Busting the Bot Barrier: How to pass ATS Scanners & land your dream job

Have you ever sent in a resume thinking you’re the perfect candidate for the role, only to never hear back from the recruiter despite your stellar credentials? Maybe they didn’t receive your file. Maybe they lost your application or maybe, your resume was passed over by the ATS and did not rank high enough to reach the recruiter’s desk?

Picture this: large multinational companies and organisations searching for perfect candidates receive hundreds, if not thousands of highly competitive and impressive applications. A decade ago, this would conjure up images of desks piled high with folders from interested applicants and hours reviewing each one. Nowadays, with the advancements in technology, resumes are received and filed in e-mail inboxes, databases, and portals that review a tremendous number of resumes per day.  This can mean a large volume of resumes are automatically rejected but how do they do it? The answer lies in automation and Artificial intelligence.

What are ATS? 

ATS or Applicant Tracking Software is the human resource industry’s biggest trend. ATS are a variety of applications, programmes and software systems – clever tools that are designed to recognise keywords from documents. Think of this as a robot that you can train to automatically read through dozens of resumes to pick out the most suitable candidates. Those are then carefully assessed by managers and only those who qualify will get shortlisted.

ATS tools do this by registering keywords. If a recruiter is hiring, say, an Administrative Manager, chances are the ATS will be programmed to pick out strong applications that feature priority skillsets and buzz words or industry relevant language.

How to beat the bot? 

The key to having an ATS-complaint resume is knowing how the scanners function, so you can respond by framing your credentials in the appropriate manner. Remember, ATS compliance is supposed to make the recruiter’s job easier, not yours, so the onus is on you to adjust your resume and outline your skills so that you can get through the preliminary elimination process.

There are some rules of thumb that must be followed when writing your resume for ATS compliance: 

  • DO read the job description or the posting for the proper format or file type. 
  • DO observe submission instructions and regulations. 
  • DO use a clean, simple template and avoid unnecessary clutter like tables, graphs, or charts. 
  • DO aim for quality narrative style content. 
  • DO NOT use fancy templates, with textboxes or images. 

How to create an ATS-friendly resume? 

Submit your documents in a file format that can be read by scanners. ATS best practice usually entails saving files as a PDF. However, this may not always be the case. When you received your resume package from Canberra Resume for instance, we give you both the .docx or the .pdf file so that you can pick the best format to be uploaded onto the application portal or to be sent to your recruiter’s e-mail. This also allows you to make changes before submitting using the editable format.

Take time to read instructions as outlined by the job description. Formats and layouts for ATS-ready documents vary from company to company, and the organisation you are applying to may have specific instructions on how to format your resume, generally based on the ATS they are using. Watch out for specific instructions such as number of pages, font sizes, margin and layout instructions, as well as the file format. Failure to do so may result to your resumes being automatically disregarded. ATS weed out non-compliant resumes, regardless if your experience and achievements are phenomenal. 

Clean layouts that show hierarchy in information are preferred. Aim for a few clearly defined headers, such as Core Competencies, Key Skills, and Employment History. Also include Key Software, Languages, or other credentials such as Education and professional memberships, Licences/Tickets, and Awards or Achievements. 

ATS relies on keyword richness, or how many times key terms and important concepts are repeated throughout your resume. One way in which ATS-ready resumes differ from regular, conventional resumes is the level of detail. Short, clipped sentences often fail to paint a clear picture of one’s roles. With denser and more detailed information on key job descriptions, the ATS has more text to go through, boosting your chances at a keyword hit. More is definitely more in this case; however, keyword richness is not the same as simply ‘fluffing’ one’s resume. It requires focusing on maximalism in describing your achievements, flaunting your contributions in a manner that tells a more detailed story. 

Never use a creative resume template unless specified, and avoid using graphical indicators, tables, images and illustrations to describe your skillsets. ATS are programmed to parse text, and may entirely skip your credentials if they are not in the proper format.

Using ATS technology to your advantage is easily becoming one of the most important skills for job seekers. Fortunately, Canberra Resume offers an ATS-compliant resume writing service that integrates best practice human resource knowledge and strategic optimisation expertise to give you the best possible chance.

We assist with applications ranging from the government service, Australian Pubic Service, international firms, and local companies and organisations.

Contact us today for a pricing breakdown and ask us about our ATS- friendly resumes and application documents. 
[email protected] 1300 174 435

Its not all about the page count.

One of the most important things to consider when crafting your resume is the success of your document. The goal of a resume is to create a point of difference for yourself, compared to other applicants and therefore, the page count should be a secondary consideration. Quality over quantity is always encouraged and therefore, ensuring that the most important information is still included, is pivotal to the success of your submission.

How long a resume should be remains a dilemma to most applicants and this generally comes from not knowing which standards to follow when filing and submitting a job application. 

