September 15, 2022

Effective Tips On How To Build A Standout Resume

Tips from a recruiter



Alright. Welcome, everybody!

Welcome to the workshop today. We’re just waiting for a few more people to join and kick it off in a minute or two, so get yourself comfortable.


Awesome. It's a really diverse audience.


Yeah… from all over the world. 

So while we're waiting for more people to join, why don't we start off with a quick icebreaker? Everybody, thank you for being here, so let's hear in the chat where everybody's joining from. So, mention your city and country. 

So Jennifer is my colleague; she's in Vancouver. We have a couple of people from Nigeria. Robertson, Melbourne and I am in Nairobi, Kenya. Oh, South Africa, UK, couple from India and USA.

We have a lot of people from Nigeria. It's great… I'll let some more people in.

Awesome, let's keep that going on and I will share my screen to just go through a little guidelines for today's session, and then we'll kick off with some questions for Robert.

All right. Welcome, everybody, to this resume building and job-search mindset session with EntryLevel. EntryLevel is here to help you learn and get experiences so you can get hired in a job. So, either you've already taken some of our courses or you're just attending our event for the first time. So, I welcome all of you. 

Our mission is to reskill a billion people by 2030, and by being here, you are helping us with our mission. A couple of guidelines for today's session; be respectful and when you're asking questions, do not spam the chat—I believe no one will, but just a couple of guidelines before we get started—and keep your mics muted and if you do wish to speak or ask a question by voice, ask to unmute and I can unmute you and you can ask a question, or just type it in the chat and I can ask your question on behalf of yourself… on behalf of you to Robert. And, yeah already covered that.

So in terms of today's agenda, we have err… just a second I see a lot of more people joining, let me let them in. All right, for today's agenda, we're gonna be chatting with Robert who's a specialist recruitment consultant at Marshall McAdams, which is a prestigious recruitment company in Australia. I'm gonna let Robert introduce himself just in a moment, but for today, we're gonna dive down into everything about resumes. All the questions that you guys submitted earlier, I have noted all of them down and I have a lot of questions for Robert. So, we're gonna do that for the next 30 minutes and then we'll have about 15 minutes to go through some resumes that were submitted by you guys as well.

I just randomly shortlisted a couple and depending on time, we will do at least two resumes, but if there's more time, we'll maybe look at a couple more and then wrap up the session with just talking a little bit about the mindset you should go with in your job search and some action points for you guys to take on after this session finishes.

So, Robert tell us a little bit about yourself. I don't think you can unmute yourself so I'm gonna unmute you… just made those settings 


Hi guys, nice to meet you all.

Maybe you can hear from my accent, I'm… even though I'm based in Melbourne, I'm actually not originally from Australia. I came like four years ago from Germany back then on a scholarship to study in Australia, and then… yeah, then obviously coveted and so on and everything was quite difficult, but I basically pushed through it.

Maybe with some tips I can definitely also share for my journey today. Yeah, graduated with work then even besides studies for some elite sporting teams in Australia. Still doing that on the weekends casually, but my full-time job essentially is cyber-security specialist recruitment consultant. What that means is, I basically joined my current company like one and a half years ago and since then EXEC have developed skills to build entire teams in cyber security and ASX-listed companies.

ASX is specifically for strained like a… like a stock exchange listed companies or required Big Enterprises. So, let's say from analyst level up to sizeo level.

So like I guess, like, from basically junior to the highest management level so I've seen, I guess, like tons of resumes from junior level up to very senior. So I think I can actually make a good judgment now of maybe what good looks like or if there is actually like one way of doing a resume because I think… they, actually, they think there are different—many different—good ways of of writing up a resume. 

Since, I guess like, are you just working for Tech Stars as a company or everything is like, sort of really “startup-y” like, I actually have also some sort of Tag Edge. I'm currently running some small side business with… my side hustle with my best friend; sort of like a data analytics platform which we are creating for manufacturing companies, so I'm a bit like, all over the place, but have established myself very well in Australia in the Tech Market and have have had very great success. 

So, I'm actually quite excited to meet you all, and yeah, maybe we can take it from there.


Awesome. Thanks for the introduction.Great to have a lot of side projects on the side to always keep building and keep increasing your own profile. 

Amazing. So, I'm gonna kick off with some questions; they might be a bit jumbled-up in terms of order. 

