Creating a winning resume

The saying “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is so true, particularly when it comes to your resume.

It’s your opportunity to spark the employer’s attention and you only have seconds to sell your best self and stand out from the crowd.

The job market is competitive so it’s super important to make sure your first impression counts.

Your resume gives you the opportunity to showcase your top qualities and skills relevant to the job advertisement and demonstrate why you’re a good fit for the job. 


What is a resume, and how does it work? 

A resume (sometimes referred to as a C.V. or Curriculum Vitae) is basically a picture of your life in words, written in and presented in a very specific way to highlight your how your skills, experience and education are related to the job you are applying for.  It is a short professional account of your career and accomplishments, usually a maximum of 2 to 4 pages long.  

The main purpose of a resume is to get to a job interview.  Taking the time to get your resume right can dramatically increase your chance of getting an interview and winning a job. 

It can be useful to think of a resume as a marketing document - it tells a potential employer about you, and what you have to offer them.  But it is only words on a piece of paper if you don't know how to identify your skills and sell yourself (learn more about skills that get noticed). 


What information should be included on a resume?

  • Full name
  • Contact information - include your phone number, address and email 
  • Email Address - your email address should be professional and be an account you check regularly 
  • Summary or Career Summary - the goal of the summary is to provide the employer with a few sentences about why you would be a valuable employee, and to quickly highlight your essential attributes 
  • Key Skills – this can include a range of job specific skills, general employability skills (soft skills such as communication, technology etc), and personal characteristics
  • Education – full certificates and qualifications you have completed, or are undertaking
  • Languages and proficiencies – Being bilingual can be a benefit, so highlight your skills
  • Employment History & Volunteer Experience – listing the most current, or most relevant jobs first
  • Achievements or Key Competencies – things you have accomplished, or significant changes/improvements you have made in your jobs (include statistics or facts if you can)
  • Awards / Certifications / Professional Development – you can include short courses, skills updates, police checks and screening certifications
  • Referees - Contact details for referees who would provide positive feedback on your work experience and/or character
  • LinkedIn – If you have a LinkedIn account, include a link to your profile

Resume Quick Tips

Resources to help you create your resume

Kick-Start Your Career - Online Webinar Series

Our “Kick-Start your Career” Series has more information available about all aspects of career planning and job preparation.

You can watch our recorded presentation “Is Your Resume Doing You Justice?” for more specific tips and detailed information about creating your resume, what headings to use, and how to identify the skills and experiences that employers require you to demonstrate in your job application. 

View Kick-Start Your Career Series


Get help with your career planning or job preparation

Current and recently graduated students can book an appointment using the links below, or by calling TAFE SA Customer Support on 1800 882 661. Support is available for recently graduated students for 12 months after completing your training with TAFE SA. 

Note: All resume support appointments are encouraged to be booked as online virtual appointments using Microsoft Teams.  This will allow us to share our screens and look at your resume together in real-time. 

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