Perhaps you have heard of the general rule of having a one-page resume. Time and again, this practice has proven to be ineffective as it generally leaves human resource professionals and recruiters trying to clarify certain aspects of your resume, especially if you left out significant information on your previous roles, such as your responsibilities and key achievements.

The subjective nature of resume writing is due to varying practices and preferences unique to different companies and organisations. Some hiring managers may want comprehensive resumes, whereas some HR professionals want concise, “highlights only” formats. There are also differences between the length of resumes in the public and private sector. Within Australia, each state government has their own preferred format also. Moreover, resume length may also vary depending on the industry. Understandably, because of these varied standards, people are left confused and even intimidated by the idea of writing a powerful resume. 

Here are some things to consider when deciding on resume length and level of detail:

FOLLOW BEST PRACTICE. Despite the differences in standards and preferences in resume writing, one key to success is to be guided by best practice; primarily by looking at the “least common denominator” of a good number of employers. It is important to bear in mind that although there isn’t a singular correct way to write a resume, these best practices are an average expectations of the guidelines that most HR professionals set out when they post jobs and request applications from interested jobseekers. Overall, Australian Best Practice is between 2-5 pages.

DECIDE ON AN IDEAL LENGTH. More information is in demand these days, such as one’s trainings and certifications, software skills or technological tools used, areas of expertise and skill, and character or behavioural traits. However, for certain professions such as the medical field (where applicants could have a significant number of placements, specialisations, fellowships, and professional developments or training) and academics (professors and researchers may want to include a list of select published documents, papers, books, and journal articles), a page count of 5 or more may be required. Some companies, luckily, specify the page count in their job postings, so watch out for these key instructions.

MANAGE AND EDIT YOUR CONTENT. It is essential to outline your achievements and highlight your duties and responsibilities from each role in order to support your claims to your skills and competencies. Managing your resume content entails selecting which information is relevant,  and presenting it in a clear and logical manner that demonstrates your career progression. Moreover, apart from what goes on the resume, key to editing information in your document is deciding what not to include. More professional resume writers and hiring executives recommend excluding things that could subject you to inherent bias and hiring discrimination, such as age and birthday, marital status, and most especially, a headshot or a photo. We also follow a 15-year rule when listing your employment history, unless your prior work directly relates to the role you are seeking.

ATS COMPATIBILITY. To sort through the volume of applications generated from online platforms, companies nowadays use an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) of some sort. There are hundreds of these used to track and process applications, some of which may be unique to the individual organisation or jobseeking website. An estimated 95% of companies employ their own internal ATS, which can be programmed to rank online job applications based on their suitability and match to the job posting. It takes professional experience with ATS to be able to create a document that presents the right format, information, content, and overall look in order to maximise the opportunity to be included in the shortlist.  As a rule of thumb, to beat the ATS, your resume must be of an acceptable length, must be free of grammatical errors and follow a simple, clutter-free format. Creative, stylish and innovative resume formats that have a lot of white space may not be the best for ATS. Instead, opt for clean and impactful designs with simple fonts and layouts. Adapting to ATS technology is the way of the future.

KEYWORD RICHNESS.  ATS rely on a set of pre-programmed keywords and the density of these keywords in your resume text is your ticket to the shortlist. Due to the nature of ATS programs and tools, short and truncated resumes with barely any information are not optimised to pass the scanners. A professional resume from Canberra Resume, may look “too wordy” and dense, however our formats and templates have been proven to fuel the success of our applicants. We have worked with thousands of clients, a good number of them returning clients who want a fresh update to transition into higher positions, and we can assure you we have done our due diligence in seeking out the most rewarding keywords that can help bolster your application towards getting that coveted call.

Resume writing is all about presenting the best version of yourself to your prospective employer. Unless there is a page or word count specified the job notice, aim for a more detailed and comprehensive resume, not only to optimise for ATS scanners, but to leverage this as an opportunity to market yourself to prospective employers. 

Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of very important real estate on your resume to  create a great first impression at the outset. Even before you meet the employer and tell them more about yourself and your skills in a comprehensive and personal manner, it is important to impress despite the limited space you are given to outline and package your professional profile. 

At Canberra Resume, we take our cue from experts in the field of human resources and recruitment, ensuring we give you a point of difference and help you stand out against other applicants. 

Having written thousands of resumes Nation wide, we are confident that the focal point of your documents should always be the quality of the information, giving you a competitive edge, rather then the page count itself.

For more information or a personalised quote, kindly email or call us today!

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TIPS TO STAND OUT IN YOUR JOB SEARCH DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) epidemic has caused major disruptions in the way that businesses function. With the rise in infection rates, the situation continues to pose as a challenge to various industries worldwide as operations come to a halt and as thousands of people are faced with the challenges of reorienting work practices and policies in compliance with social distancing and disease prevention measures. 