So this, I have four categories of questions; just general questions about resume, questions about the design and length of the resume, and then we'll talk about experiences; so how to highlight experiences best, and some people have great specific questions based on their own situations, so we can take a couple of those and then talk a little bit about recruitment systems and what do recruiters really want to see? 

All right, a really basic question which was submitted a few times was, what's the difference between a resume and a CV? 

Ah, you viewed it again. Okay, one second.


To be fair, I wouldn't know myself. I'm actually also getting always confused by myself, I think. I'm not sure if I think, like, it always feels like in… like in British-English-speaking countries, you say resume with them, right? Or I might be wrong and maybe in US, it’s more CV, so I really don't care, like, some come… like, some people I'm working with say resumes, some others say CV. But in the end, it's… I think it's the same. Like I have never actually seen any difference between both, so maybe just my advice in that regard would be to really not care. 

Obviously, for instance, I know that I'm coming from Europe, so the structure of a resume is maybe a bit different to a resume in US or in Australia, so it really is like country-based, but in general, I would say some people text me “hey Robert, here's my CV,” some others say, “here's my resume,” and in the end both documents look the same.

So I would actually say this and there's no such difference—maybe there is maybe there isn’t. I could also educate myself in regards to that but I think there's no difference between just a like a term which is kind of excuse like that.


Yeah. Perfect, awesome.

To build on that, whether we're building a CV or a resume, should… if I'm applying for jobs and I'm in the job search market, should I tailor my resume for each job description—each job—that I'm applying for, or should I have a consistent resume?


I would I would recommend really, depending on experience level. If you are junior, then definitely tailor your, like, your resume to every single job description, 100%, yeah.

Like, the competition there's just so much competition that you really stand out if you are tailoring it in the right way, so like, let's say if you pick up, I guess, like, keywords in the position description or even over, like, from the company and you pick those keywords and sometimes—maybe I don't want to say it cheat but just—sneak them maybe somewhere in that's always giving you an edge.

Just to give you maybe some idea for very senior people, like, let's say it's people who are in, let's say, in senior security engineering positions where many years of experience over there I wouldn't say it is… it's maybe not as important anymore. Obviously, it's just about the skill set, but those people, they're very, very established. You have already an idea of what they're doing, so maybe they are not tailoring it as much and they're just like separating their resume to… like the same resume to like many similar jobs. But if, especially if you're wanting to get into the industry, I would always recommend to tailor it.

And maybe I can also explain further later how I would do that or how I would, maybe, most effectively spend my time on that because I know it's very much time consuming. I'm like, I know, for myself, like, let's say you have an exciting role; many people are playing and you spend like five six hours on just sitting there, taking the time from your day, and then in the end, you get a rejection which is super annoying. 

So, I can absolutely feel you, but again, it pays off after some time, with the volume, it definitely comes.


Makes sense. 

Yeah, I remember when I was applying for jobs a few years ago after graduation, I had the the summary section in my resume—the objectives—and I would just change a few words depending on the job I was applying for and even I would use the same internship that I did for different jobs; I'm applying for marketing, I would highlight my marketing experience in that internship or tailor it in a way that would fit the job requirements, and yeah. So really, that… it really helped at that point in time, especially when starting out as a junior in new companies.

With that, we've almost hit 100 people in this call, so thank you everybody for being here again.

Next question is more more on the experience side. So, some… one person asked; is like problem-solving, good communication, and being proactive are now still words in a resume because everyone's using it, but how can we use these skills in a resume? Because we actually possess these skills, but what's the best way to highlight these soft skills in a resume?


Obviously. let's say if I'm looking, like, looking at the resume, and especially of more junior people as you, like, you're right; some people just writing, let's say skills, and they're writing problem-solving. But I need to have… I need to have a backup for that I need to, at least, have some sort of examples for that. So, if somebody's just writing as a skill, “problem-solving,” I want to have the proof that the person… that I'm at least getting an idea this person has problem-solving capability.

So if we can for instance, say as a dot point, develop problem solving skills from having done… with this in this outcome, like overcome this challenge with, like, specific examples to back up every point.

