Modernise your resume

Haven’t looked at your resume for a few years? Does it look dated? Unsure about contemporary resume requirements?

Advice varies depending on the country of origin (Australia, USA), sector focus (private or public), who provides it (a well-intentioned friend, a qualified career development practitioner).

There is no set list of dos and don’ts that apply across all resumes.

There are some general points that can be made when updating your resume. Here are 10.

  1. Remove your age, marital status, parental responsibilities, religion. These are not needed and are irrelevant to your ability to do a job.
  2. If you have post-secondary school qualifications you do not need to list your secondary school education.
  3. If you have lengthy lists of duties or responsibilities, shorten the list and include results. Read Transforming your resume into results statements.
  4. Avoid using a fancy design. A simple, easy to read layout that makes efficient use of space usually works well.
  5. Your design may need to reflect your profession. A graphic designer’s resume will likely look different from that of an accountant.
  6. Check instructions for online applications. There may be details about length, format, character limits.
  7. Use a simple, consistent layout. Avoid using a mix of fonts, bold, capitals, underlining.
  8. You can design your resume or use an existing template. Read How to select a resume template.
  9. You may need to include a career profile to summarise your experience and show its relevance to the job you are applying for.
  10. Read How to write a career profile.
    Your resume is not an autobiography. You don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Earlier jobs may no longer be relevant. Resumes generally cover the last 10 -12 years.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.