According to an assessment by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), unemployment is on the rise due to the economic consequences of the virus outbreak. COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on employment, as outlined by immediate concerns relating to the health of workers and their families, as well as the quantity and quality of job opportunities that are available, leading to the reduction in work hours and wages as companies struggle to stay afloat. The ILO forecasts undesirable effects on specific industries and groups who are more vulnerable to negative market outcomes. 

Here are some tips that you can apply in order to stand out in your job search during this outbreak: 

  1. Highlight special skills

Since a significant number of jobs have moved to modified arrangements such as working from home, working under reduced hours, or minimising transmission by refraining from gathering in large groups, those with excellent communication skills will stand out. You need to highlight what makes you special and what makes you the ideal candidate. You can do so by including information such as sales figures, awards and recognitions, promotions, and special projects. You may also include significant contributions, especially if they led to the success of projects. This information can be highlighted under your employment history as “key achievements”.

You also need to highlight how your skills will give you an advantage in the work environment. The use of various communication tools such as Skype, Zoom and other technologies feature prominently in these current arrangements. It is also important to highlight self-motivation skills, as new circumstances call for significant amounts of unsupervised work where there are limited opportunities to be mentored. Moreover, high levels of organisation and prioritisation will be highly regarded. 

Lastly, learning and absorbing information in an agile and active manner are also important skills. Highlight these in your resume, as recruiters will be searching for prospects who are well suited to working in challenging and unusual circumstances. 

  • Focus on transferrable skills        

Transferable skills can cover a wide array of attributes such as leadership and team management, sound problem solving and analysis, teamwork, communications, time management, prioritisation and task management. These, along with the ability to think outside of the box are considered transferrable because they apply to a wide array of roles. Employees from all levels and with different specialisations who possess these skills will stand out to a potential recruiter.

The challenge in succeeding and securing your desired role isn’t only about current technical proficiency in job-specific tasks, but also, communicating to potential employers that you have the fundamental and sought-after skills and attributes that will enable you to receive mentoring, coaching, and direction. As mentioned earlier, highlight your ability to absorb information and your willingness to learn for the most impactful resume.

  • Emphasise adaptability and openness to change 

In the current job environment, flexibility, resilience, and adaptability are paramount values as change can and will occur within most organisations. Strategic, leadership, process, and technological changes take place with very little notice in response to challenges created by the outbreak. According to the ILO assessment, more and more companies will hire employees who are capable of transitioning through rapidly evolving circumstances.  

Resilience and openness to change are valued attributes as these are abilities required in easing tension and creating smooth processes within teams. As such, skills such as effective communications, initiative, and sound organisation of time and resources must be highlighted front and centre. It is essential be able to communicate to your employer that you are capable of adopting standards whilst maintaining consistency in order to create a more dynamic and innovative workplace. 

  • Widen your search          

If you are having difficulty searching for prospects because of limited postings due to the outbreak, you may find more opportunities if you expand your search and cast a wider net. You may also try alternative platforms to apply for jobs – explore government websites, company job portals, and sites such as Indeed, Seek, and others. LinkedIn has a role advertising feature that will allow you to put your profile out there for employees to see. Working with recruitment agencies may also allow you to take advantage of wider job searches and existing relationships with employers.

Moreover, you may leverage existing and previous relationships with clients, employers, and organisations to look for openings. Look outside your usual scope and expand your search to related industries where you may find success in transferring your skills and applying your existing knowledge to similar roles.

  • Optimise your resume for ATS readability. 

With reduced HR capability due to suspensions and social distancing measures, more and more companies take advantage of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) scanners, which rely on keyword richness in order to highlight resumes that stand out. These keywords must be prominent in your resume, as tracking software pick out the most compatible submissions from a recruitment pool. Use keywords that represent soft skills and hard skills aside from the expertise that you have acquired over the years that qualify you for your desired role. Moreover, clearly outline key sections such as Core Competencies and Professional Skills in order to produce a document that is coherent, and organised, and leverages your most significant values, skills, and qualities in relation to the roles you are applying for.

Aside from keywords, layouts and design formats matter when it comes to ATS. Pick a simple yet readable format, free from graphics and tables, which will highlight information in a more streamlined manner.  You can consult a professional on ATS readability, and a consultant will help you improve your credentials by applying tried and tested principles in working around ATS constraints. 

In this current economic and labour environment, most companies remain functional and have instituted some form of modified working arrangements. Businesses must undergo effective change management to prevent the worst effects of the outbreak from impacting profitability and productivity.  In order to fare well in your search for prospects, it is essential you demonstrate resilience in highlighting important skills that show your fitness to assume critical roles. 