The same for, let's say, customers or skills, or IT support skills, or whatever it is to always back everything up because I would… I'm always saying that, or one of my, I guess, every word that is vague or sort of like where you, for instance, where you say exceptional communication skills or highly motivated, already I… if I… if it would be me, I would leave those words out just because you are judging yourself. And on the flip side, if you're applying for a job, I'm already implying that you are… you should… obviously you should be motivated to do the job. Like, I'm basically expecting that you're motivated, so I would actually take those words out. I would be really, fully focusing on actual skills and you know, like back all these skills up that you are claiming with a proper example in your skill section. 

So, I wouldn’t necessarily… for instance, I wouldn't necessarily just, you know, write skills as like a summary or something; I would write a proper sentence out, develop problem-saving skills… develop because by doing this and this and this and giving very specific examples which are really measurable, if that makes sense, so that I'm getting a view. Because, I don't know what your company is sometimes, you know, I don't know what they're doing. I need to get a sense of things as fast as possible, if that makes sense.


Yeah, absolutely. Awesome!

In my hurry of starting, I forgot to record this meeting, so I'm gonna start recording now. That's loud…

Awesome, we're now recording. Yeah, thanks Robert, for that answer on how to put soft skills in the resume; more more focus on actual work that you got done instead of… because it's assumed that… 


Yeah, sorry maybe just a quick follow-up on that one. I guess like, in let's say 30% of resumes or maybe even 40%, I would say, I'm sometimes seeing, I guess, like those bar charts of, let's say problem-solving, customer service, maybe some I.T. students, and then people are writing themselves by giving themselves sort of like, you know, like let's say, four stars, two stars, or one star so that I'm getting an idea of how strong someone is. I would leave that completely out just because who is… who is actually making the judgment that you are that good at something, you know? 

Like, because if you're saying like five stars as problem solving, you know, on which basis is that measure? So, it's just a bit misleading in my opinion and it just looks a bit too… I don't want to say too childish, but just always back it up with proper examples and save space on the resume, you know? It's all… also all about saving space, but I think we come to that later. 


That is a… yeah that is a great point I've seen a lot of those like a lot of those resumes myself and a lot of templates online have that format of adding your skills in star-points or like a bar chart, so I agree with that.

And for those who are watching the recording, yes, for those who are attending as well, the recording will be shared and for those who are watching the recording, we just discussed about how to present soft skills in a resume and what's the difference; how to tailor each resume to each job description and when to do that.

We're gonna move ahead to—since you brought up the the bar charts and the funky designs in resumes, it's all the buzz right now; colorful and graphic resumes. You can create resumes on canva and a lot of other platforms, so it's… and some people prefer keeping a simple and professional resume format and it also depends on the industries, but do you do especially… let's talk about tech since you are in tech and a lot of people here are also in tech; is it… do you suggest building a beautiful resume (like a colorful and graphical resume) or a simple and professional resume should do the job? 


I think simple and professional is easier for you and also easier for me. They give you just a very simple reason. Also, why? It's just easier to read.

And secondly, the the recruitment tools we are using—any company—let's say you apply for Google, let's say you apply for a smaller company, let's say you apply for… through me as a recruiter, sometimes I have difficulties with with complex… like, I said, complex design resumes which might be looking good, but the the software we are using—which is basically reading those resumes or pre-screening those resumes—has very often difficulties in actually gathering that information from that document. Or I'm having issues later, let's say because usually the way—how it works—is, the company is, from a recruiter our HR perspective, they're looking at your resume and they're looking at your resume not by downloading a resume and then opening word or opening whatever; Adobe or something, they basically just skimming… they're skimming through it in a software and that software is basically having a preview of your resume, so sometimes if you have a resume which is sort of really like not like formatted in a right way and you're clicking through it just appears, sometimes not on the right way, and it looks actually worse than a resume which is just, like, really simply structured. 

So just maybe, just a hint from a recruiter perspective because, you know, like I can… because we’re not, downloading it because if I'm getting that, like, and that's another point; if I'm getting 100 applicants or 200 for for a job, I'm usually spending maybe six seconds—six, seven seconds—just looking at it and making a decision and then saying yes/no/maybe, whatsoever. 

I know it sounds bad, but there's simply just no time, so it obviously has to stand out. It stands out more with the right skill set as as opposed to design, but obviously, that always depends on, as I already said, if you are maybe a UX designer or just in general. 

If it's something related to design, then obviously, I would recommend setting up a… like a nice created resume. But otherwise, keep it neat and clean and very simple. Yeah, even with the side breaks like the page breaks in Word; to really go through it and to and even make the test yourself, like, maybe formatted in a PDF document, format it back into word, check if things suddenly move around or something, if everything appears to be cleaned to you by, you know, putting it here and putting it there and back and forth, then it's actually good to go because that's what those softwares are anyway, doing, like you know? 

