General tips for writing resumes

General Tips for Writing Resumes


  • Employers use the information in resumes to decide who they will interview for a position.
  • Your resume needs to make clear why you are a suitable applicant.Keep the purpose in mind as you review your resume.
  •  Ask yourself if the resume is aligned with the job advertisement and the job description.If there is no advertisement is it consistent with what you know of the job?


There are two elements you need to consider:

  • content (what you write) and
  • format (how you write it and set it out).


In some industries there is a specific format required and for some jobs you could ignore all the rules and be very creative, but the following guidelines will be suitable for most applications.

  • Use standard sized white paper or background
  • Use a clear and simple font between 10 and 12 points. Headings can be larger and bolded.
  • Don’t include a photo unless asked to. If asked to, use a photo appropriate for business.
  • Your resume may be scanned and photocopied. There is no point sending it in a folder.
  • Don’t send original documents (results etc). You would usually take these to interview but don’t attach to the resume.
  • Use bullet points to clarify material
  • As well as having a professional email address consider the privacy settings on your Facebook site and remember that everything is forever in cyber space.
  • There are many acceptable layouts and formats for a successful resume. The main thing is that the format makes it easy for an employer to identify the things that make you a suitable candidate.



 The first section (personal details) is always included and comes first. You don’t need to use a heading. The order of other information can change depending on your circumstances


Personal Details

Your name

Your address

Your phone numbers. List a number where a message can be left

Email (address suitable for business)

Residency status (if relevant)

 You do not have to include information about your age, marital status or health.

Other headings you will usually include are:




Work Placement

Referees: you will be expected to supply the names and contact details of atleast two people who can speak about your past performance in the workplace. Referees cannot be family members.


 There are two templates on the website to show how these headings are used..


The important thing is to give priority in your resume to the aspects of your experience that make you most attractive to a particular employer: this may be your education, your work history or your skills depending on your circumstances.