Canberra Resume is the leading choice in ATS-friendly resumes. Contact us today to find out more, and let us assist you in creating professional documents to stand out in these trying times. 

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Resume

A great first impression goes a long way in life in general. It can determine whether you secure that first meeting or head start in whatever it is you are pursuing. This is especially true in the realm of job hunting, mostly applicable to fresh graduates or beginners searching for their first employment experience. With this in mind, it is a fact that having an excellent resume gives you the edge over other applicants who apply also. 

Below are 5 easy and efficient ways to give your resume that extra edge to aid you in securing your dream job.

  1. Get to the Point – Employers appreciate someone who knows what they’re talking about and does not ‘beating around the bush’. Avoid adding irrelevant information to your application. Including only the vital information and ensuring to focus and narrow down the facts is essential in creating an impactful resume.
  2. Highlight your accomplishments – Key achievements are work achievements performed by a job seeker that are both measurable and unique to their experience. When listing them on your resume it is different to duties or responsibilities in that duties and responsibilities are virtually the same for any employee in a similar role. Achievements are relevant to you personally. Putting a spotlight on how you handled a difficult situation shows your commitment to excellence which is a trait potential companies place in high regard.
  3. Use Numbers – In addition to the above, quantity does not take a backseat when it comes to hard data. If possible, try to provide a number or percentage on tasks completed as prospective employers use this as a metric for future performances. Giving you resume a healthy dose of statistics helps solidify any effect your actions may have brought your previous work.
  4. Be Specific – Most if not all job posts have points listed which the ideal candidate will possess. These are usually a short checklist designed so the Hiring Personnel knows you are the right candidate for the job. Focus on what it is asked and try not to stray far from it. Do not forget to cite any technical skills or knowledge learned from both official and personal experiences. 
  5. Double Check – After you’ve created or edited your resume, don’t forget to double check on everything. This includes dates, numbers, references, spelling, grammar and so on. This will make your resume easy to read and free of any discrepancies that may raise some inquiries. Preserving the integrity of the document also displays your aversion to errors. Be sure to use Australian English and include any role or industry specific keywords.

Contact Canberra Resume today to speak with an experienced consultant on how to best present yourself to prospective employers. www.canberraresume.com.au 1300 174 435

Law Enforcement Resumes

In Australia law enforcement officers can be employed by all three levels of government – federal, state / territory, and local.


A career in law enforcement can be rewarding and fulfilling, especially since policing and detective work enables you to provide services that ensure the safety and the security of the community. When applying for law enforcement placements and jobs in the security industry, it is important to be able to translate security services skills into the maintenance of law and order. Law enforcement officers enjoy a position with diverse functions and career paths, since any jobs in this industry are not just confined to one kind of position. You can fulfil common law enforcement functions by protecting others, protecting property, and keeping the peace. 

Any placement in law enforcement requires the presentation of excellent credentials, and through the following tips, you can draft a comprehensive resume that will allow you to impress potential employers: 

  1. Complementary skills

In order to draft a resume that will allow you to cover many different disciplines it is important to highlight your transferrable skills. For instance, if you are a security officer with an interest in retail, your resume can be tailored to show your commitment to asset protection, loss prevention, and the safekeeping of the premises. Moreover, certain skills such as crowd management and control can be highlighted so that you can secure jobs in events security management or the like. Further, you can also emphasise your emergency response qualifications, which will allow you to work in critical environments where urgent security services are required. Your success in landing roles successfully will depend in your commitment and preparedness to take on various complementary roles. 

  • Education and training

Your resume should highlight not only your educational attainment, but also, your training and qualifications. Apart from formal education, employers in the law enforcement industry are often looking for specific qualifications, tickets, and licences.  Are you trained and licenced to operate firearms safely and responsibly? Do you have the required training to be able to subdue and manage unruly guests or patrons? Can you safely manage crowds during emergency procedures? If so, you must emphasise these specialised skills and competencies by highlighting them under a separate section or header. Use strong and engaging headers such as “Key Professional Skills” or “Special Trainings and Professional Development”. Moreover, you should also demonstrate willingness to adopt new policies and procedures, which entail undergoing training and enhancements to certain skills. 

  • WHS training and cultural sensitivity 

Apart from technical and soft skills in law enforcement and security services, the industry has shifted its focus to employees who are well equipped with knowledge in maintaining workplace health and safety. Apart from emphasising excellence in procedural and technical know-how, law enforcement officers must also be able to display awareness and applied knowledge in compliance to WHS standards, guidelines, protocols, and best practices. Law enforcement careers can be potentially life threatening, and WHS knowledge equips a professional in this area to avoid occupational risks and hazards. On the other hand, cultural sensitivity and the respect for diversity is also another area that has seen increased significance.  It is important to be able to address this need, as communities are more driven towards responsible, ethical, and culturally sensitive public servants. 