If I'm retrieving the resume or editing it or formatting it myself, that I'm not having work on putting, you know, fixing your resume in the end.


So yes, not to make it more hard for the recruiters and the hiring managers and just keep it simple.

You spoke about the systems that the recruitment companies use, softwares as well. I think it's called the… I mean a few people had that question too; what is what exactly is the applicant tracking system—the ATS—is that similar to and how how can a resume be designed to pass that first screening? Because, and I have a personal example, there… because when like four years ago I applied for Deloitte and I applied for two different roles and through the their system and for the first one I did not get any response and it was declined immediately and then the second time, I applied for a similar but different, like, different role in the same office. I changed a few things in my resume and applied again and instantly I got a mail from them to pass on to the next stage which was an online test.

So, give us some more background info on how these screening things work or how to just be more compliant for these softwares.


Good question. I think there's just a lot of talks around that tracking system stuff and so on. I… well, I think, so just to give you an idea; let's say somebody applies or let's say 100 people are applying, yes I'm getting for instance and that maybe what this tracking system is doing. I'm getting a pre-recommendation of, or like, I'm getting a recommendation of candidates who seem to be quite strong because the tracking system is tracking according to, let's say, keywords of, for instance, the position’s description.

So, let's say I'm advertising a job and then it's going according to the position description, who is matching the closest to that position description? But it's not necessarily straight away eliminating everyone who is, maybe, not… you know, maybe not the right fit or so. It's just usually at least, like an hour. Like, when you're using a software called bullhorn for instance; which is, maybe, the number one in recruitment, or let's say, also used by big companies—usually, big companies are using Workday or SAP Success Factors, and then they have like those integrations, but that's how they are operating as well—it's not like that. You're immediately not selected, it's just making a pre-recommendation to a recruiter.

Having said that, I'm… for instance, I'm still going through everyone because those… because we, like as a recruiter or HR person, we are still aware that not everyone is a professional in resume-writing; like, we still want to give everyone a chance and sometimes, especially in technology where there is such a demand for good people, you might sometimes miss out on someone who is great but maybe not at great resume writing, so we are definitely aware of that and we are definitely going through everyone. Still, obviously, the better you still tailor your resume, the stronger it still appears to me then. Anyway so it's, you know, you can see it either way but I would… I'll say, like, we're coming back to the top, and I would still obviously recommend to tailor your resume and the better you tailor your resume, the better it is also for the tracking system. But I would say there's nothing like you're directly eliminated or so because, like, let's say I'm going through and I'm clicking a button green, then are you just receiving the email of, “okay, next round” for instance? So that's okay; there’s still a manual aspect, still behind that. And if you're talking about Deloitte, I could imagine the people might be sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and just as they're just skimming through six seconds, six seconds. That's how I would assume how they are doing it. 

Yeah, they will still go through those resumes, but obviously, if they're predictions or something and some companies might be going more according to predictions which are measured by that ATS tracking system, and obviously it's better to just tailor anyway, which I would be always recommend especially for entry-level jobs. 

Does that make it the cost of more senior you go the less applicants and the more you do someone the favorite to just not the favor, but you basically… you go through everyone anyway. That makes sense.


Right. Awesome, thanks for the insights. I have a before I move on to my subjects there's a few questions in the chat; how many pages would you say is maximum for a resume? 


I mean it's not there's no maximum; maybe certificates… that's another point to make; everyone has a different perspective on like… everyone, like, I might be asking two three people in the office and one person’s saying two, another one is saying three, another one is saying four.

That's really… like, it really depends on on the recruiter and I would say it's not like that something is a no-go. Obviously, maybe a no-go is maybe more than five pages, but don't try to stretch your… if you just have certain experience, don't try to stretch it like... I have seen very senior people being very successful in their search with just like—I'm talking about people with like 20 years of experience—20 years just with two pages. So they've just densed everything so way together; not necessarily making the font very small, but just very precise and you know what they're up to. So if you would be, let's say you're coming out of uni, you might have worked while in uni or you have one year of experience; I would always recommend two pages.

