Boosting Your Resume
Lucy from our committee shares her advice on how you can format your resume, and what you could do to add more experiences to your resume to make your resume stand out from the crowd!
Your resume is one of the first things a potential employer will look at. In this article, we will be discussing two areas to improve your resume: the formatting of your resume, and things you can do to upskill and add to your resume!
To begin with, make sure you tailor your resume for the specific position you are applying for. This involves including examples that demonstrate the key skills outlined in the position description.
Use a logical format with clear headings and enough ‘white space’ on the page
Reverse chronological order is an easy to follow way of ordering sections (beginning with your most recent position and proceeding backwards)
Keep your resume a maximum of 2 pages
Keep explanations short, to the point and outcome oriented
Include skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for
Quantify outcomes achieved and your accomplishments
Be specific and focus on what you did, rather than giving a generic position description
Allocate more space for recent/relevant positions
Avoid using unprofessional sounding personal email addresses
Use size 10 to 12 font
Make sure to double check your spelling, grammar and spacing – another set of eyes can also help with the process
Keep everything consistent and use one standard font throughout (Calibri, Arial and Times New Roman are all safe choices)
While there isn’t a universal resume template out there, below is an example format that would be suitable if you’re applying for a position in the professional or financial services industries:
Things you can do to boost your resume
As a university student, it can feel hard to differentiate yourself from others especially if you don’t have much relevant work experience. Below are some ways to boost your resume to stand out from the pool of candidates:
1. Clubs and societies:
Joining a club can help you develop a variety of transferrable (e.g. teamwork, communication, leadership skills). There are a range of clubs at the university you can get involved – this could be related to professional development (BoW), or other interests (culture/language, music, sports etc.)
It’s also a great way to enhance your university experience and meet other students! Find all the clubs you can join at Melbourne University from the link provided here: https://umsu.unimelb.edu.au/getinvolved/clubs/listing/
2. Take an online short course:
This is a great way to show you have dedicated time to learning more about a specific topic or developing a specific skill, and you may choose to obtain a certificate at the end of the courses. There are a variety of platforms/sites that offer courses and short programs, though these differ based on what you want to achieve.
Below are some well-known course providers:
Coursera: provides courses from universities and companies across the world (https://www.coursera.org)
EdX: created by Harvard and MIT, also partners with other universities (https://www.edx.org)
Forage (previously known as InsideSherpa): connects students to company endorsed virtual work experience programs. These are free and completely online (https://www.theforage.com)
This is a great way to navigate the classic problem of needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience. Voluntary work on your resume can tell prospective employers more about who you are and what you may value.
Some organisations with opportunities include: The Smith Family, Regional Education Support Network, FoodBank Victoria, Oaktree Foundation
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