  • Communication skills

Both oral and written communication skills are important in law enforcement. Effective oral communications allow officers to liaise well with colleagues in the effort of safely and effectively administering duties according to the objectives and the policies of the organisation. Further, communication skills must also be used effectively in diffusing and de-escalating conflict. The ability to communicate with influence is highly sought after in law enforcement jobs, as it is important to be able to approach dangerous situations with temperance and with a clear head. One must not result to violence as a go-to solution, but instead, effective de-escalation methods must be attempted initially. Written communication skills are also important in fulfilling required reports and documentations. 

  • Key Achievements 

Lastly, your key accomplishments or achievements can be highlighted both in your resume and your cover letter. These must be placed front and centre so employers will have an idea of how you are able to attain organisational and personal success in your chosen field. Moreover, certain law enforcement roles require selection criteria, which must effectively address competencies through the STAR method, which includes a statement on specific situations. Examples should be able to illustrate the Situation, Tasks, Actions, and Results.  By highlighting your key contributions and outputs, employers have a clear picture of what they could expect should they take you into their team.

Are you a law enforcement professional in need of a fresh resume and selection criteria documents? 

Look no further! 

Canberra Resume has helped individuals land highly coveted jobs in law enforcement. Contact us on 1300 174 435 or [email protected] today to know more about our resume writing and career consulting services.

5 Things NOT to Include in Your Resume

Your resume is often the first impression a potential employer has of you. There is only limited space to impress and make you stand out against other applicants. Since resumes are typically best kept brief and concise, you must strategically use the space available to highlight only the most relevant and necessary information and elevate your application. Some information can work to your disadvantage and may even become a barrier in landing your desired interview. 


Resumes are your foot in the door, so to speak. When you craft a resume that is impressive, comprehensive and professional, you present yourself in the best possible light and give employers a sense of intrigue. The point of difference in your resume will help motivate employers to get to know you better. Like any successful application, your ability to land interviews is imperative, and the only way to secure that highly coveted call is through a well-written and organised resume.

Informative and compelling resumes follow a checklist of compulsory information, but some of us tend to go overboard. Here are some of the things that do not belong in a professional resume in line with best practice and Australian National Employment Standards.

  1. Photo

Apart from taking up valuable space in your resume, a photo is generally not required since it is not in line with any standard national hiring protocol. In fact, some HR practitioners think that including a photo is not at all professional. Furthermore, companies who are expanding into more ethical and socially responsible hiring avoid any reason to be construed as discriminatory, and therefore, remove any factors that could play into their inherent hiring biases.  To be on the safe side, a photo should be excluded as this space can better be used in highlighting key achievements, skills, and professional behaviour. An exemption to the rule is certain jobs such as flight attendants.

  • Date of Birth 

Everything you include in your resume must serve a purpose to your potential employers. Other information such as date of birth, religion, or political leanings must be excluded from your resume in the same reason why adding photos must also be avoided: to avoid unnecessary discrimination. Previously, this was a widely accepted practice but legislation in certain professional circles have made strides in avoiding discriminatory practice that include racism, ageism, etc. Some of this information may even work to your disadvantage and is sometimes considered unprofessional.

  • Marital Status or other personal information  

In the same way that age, race, religion, and politics are commonly avoided discussion points in professional circles, marital status is also deeply personal information that must kept outside of professional discourse. Apart from this irrelevant information being unnecessary in building a pitch for a job, it potentially opens up many doors for discrimination and prejudice. Your prospective employer is only concerned about whether you are right for the position, not whether you are married, single or even divorced. Ideally, you should leave out any personal information that could count against you during any stage in the screening process. 

  • Reason for leaving previous job 

One of the most important aspects of leaving a job and transitioning to a new one is to convey the thought that change and moving on is part of professional growth. It is widely understood that applicants have their own reasons for leaving companies, and this is something that hiring managers usually avoid asking. The merits of any application should only be based on skill and competencies, and any information on reasons why you left your previous company may count against you and prejudice you from getting an interview. Sometimes, the reason for leaving may be circumstances that you had no control whatsoever and may work against your pitch for this job. Do not volunteer this information, especially when it will put you in negative light, however you may be asked to disclose this during the interview stage.

  • Academic results and grades

Lastly, it is no longer necessary to include grades, especially if they are below 70%. Most employers are not concerned with how well you did in school in terms of a numerical grade, but how well you are able to apply concepts and learnings into a professional setting.  If your grades are below the passing rate, including them in your resume may raise questions on performance and competence. On the other hand, if your grades are exceptional, they may improve your chance of modelling excellence and diligence and demonstrate key achievements.

Overall the foundations of a successful job application lie in presenting only the vital information required. Recruiters and employers from all disciplines and fields are looking for an outstanding track record, and there is no better way to demonstrate that by writing a succinct, powerful and impressive resume that is in line with best practices and accepted industry standards.

