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Resume do's and don'ts


  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Use an easy to read font (Arial, Times New Roman, 11pt)
  • Use white space to separate information
  • Be concise 2–3 pages maximum
  • Information for the last 10 years is adequate (15 years max)
  • List skills/attributes that are relevant to the job you’re applying for – List the most important skills first
  • List licences/qualifications that are relevant to the position (on the first page)
  • Complete a spelling and grammar check and ask someone to proof read
  • Check formatting
  • Consider PDF document to prevent any unwanted formatting changes
  • If using a summary, ensure this is relevant to the position
  • Research the company/position to ensure skills/summary/interests and other information reflects the position you are applying for
  • Use internet resources for resume research - Google, job search sites, and job ads
  • Provide email address (set one up if not available- live, gmail, email)
  • Consider using more than one resume for each occupation (modify skills/duties if required)


  • No photos
  • No colour
  • No fancy formatting
  • No irrelevant personal information (Date of Birth, marital status, religion, injury)
  • No jargon
  • No abbreviations
  • No hobbies/interests unless relevant to the position
  • Information in the resume that is irrelevant to the job applying for
  • No career objective unless entry level/trainee (Consider personal summary instead—which includes what you can offer the company—include any relevant details requested in job ad-transport, availability etc)

Resume hints

Contractors—many places of employment/short term contracts

Employment history
2000–2010 Contract Employment (including - names of labour hire companies/ contracted company and/or projects) 
List major roles

Large gaps in employment history—consider a functional resume, include voluntary employment, host, work exp, studies.

No referees—Ensure they are contacted and current/available, willing to give a good reference. Details do not need to be provided on resume unless specified. Consider approaching host employers, trainers, colleagues, volunteer organisations.

No permanent address/willing to relocate—consider removing residential address/use alternate address (eg friend).


Last updated
15 February 2016

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