelevant information.

Well Written

A smart, well-written resume instantly makes a positive impression with an employer. Use action words, such as established, implemented, created and streamlined. This will add that extra boost to your story.


Ensure your resume is logical and easy to read. Be consistent with everything, such as the spacing, margins, and borders. Emphasise important points with basic text enhancements such as boldness, italics or underlining.

Summarised Qualifications

This is perhaps the most important section in your resume as it outlines your top selling points. Many people will neglect this, missing the opportunity to be noticed - Don’t make this mistake.


The job of the resume is to sell sell sell! Don’t be shy, show your accomplishments, skills, and abilities. Employers want to too see that you can indeed perform the job at hand. Show them by letting them know about your experiences and how others have benefited from your productivity.


Do not use abbreviations in place of proper English. It is unprofessional and many are not universally accepted.

No Personal Stuff

Personal information such as height, weight, and marital status is unnecessary and can be seen as unprofessional.

Grammatically Correct

Poor grammar is the quickest way for your resume to end up in the ‘rejection pile’.

Do not trust your computer’s spell and grammar check. Read every word yourself and have someone you know and trust proofread your resume.

Spelling mistakes and typos suggest that your standard of work will be of the same poor quality.