When in doubt about how to write your resume, as well as what to include and what to exclude from your applications, you can always consult with Canberra Resume. Our expert team of experienced HR professionals can help you in formulating a resume that is compliant with hiring standards and regulatory requirements. Contact us today to find out more.

Entry Level Resumes

Are you looking to write your first ever resume in order to start a new professional career right after school?  A well written resume is crucial in your job search, and it must present all relevant information recruiters are looking for. This is how potential employers gain an idea of your ability to accomplish the roles and responsibilities associated with the role. 

Most fresh graduates are often daunted by the word “experience.” Let’s step back a little.  To gain a first-job experience, you must be able to demonstrate prior experience. How does this make sense? Well, you first need to widen your definition of what experience is. In the case of entry-level resumes, experience may not necessarily entail prior working history. In fact, it is expected that since you are new to the workforce, you may not have ample professional exposure. 

Experience does not only include professional engagements or paid work. Experience is basically just your previous record of how you were able to apply skills and competencies to achieve a set goal or objective. Every task and project that you have done so far encompasses certain competencies and skills that are required so that you are able to attentively and successfully complete process components. This is what recruiters are looking for, and if you are able to include this information in your resume, you will be well on your way to securing your first professional interview. 

Here are some reminders so that you can craft a resume that comprehensively outlines your skills and expertise regardless if you have any actual work history or not:

First, write a short summary called a professional profile. This is usually the first thing your future employer will see. The profile must contain all the positive traits and characteristics you possess that will help you fulfil the role you are applying for. This short description is a snapshot of your skills and demonstrated competencies, and this must be a compelling statement which highlights your best qualities. Therefore, it is your opportunity to tell hiring managers of your strengths and potential contributions to the company.

Second, highlight your educational experience. At this point, your educational record and recent learning & development experience is vital information. Did you do particularly well in certain classes? Discuss them briefly and outline your best projects and outputs. Detail the processes you undertook and paint a picture of your problem-solving and research. You can also write about group work and how you were able to solve issues with your groupmates or committees. 

Third, your experience may include your participation in internship programs or placements. Most high schools and universities offer some sort of practical program or placements that allow you to work supervised in an real professional setting. The learning that you have gained in this exercise is very valuable to your employee, as it shows you can be trusted to learn and receive training, and interact with actual clients. It will also show that you have had prior exposure in a professional environment, which is important considerations for future employers.

Fourth, you can highlight your voluntary contributions to groups and societies. Were you part of any clubs or organisations? More often than not, clubs and organisations are structured so that each member is delegated a task or a project. Project completion and management is one of the most important aspects of club participation. Highlight how you can use these experiences as a basis of how you can carry out delegated work and responsibilities in the workplace setting. Further, demonstrating volunteerism shows initiative and a commitment to a cause or a project which will definitely add to the list of factors why an employer should consider you for a role. 

Lastly, highlight other special skills that you may possess. Do you know any foreign languages? Are you adept at using specialised and technical software? No project or task is too small. As long as you can demonstrate why your involvement was instrumental to the success or achievement, you can include these in your resume to paint a more comprehensive picture of your strengths and capabilities as a fresh graduate. 

By taking a step back and re-examining what “experience” means and by contextualising how your previous educational and community engagements led to your professional development, you become self-ware of your own value. Thus, you become more proactive in selling your best traits. 

Writing an entry-level resume can be daunting, however, you have an expert team of resume writers and HR practitioner consultants to guide you. Improve your chances at getting an enriching and fulfilling entry-level job by contacting Canberra Resume for assistance in drafting your first ever professional grade resume.

How to Create an Impactful Resume and Cover Letter

Five important considerations that will make your resume stand out above the rest: 

The reality of any job application process is you have to stand out from the pool of applicants in order to secure that coveted role. Depending on the demand for the role, there may be hundreds of applicants vying for the same position. It is important to create impactful documents ensuring you are relevant, competitive, and quite simply, the best person for the job. 

Niche specialisation 

Employers may look for someone who can do a rare specialisation, so if you have any special training or qualification, be sure to highlight and prioritise this in the hierarchy of information. It helps include sections such as your Key Skills or Core competencies. It also helps if you outline special training programs, seminars, and projects that will demonstrate your keen attention to the dynamics of one particular niche.

Focus 

Similarly, when you are in a team environment, a focus on your own particular assignment can be appealing to your managers. Doing the same thing over and over for an extended period often leads to mastery and specialisation, and a focus on a particular aspect of the broader project is often a sign of concentration and determination. Paying attention to a specific area of focus makes you the go-to expert, and highlighting this in your resume will establish the idea that you are dependable in this position or role. 

