Welcome to our free resume template. Here we’ll show you how to use a sample template to build a professional resume
First Impressions Count
Whether you’re seeking a promotion, hunting for a new job or looking to impress recruiters, a first class resume will create the perfect platform for to show off your skills, experience and suitability in one sharp package.
However, a sloppy resume will simply just get binned, along with your ambitions. So it pays to put time and effort into crafting the very best personal resume you can.
Find the Best, and Do What They Do
The first step toward creating a brilliant resume is to get a hold of sample resumes used by the leading people in your field. Even the resume examples of high achievers outside your professional stream will help guide your own resume creation.
Sample resumes are widely available online, including Twitter, and often can be found in the ‘About Us’ section of many business and professional websites.
Online professional networks like LinkedIn can allow you to access the work, education and interests of global business leaders, from Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Virgin’s Richard Branson to Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. President Barack Obama even has a page!
The resumes of many of your colleagues and bosses (and their bosses) will also be on LinkedIn or elsewhere online, so it’s a great place to start your research and gather as many high-quality resume samples as possible.
Find What Makes Them Tick
The next best step is to take all the resume samples and break them down to their essential elements.
Note how the information is presented, what language is used, and what tone is struck. For example, Bill Gates’ business career is huge, but his LinkedIn summary simply says ‘Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Chairman, Microsoft Corporation. Voracious reader. Avid traveller. Active blogger.’
Think about how you can condense your work and life experience into simple, easy to understand phrases. Remember, a resume shows how you communicate, in addition to showing off your skills and experience.
Next, gather all of your essential information together – work experience, job titles and responsibilities, education history, professional and personal awards and achievements – and take inspiration from the great resumes you’ve analysed.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have some good sample resumes to work from, and lined up all the information you want to include in your own resume, it’s time to shape it all together.
The best way to build your own unique resume from the ground up is to use a resume template. There are scores of free resume templates online in Australia that will assist you in this process. We recommend looking for professional resume templates, ones that reflect a business first agenda.
A resume template will help guide you in building the best possible professional calling card. Think of it as the foundations of a house, and the information you enter into it as the walls and roof.
At a basic level, your resume template should look something like this:
Who Are You?
Start by listing your personal information:
- Your full name
- Your full street address
- Suburb, State and Postcode
- Telephone number:
- Mobile number:
- Email address:
Provide a brief, well-written statement on your personal and professional goals for your career. This should include the highlights of your career so far and any major achievements. Overall, this statement should be focused toward the specific job you are applying for.
Qualifications and Education
List your tertiary achievements; the most recent qualification should go at the top of the list. Use the following style:
- Year degree/qualification was completed
- Name of degree
- Name of the education organisation.
You can include grade achievements or education awards if they are relevant.
This is the part that counts – showing your achievements in the professional realm. The style is similar to the education section but goes into more depth.
We recommend the following style, your most recent position at the top:
- Job title
- Company name
- Period employed.
List your responsibilities – bullets are best, with clear, active language. ‘I created, I led, I helped etc.’
In addition to the basic job information, you can also list your major professional achievements in the job, using the same clear and active language.
Employers want to know your work history, but they also want to know what you did and how you did it. This section allows you to demonstrate what kind of employee and person you are.
Repeat this template for as many jobs or positions you have held that are relevant. If you have a long work history, the top three jobs could be listed in depth with very brief summaries for the remainder. Remember, a good resume is neat and concise, so keep it sharp.
Now that you’ve listed your education and work history, it’s time to demonstrate your knowledge and skill set.
This section allows you to express the professional competencies and experience you have gathered over years of study and work. If a set of required skills is mentioned in the job advertisement, list them, and explain how and when they were acquired.
Use bullet points to keep it consistent.
Memberships and Affiliations
Many professionals have affiliations or memberships in organisations and groups that should be included in a similar style to the above.
For example, an architect may be a member of the field’s peak body, which demonstrates a keen involvement in the profession’s development. Or a manager may be a member of a charity, which shows dedication to good corporate citizenship.
Time to Get Personal
This part is not always necessary, but it helps show who you are as a person. Employers are looking for the right people, both in terms of qualifications and personality, so show your best side.
Do you play team sports? Volunteer for a community group or a charity? Do any of your outside interests relate to the job? For example, someone applying for a job as a manager may be the captain of a sports team.
A brief, clearly written statement, similar to the personal biography, is a good way to go. Or you can use concise bullet points.
Who You Know
Finish the resume by providing referees – people who know you professionally and personally and can vouch for your competence.
Before you include these people, check with them to make sure they are happy to be asked for a reference about you by potential employers.
List the references’ name, job title, company name, business address, telephone and email for ease of contact.
It’s Up to You
By gathering resume samples and examples from the leaders in your field, you can get an idea of what a great resume looks like. Then by using a professional resume template, you gain a framework that you can build great resume around.
These elements are there to help and will allow you to craft a sharp and unique document that will reflect your professional achievements and ambitions.