That’s how much time a hiring manager or recruiter will spend on your resume before deciding whether to put it in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on a single piece of paper that will basically determine if you’re moving forward to the next step. To simply put it, you would want your resume to be as perfect as possible.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list to help you make sure that your resume not only catches the attention of the recruiter but also moves you on top of the pile.
Before you click the ‘send’ button, check that you have reviewed our Australian resume checklist below. You’ll know your resume is up to par when you can answer ‘YES’ to 25 out of 25 questions below:
Initial impression (total score: 5)
- Does my resume have clear sections and enough white spaces?
- Are the design elements and font size consistent throughout the document?
- Is my resume’s length appropriate given my career level and summary? For example, if I’m a Uni graduate, my resume should ideally be two pages at most. Or if I’m a Senior Executive, a two-page resume is simply not enough for my extensive career.
- Have I checked that my name and contact details (phone number and email) are on every page of each document?
- Is my resume targeted to a specific career goal instead of a generic document?
Appearance (total score: 8)
- Am I using a professional font that’s not outdated (Garamond, Calibri, Helvetica or Georgia instead of the traditional Times New Roman or Arial)?
- Am I NOT using more than 2 fonts?
- For the content of my resume, am I NOT using a font size smaller than 10 points? Or larger than 12 points?
- Am I using light colours (grey, light blue) to break up different sections of my resume (instead of bright colours like red, orange or green)?
- Am I using three colours at most? With the content of my resume written in black? And two complementary colours of the same shade to highlight important sections (for example: blue and light blue)?
- Am I using elements (bullets, italics, bolding, lines) to highlight important content?
- Have I included hyperlinks to my email address so that if recruiters or hiring managers click on my email address, they’ll be able to email me from my resume?
- Am I NOT using text boxes or tables because I know that some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) cannot extract information from these elements?
Resume sections and details (total score: 5)
- Have I replaced my ‘Career Objective’ section with a ‘Professional Profile’ or ‘Professional Summary’ to immediate demonstrate my relevant skills and experience instead of informing the reader of my needs and wants for my next role?
- Is my work history written in reverse chronological order (with my most recent job first)?
- Have I left off unnecessary details (such as my age, marital status, date of birth and religion)? As well as my high school diploma (if I already earned my Uni degree)?
- Am I NOT using photos and graphics that might cause problems when my resume is parsed by an ATS?
- Have I ensured that 70% of my relevant information is on the first page of my resume?
Writing style (total score: 5)
- Am I using action verbs (example: Improved, Increased, Initiated, Streamlined) instead of passive voice (example: Accountable for, Tasked to)?
- Have I spell checked my documents and ensured that I’m using British English spelling for Australian job applications?
- Am I using short bullet points of 1-2 lines per bullet?
- Have I arranged my bullet points in order of relevance to the role I’m applying for?
- Have I made sure that If I have used acronyms, that I have also spelled them out the first time I have used them, so there’s no confusion for the person reading my documents (for example: Research and Development (R&D) and thereafter just used R&D)?
Others (total score: 2)
- Have I named my document using the ideal convention (Last name, First name – Title of Advertised Job – Resume, Year) and not just simply Resume.doc.?
- Have I proofread my resume and/or asked someone to review it for me to ensure it’s free of grammatical errors?
Get a professional help
A polished resume has to hit almost all (if not all) of the items above. This could be very overwhelming. Need some guidance? Get a free resume assessment now from our resume experts. You’ll get comprehensive feedback in 2 days (Sunday not counted).
Alternatively, seek the help of a professional resume writer to do the heavy lifting for you.
Return customer? Learn how we can help you update the original resume we’re prepared for you.
For new clients, click here to learn how we can help you make your resume stand out from the rest.
Looking for a DIY, free resume template, download here now.