Clarity and accuracy is key

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2010, 12:00am

Resumes are straightforward. You can find a template online, or ask someone who is already working to show you theirs.

Clarity and accuracy are key. Make it easy for the company receiving your resume to read your details quickly. Make sure your name, address and other contact details are easy to locate at the top of your resume. Then list your educational background.

List work and volunteer experience below your educational background, allowing a few lines for each job.

A resume shouldn't be longer than two pages - remember, you will not be the only candidate applying for the job, and that the people reading your resume will be busy with many applications.

It's also important to make it stand out. Including a photograph isn't mandatory, but a good quality one, with you dressed smartly and smiling will show that you have a professional attitude and are confident.

A simple mistake many make when preparing their resumes is forgetting to spell check, says Alison Chang, managing director of COREsearch. Check and double check for any errors.

Make sure the names of schools or companies are correct. Failing to check sends a negative message about your professionalism.

Hobbies give employers an indication of the type of person you are, so list a few interests towards the bottom of your resume. But don't make them too generic.

'If you list reading and swimming, then say what you read,' Chang says. 'Swimming, so what? If you are a marathon runner, then great, because that shows you have stamina and the ability to stick to something.'

As for references, you can list a couple at the bottom of your resume, although employers may not see the benefit as, if they've already agreed to speak on your behalf, they will only say good things.

Another option is to write 'references upon request' - and if you have previous work experience, add the name and contact details of your previous boss.