Little things could make a huge difference when putting together an eye-catching Australian resume.
Choices about resume formatting or layout could affect the overall impression of your application. Spacing issues, colour selection and settings for margin could all impact the way your resume is perceived.
Hiring Managers usually get hundreds of resumes for each job daily. A resume with a sloppy layout makes you look unprofessional as a job seeker and will potentially cost you an interview.
In this article, we’ve come up with five easy ways on how to properly format your Australian resume.
Use standard margins
We usually recommend using 1.27 cm or half-inch on all sides. You can increase the margins if you have extra space, but do not make them bigger than 2.54 cm (or one inch).
Select margins suitable for your resume content and design.
Separate sections using borders and shading
If your resume is coming across as too plain, you can use the ‘Borders’ and ‘Shading’ tools (found in the format menu bar) to format important parts of your resume such as your resume headings.
Instead of underlining your headings, you can insert a border to separate your headings from other resume sections. You can use horizontal lines above or below your headings.
You can apply different shades of the lines in your design as well. Just make sure to use lighter colours, such as light blue, green, grey or beige. Avoid using bright colours, such as red, orange or pink, as these could be very distracting and unprofessional.
Use colours strategically
Unless you’re planning to submit an infographic or creative resume (usually for Graphic Artists), you don’t have to make your resume too colourful.
Keep your resume simple by using a combination of 2-3 colours, which is usually black for the core resume content, a different colour for your name and headings, and another colour (of the same shade) for borders or shading.
Using the right balance of colour on your resume to highlight key parts could help your reader immediately notice your achievements, experience or skills.
Use dot points
We always recommend using bullet points to breakdown long paragraphs or sentences.
Keep your bullet points short, ideally no more than two lines long (but not shorter than a one-half line).
Start all items with the same part of speech. Specifically, use active verbs to show that you’re a ‘doer.’ For example, instead of saying ‘Accountable for supervising a team of 10,’ say ‘Motivate, coach and mentor a team of 10 to achieve set KPIs.’ Read here for more information on how to make your bullet points stand out.
Use periods at the end of each dot point only if they are complete sentences. Don’t use special characters (for example, star, check, diamond, arrow and so on) as these could be difficult for scanning software. Use simple bullets such as circle or square.
Create white spaces
Our advice is to go for 1.0 or 1.5 line spacing between text. Feel free to adjust this based on the space of your resume.
After lines, you should have enough white space between different sections – for example, between your positions and different resume headings (Professional Experience, Education and so on).
To add extra white space between your professional experiences, press the ‘enter’ key once.
For different resume headings (for example, if you want to separate your Education section from Professional Experience), you can create a double-spaced gap by pressing the ‘enter’ key twice.
Make each page a full-page
The use of white space increases your resume readability, but you shouldn’t have empty spaces on the last page.
Leaving a half-page empty, even if it’s your last page, might raise red flags in the Hiring Manager’s head. It may even come across as you don’t have sufficient experience to fill up the space!
No matter the number of pages you decide on, make sure the whole page is always filled. Should you not be able to fill your last page, review your resume to completely remove the last page by omitting any information that is not relevant to the role you’re applying for.
To sum up
Hopefully, our simple formatting tips could help your Australian resume stand out.
You only have six seconds to impress the hiring person, so try your best to make your resume stand out.
Still not sure if your resume is eye-catching enough after applying these steps? Have us review your resume for free.