30 tips for preparing your resume

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Preparing your resume can seem like a daunting task. It can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve broken it down into 30 easy steps, in celebration of EPIC’s 30-year anniversary of assisting people with disability into meaningful employment.

Get started

  1. Make a list of your skills and work experience – what are you good at?
  2. Identify roles and industries you are interested in working in – what are your interests?
  3. Do you need further training or upskilling?

Prepare your resume

  1. Prepare your resume using a computer.
  2. Put your personal contact details at the top of your resume so employers can easily find how to contact you.
  3. Use bold headings to show what information you have included.
  4. List your skills.
  5. Include any qualifications you have completed, including where and when you got the qualification.
  6. Use the STAR method to list previous work experience:
  • Situation: what was your role, who was your employer, how long did you work for?
  • Task: Highlight 4 tasks that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
  • Activity: What did you do to achieve the task? Did you work off your own initiative, or follow guidelines accurately? Did you work alone or as part of a team?
  • Result: What was the outcome of your actions? How did they contribute to the workplace?
  1. Note your accomplishments. Include a brief list of any special recognition or awards you’ve received.
  2. Include contact details for a referee. A referee is someone who will speak to an employer for you and should be a person who will say you will be good at a job. This could be someone you have worked for, or a teacher you have had. Family members should not be used.
  3. Make sure you ask the referee first if they are happy to be called upon.
  4. Stay honest. Don’t misrepresent your education or job experience.
  5. Don’t include information about why you left previous jobs. This may come up in an interview, and you should then be prepared to discuss.
  6. Don’t get too personal.

Prepare an application or cover letter

  1. Prepare an application letter specific to the job you are applying for. This introduces yourself and states why you would be good at the job. It is clear and to the point.
  2. Keep your application letter to one page.
  3. Include what skills you have and why you want the job.
  4. Customise the letter to each job you are applying for.
  5. Use the same wording as featured in the job listing.
  6. End the letter saying you are looking forward to meeting with the employer. This makes you sound confident and friendly.
  7. Ensure you apply before the closing date.

In summary

  1. Be polite and formal.
  2. Make sure your application letter and resume are neat, typed on a computer, and on plain white paper.
  3. Tailor your application letter specifically to the job you are applying for.
  4. Use short sentences.
  5. Keep your resume under three pages long.
  6. Check for mistakes.
  7. Ask someone else to proofread your resume and application letter.
  8. Smile and remember that you have skills that are valuable to employers.

EPIC Assist helps people with disability find and maintain meaningful employment. We work with you to develop your skills, prepare you for job applications, and find the right job with the right employer.

For more articles about preparing for employment, visit our job seeker toolkit.

If you’re not already registered with EPIC, contact us to find out how we can help you.

Related articles