Niche specialisation requires systems thinking, or the capability to understand the interaction of small components towards contributing to greater project success.  Therefore, having a general function is part and parcel of being able to focus on a specific niche. Marrying generalist and specialised functions is a mark of a true mature professional, and it is up to you how you can highlight these two seemingly conflicting concepts in your resume. Take the time to carefully phrase descriptions for roles, as employers are looking for those who can specialise and can also perform diverse job roles. 

Key achievements 

Key achievements can improve your chances at getting called for an interview. Whilst your general day-to-day duties are important, most hiring professionals, especially from within your industry or area, are already aware of what certain roles and responsibilities entail. For instance, for HR practitioners in the management industry, it is quite apparent as to what business development officer, risk manager, or team leader roles are comprised of in terms of competencies. 

However, what will allow you to edge out the competition are clear descriptions and outlines of specific, measurable, and quantifiable results. Be sure to include financial figures, improved scores and ratings, metrics, profit margins, and percentages. It is important to highlight key achievements in a way that emphasises your instrumentality to the success of a project. Position yourself in terms of how your role was indispensable in the achievement of project objectives. This means focussing on laying out the specific tasks that you performed to be able to respond to the project requirements. 

Initiative and worth ethic 

In addition to your resume, cover letters help to elevate your application.  This is your chance to include brief but succinct descriptions of your work ethic. It is quite obvious for hiring managers and HR professionals what each job role may entail, but what they are often interested to find out more about is how you approach certain situations at work. By showing a more values-based approach in writing out work responsibilities and roles, you can outline your work ethic so that they have something else aside from your merits to base their judgment on.  

By briefly stating how you went the extra mile in projects, or how you took extra time and effort to exceed expectations, you are offering a more “human” dimension to your application documents. It gives the employer a sense that aside from businesslike precision, you also have the emotional and social quotient which has become increasingly important in the drive to promote workplace dynamics. Furthermore, you must also emphasise your personal convictions and how you reflect these in complying with workplace regulations. Employees often search for applicants whose value systems coincide with the company thrusts. By doing so, they are certain that any future applicant will be a good ambassador for the brand or for the organisation.

By following these tips, or by getting in touch with one of our professional resume writers you will certainly stand out above the rest. 

Contact Canberra Resume today to speak with an experienced consultant on how to best present yourself to prospective employers.
www.canberraresume.com.au 1300 174 435

5 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

When was the last time you updated your resume? For some people, that might have been years or even decades ago! 
To boost your chances of landing an interview for your dream job, it is imperative that your resume is written in a manner in line with current best practices. Shifting over to a new job will require you to have a fresh update on your skills and competencies. It is time to dust off the cobwebs in your old resume and introduce some zest and vitality in your application documents!

A well-written resume speaks volumes about an applicant. Before you even meet an employer, they will have already formed an opinion about you based on what they have read in your resume. For a position or role that is competitive, attractive, and highly coveted, it is important to stand out from the rest of your fellow applicants. 

How do you make your resume stand out, you might ask? Worry no more! Here are 5 tips we follow to craft and refresh your resume with current best practice and employment standards in mind:

  1. Craft a strong professional profile 

Your professional profile should deliver an impactful statement about your capabilities and skills. Consider this as a pitch or professional summary. It should outline your strengths, experience, and competencies whilst laying out what you could contribute to the team, should you be hired for the position. It must also present a clear, actionable objective, thus, you must always use strong verbs in order to clearly and succinctly state your “why”, or your reasons for why you want this role, as well as why the employer should consider you among the rest of the applicant pool.

  • Be conscious of keywords

Most recruiters now rely on ATS or Applicant Tracking Software to do the first level analysis and sorting of resumes. Your resume is fed into a system and the software functions to filter the best applicants based on keywords. Focussing on emphasising relevant keywords should be your priority in order to pass the ATS stage.

Along with the requirements for keyword richness, your resume must still be factual, honest, and based on actual experiences and achievements. We need to highlight the skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your employment history.

  • Use a simple, uncluttered layout 

A clean, simple and professional layout will ensure you stand out from the rest. A clean resume is a reflection of organisation and clever presentation. Using space wisely and maximising the page is a great way to include all relevant content. Best practice is between 3-5 pages, however those with extensive experience, special publications, works, and other notable projects, may exceed this.

  • Focus on relevant skills and accomplishments

Reflecting the job description for your prospective role enables you to respond directly to the requirements and needs of your employer. For example, if the role is asking for outstanding management and leadership skills, you would highlight your past experiences how you led a team and managed operations in an effective and efficient manner. This is a good way to focus your resume so that you are able to highlight relevant information. 

