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How to write a resume

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Your resume (sometimes called your “CV”) is your most important tool when applying for a job. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are, or how much experience you have – if your resume is poorly presented or badly written, you’re going to have trouble getting the job you want – or even an interview.

Taking the time to work on your resume is really important. The information on this page offers some tips and advice on how to make your resume the best it can be.

The purpose of a resume

Your resume is a marketing tool. It needs to demonstrate:

  • That you are employable
  • How you meet the job and the organisation’s requirements
  • That you have the right qualifications and education
  • That you have the right experience and skills
  • That you have the right level of professionalism for the job

How long should my resume be?

There is no set length for a resume. A resume varies in length depending on your experience and education. If you haven’t worked much before, one or two pages is best, but three pages is okay if you’ve got a lot of study and work behind you.

Make sure you don’t pad out your resume. If your resume is only one page, as long as it’s well-presented it might get better results than a two-page resume full of unnecessary information.

More information about the length of your resume can be found on each of the resume templates on our Sample resumes and Sample cover letters pages.

How should I order my resume?

Generally it’s always good to present the information on your resume in this order:

  1. Contact details
  2. Opening statement
  3. List of key skills
  4. List of technical/software skills
  5. Personal attributes/career overview
  6. Educational qualifications
  7. Employment history/volunteering/work placements
  8. References/referees

Not everything in this list must appear on your resume every time, and the order can change from application to application. For more information about each of these sections, check out “What  Your Resume Should Include”, below.

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