Resume and cover letters are the basis of any job application. These are professional documents that outline your experience, skills and why you would be the best fit for the job. Your LinkedIn
profile is a digital resume and a platform where you can connect with companies and other professionals.
How to prepare your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile when job hunting.
The key elements you need, when finding a job:
• A resume
• A cover letter
• Linkedin profile
• Interview skills
• Resilience and perseverance
How to develop your resume
Your resume is important, it should be professional, have no typos or errors and be tailored to the job you are applying for. Remember, no resume is perfect
• Identify the role you are going for, key competencies, qualification and attributes they are asking for
• Research the company you are applying for
• Look at the language they use and try to mimic this
• Save your resume in Microsoft Office format
• Use lots of white space, bold headings and bullet points
• Write your resume in the third person
• Include keywords you see the position description, in your resume (this is called keyword optimisation)
• Request a position description if possible.
Tools for resume writing
• Use templates
• Use your previous position descriptions to your advantage by writing out the responsibilities
• If you have performance reviews, you can note your achievements
• Note your skills and attributes.
Resumes, cover letters & LinkedIn
What you don’t need to include on your resume:
• A photo
• Marital status
• Birth date
• Driver’s license (unless relevant for the role)
• Referee details (you should change your referees depending on the job you are applying for)
• A list of every job ever done (go back 10 years or so, or list the relevant roles in details and keep non-relevant roles short in description)
• Your resume should be a sales/marketing document
• Location – unless it is relevant for the role (such as you live close to the job)
How do you write your resume when you’ve been in unpaid work, for eg. If you have been undertaking family duties?
Think about the below points:
• What have you been doing over this time? Think about the skills/activities you have done and how they may be relevant (e.g. organising appointment schedules, diary management,
• Phrase your carer job as a fulltime job with responsibilities
• Volunteer or be part of a committee
• Think about going into an entry-level role and working your way up to the role you desire
• Think about what your transferable skills are (e.g. organisation, collaboration, listening)
Include a set of key skills on your resume.
These should be tailored to the job you are applying for and can usually be located by reading the position description or add. These can change depending on the role you go for.
When writing up your employment history you should include the below:
• Date, title, company you worked for
• Small description of the company (if they are not a big well-known organisation)
• List high-level responsibilities
• Use strong action words (e.g. led, managed, coordinated, developed)
• Include your achievements or targets you hit (if you can quantify these with numbers, that is better)
• If you are stuck, sometimes talking to others you worked with may help
• Think of any problems you solved and how you did that
• Include volunteer work here
• Including your interests are optional
Now you have your resume sorted, move onto your cover letter. Your cover letter will be a much more tailored document and shorter in length (1-2 pages).
A cover letter can help you stand out, use this to put some personality in your application and explain why the company you are applying for appeals to you. Make sure you research the company and include why you believe you are the best fit for the job. Include your contact details and address the person who is hiring, if you cannot locate this, address it to the company with their address.
The first paragraph should be about you and why you should be considered for the role. The second paragraph is about the company, why you’re interested and why you want to work
for them. Following this, you should highlight some of your key skills in dot point form and link them back to the position description and what the ad is asking for. There are lots of templates available on the internet to assist write a cover letter.
LinkedIn is a platform that can be used as a research tool, job board and also an online resume. This is a good way to keep up with industry and company news and connecting with recruiters and potential employers. When setting up your LinkedIn profile, have a clear headline of what you do.
How is LinkedIn different to a resume?
• LinkedIn is future focused
• LinkedIn can have more of a sales/marketing spin
• Your LinkedIn summary written is written in first person, in comparison to third person in a
• LinkedIn gives you more opportunities to demonstrate your credibility (through testimonials and networks)
• It allows you to showcase your work, particularly if you are in the creative industry (you can link to your website, show your artwork or pieces you have worked on)
Download this information as a PDF – Resumes, Cover Letters and LinkedIn