  • Eliminate non-essential information 

As mentioned in the previous tip on highlighting relevant information, eliminating non-essential information will also give you an edge and will help you stand out. We must also follow National Employment Standards for instance, photos, date of birth, and other personal information do not aid in landing you a role, and may in fact prejudice employers against you because of any inherent hiring biases, if any. The best way to go about an application is to champion your best skills and highlight only the most relevant and impactful information that can help you edge out the competition. 

With these tips in mind, we aim to help you achieve your desired hiring outcomes. These new documents will ensure you can confidently apply for any position knowing your resume effectively highlights your strengths as a professional. 
Contact Canberra Resume today to see how a professional can help you with a new professional resume. Our experienced and competent team of professional resume writers have years of combined HR practice and experience, and can help you on your way to success. 

Teaching Resumes and Cover Letters

Having a great resume and cover letter is crucial to securing an interview to any teaching role. In Australia and throughout the world, teachers are highly sought after because education in all levels is an important priority. To get your foot through the door, and to leave a good impression on the selection panel, you must be able to submit a resume that presents you in the best possible light. Your resume and supporting application documents must be able to get a quick summary what sums up what you have achieved in your career so far. 

As in writing resumes for any other discipline or field, teaching resumes must provide quick facts so that a recruiter will be able to figure out immediately if you are the right match for their requirements. You should be able to outline your subject specialisations, certificates, and experience right away so that you can ensure that all of the most important elements are easily visible. To produce an excellent resume, you must bear in mind these 5 considerations: 

Show your passion for teaching

Your passion and enthusiasm for providing uplifting and positive learning experiences to your students must be palpable in your resume. Demonstrate how you were able to make a difference in your students ‘educational journey by outlining examples of initiatives and programs that you have started to go above and beyond the normal curriculum. Make sure to involve other extra-curricular activities, which show your commitment to providing holistic experiences and well-rounded and versatile learning opportunities for your students.  By writing detailed job roles, you should be able to outline how each task and role was done towards the achievement of important educational goals for the individual and the group.

Demonstrate your credentials and key accomplishments 

Front and centre of your resume should be your key accomplishments and credentials. Usually, at the top of the first page of your resume, an employer should be able to see your certifications, trainings, seminars and other professional development and enhancement programs. At the end of each job role, you should also be able to outline all of the special projects and professional highlights that you can champion so that employers get a sense of how you pursue excellence on a day-to-day basis.  Do you have any specialisations? Have you attended enhancement conferences where you learned a novel approach to educational services delivery? Are you aware of other educational approaches and strategies that result to more compelling outcomes? Make sure that you structure these sections so that they are at a prominent part of your resume. 

Choose appropriate referees 

Selecting referees for a position is a no-brainer. When writing referees, focus on those who can provide a good word for you in terms of performance and team dynamics. Listing referees who were superior to you goes a long way in giving your potential employer confidence, as you are willing to be put under scrutiny in case they contact your immediate supervisor, principal, or school administrator. Employers prefer principals or deputies over colleagues or friends, as the latter may have biased opinions about your capabilities and credentials.

Ensure keyword density 

Most resumes in the educational sector are uploaded or processed through ATS these days. ATS or Applicant Tracking Software are systems that help facilitate the hiring process. Selection processes often begin with the ATS filtering through hundreds of applications to set apart resume submissions that have the most coincidence with the set keywords for the job. The intelligent system can detect highly qualified applicants because of keyword density, or the amount of  instances that certain important keywords appear in a resume. Therefore, it is important to be able to write detailed, comprehensive, yet concise accounts of your own personal work experiences. A successful ATS round will allow you to advance to the next stage, in which further documents are examined, or you are called in for an interview by a hiring manager or supervisor.

Write compelling selection criteria responses 

More often than not, educational institutions will rely on a set of criteria that will allow them to carefully assess candidates and applicants for the job based on how well they can fulfil certain roles and criteria. Selection criteria items are competency-based requirements that must be addressed by applicants through anecdotal  evidence and situational examples that clearly illustrate their capability to respond accordingly to given situations. The best practice in this regard is to approach all selection criteria responses via the STAR method, which calls for an outline of Situation, Task, Action and Result as a way to tell a story of how you were of great influence to a success of a particular task or project. A well written narrative response must answer the STAR criteria directly. Note that each and every position may call for different criteria, so a customised response must always be written specifically for a particular role. 

By highlighting your key achievements and accomplishments, both in the classroom and the administrative side of the teaching job, you are afforded the chance to manifest your contributions to your school and your students.  Your resume should reflect your passion and your commitment to the job. Most importantly, your resume should be clear, and simple, and with a logical structure that immediately sells you as a prospective employee. 

With these tips in mind, you can get in touch with Canberra Resume so that you can be more informed of the resume writing process. Our professional resume writers and consultants are equipped to provide information and guidance in in helping you draft a resume package that will allow you to best your peers. Contact us now to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream job!