Resume Writing

Your resume is key to accessing an employer. A good resume will market you with a positive profile and will be attractive to employers. Employers, or in large organisations recruiters may see hundreds of resumes and in very large organisations they do not see them all. As a method of screening large organisations may use computer software that scans resumes for keywords and phrases that have been preselected. So if you do not have these key words on your resume it simply will not get through.


These essential words are often in the job description, in the job advertisement. They are the important qualifications, experience and attributes essential to the job. So each job needs to have a specifically adapted resume to include these words because without them they simply will not be seen.

Chronological or Functional Resume

If your career has followed a directional career path with a steady work history then a chronological resume will reflect this growth. It is also more appropriate for more traditional organisations and industries: teaching, law, government work. When making a career transition to a new field of work it is far more appropriate to use a functional resume in order of relevance to the appropriate field. A functional resume highlights your skills and accomplishments instead of your employment background. A persons resume for one particular vacancy can look very different to their resume for a job in a different field as the emphasis is on different experiences. The experiences, skills and attributes will be skewed towards that particular job making them more attractive to the employer.

Identifying Your Skills and Accomplishments

Once you have identified the skills and attributes that are a necessary requirement for the job you then need to identify experiences in your previous work when you have demonstrated them. Draw a grid listing all the jobs you have had and all the attributes required for the post you are applying for. Identify when you have demonstrated the attributes in your previous jobs and write them in the grid. The job that has the most boxes filled in is then your most relevant and should be at the top of the list of RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE. The one that has the least is at the bottom or not included. On your grid the attributes that you have not demonstrated in your previous work experience you need to identify other times when you have demonstrated them, through voluntary work or interests.

Redundant Terms

Often the first part of a resume will have a number of terms:loyal, hard working, honest, reliable. These terms are known as redundant terms they dont actually mean anything. Anyone can write them on their resume but other terms like:14 years experience in the Oil and Gas Industry not everyone can state and this shows reliability and loyalty. So avoid redundant terms and show your attributes via the work you have done.


Your resume needs to be 2 pages and no more. It should be typed in a Microsoft Word document. UseAriel text and a font size that is clear to see. Just as you would appear at an interview smart and attractive the resume needs to look smart and attractive to the eye. With the same size margins left and right, top and bottom. It needs to look as symmetrical a possible (a natural sign of beauty). The reader reads from top to bottom and left to right. So it makes sense to put the most important and relevant information at the top left of the page and follow in order of priority. Avoid italics and underline as they are unclear when scanned. Your name and contact details should be on both pages so that when they are printed they can be matched and your contact details should include e-mail, phone number / s and address. Your main headings should include:

Objective this should always come first. Qualifications, Training, Relevant Work Experience and Additional Information. Theorder of these heading is again dependent on relevance to the particular job. If you have specific work experience in the field but lack qualifications then the Relevant Work Experience heading will precede the Qualifications heading.

Choosing Effective References

Choosing an effective referee can be critical. If the referee is called unexpectedly and has not been briefed about the job requirements you may not get the reference that you would like or will secure the job for you. References are the final stage in the selection process. You already have the job you just need to keep it.

Be selective when choosing a referee. Try where possible to choose someone from the same city, province, country where possible.

Employers are not comfortable about references from far away, there is a belief that they may not be authentic. Choose previous employers where possible. You should also choose co-workers, previous employers, individuals with standing in the community to give a personal reference. Some employers like these as they can get more details from personal references. You must contact these people, brief them on the type of work you will be doing and the attributes necessary for the employment. Check they are willing to give a reference and confirm you have all the necessary contact details.

Find at least 6, the employer will need no more than 2 but if one of your chosen referees is out of town it could hold up your start date. Type up their names and details, the length of time they have known you and their relationship to you.

Take these printed details with you to your interview and hand it over when the interview concludes.