I'm very very precise and obviously maybe up to three four pages but it's not a set rule. I wouldn't say that you can also make it just one page; it really depends. Obviously, if one page is very difficult, but yeah, it's maybe a bit of a vague answer. It really depends, but obviously, I wouldn't go beyond five pages; that's just annoying. Like the maximum four, but for four, you need to be also like; you know basically your experience needs to be… you need to explode over many years but other than that one or two is fine.


Yeah, so beginners for entry-level jobs, I think one or two is fine.

Yes, one page is difficult, so yeah, you can extend it by one or two pages; definitely. And when applying for jobs; let's say through Linkedin or through other platforms where there's specified… there's no specified file type for the resume, is it like is something recommended PDF or word, or…?


Actually, it doesn't matter. Obviously, either PDF or Word because the way how, you know, they just pour it in, like, I'm just reading those… sometimes, I would almost say a word just because if we are editing the resume after and we have to change it from PDF to Word in order to make a change, obviously it's better to avoid any formatting issues that it's already in Word, if that makes sense.

So, I would… maybe you go from that perspective. Maybe Word as a preference and secondly then, or you know… or PDF just from it because all that's one of my biggest… if I always go from the perspective; how is the perspective from a recruiter? What is the day of a recruiter when he's receiving your resume? You know, how can you save that present time? Or is that… can you make it as easy as possible to understand what you're up to or, you know, to just avoid any sort of extra work or whatsoever.

So, yeah word maybe, and then… or PDF; I know PDF looks like clear but maybe just keep it as well.


Awesome. All right, so now I'm gonna move on to a couple of questions about how to highlight experiences best in a resume.

So, from a couple of questions on that, so from a perspective of someone with little experience, someone who's just a beginner, who's done a couple of internships and maybe have student volunteer experiences; so how can they use that to, as… on their advantage to showcase that they're capable for the job? And even like to build on that also, with someone… as someone just posted a question; with someone with a a gap in their resume, it was like maybe they took a couple of years off to do something of their own or maybe because of an illness; how can they show that positively or or in a way that doesn't detest their merit in the application? 


I mean, let's say if you have done student volunteering and if you have done internships and all these sorts of things and you just showcase those properly, I mean, I wouldn't say no if it makes sense. 

Like, I think, I mean the first step is obviously; and it's great that the person has done it to have done those or, like, have, you know… have gained those experiences, if that makes sense. Like, again, like the… and it doesn't matter actually if it's an internship or work experience as long as you can provide specific examples which are eventually relevant to any given jobs you are applying for, that's the… that's the key thing, you know,  as long as you're specific, you showcase what you have done with percentages, with numbers, you know, with how many team members we’re involved, how many people, what was your responsibility? 

Some people make the mistake to sometimes write in internships what they have done as a team, but usually, I don't care about that. I would like to know what are you doing as part of a team. Like, what's your responsibility? So that I know what you are up to. And in the end, it doesn't matter if you can show me that you have done multiple internships and maybe student volunteering or knowing what your hobbies are and you can say, “okay, I've done, maybe, I've won this… whatever, I won a medal in athletics or whatsoever.” That's always something which make want to meet… wanting to talk to the person and I think again like, that's it's not just about the resume and maybe for another session or something but it's intersecting very closely with networking; with contacting the right people, maybe on LinkedIn to get some… to get a community like, to basically also get across how you are in a communication sense or something, you know, to then say, “Hey, that's actually me. I've applied like that, so there was ah, all right, cool. Like, you know, like there's more to it than… it's not just the… not just like this, the active resume.


Right, got it. In writing on the experience as well, so, if someone has a couple of years of experiences and, usually, it's said online when you look for tips that try to highlight your experience in numbers as well, what kind of change you brought in, like you helped increase sign-up rate or helped increase conversion ratios and things like that, or like, how did your work improve the numbers? 

So because it's easier to measure change and someone had a question that 


I think with illness, right? Like, somebody was like; if there's a gap in in years… I believe that was, I think, one question.


Oh yes 


I think to be honest we are all humans, like, don't forget that let's say if I'm looking at something, I might have been sick in my career as well, like, I can relate to that. It's not like… that I'm a robot; my name is maybe Robert but, you know, if you are writing that you have been ill for two years, that's absolutely fine. Like, don't… that's life.

So honestly, I mean, you know… what about, like, I'm dealing currently maybe with some women; women, for instance, who are senior cloud engineers at very big companies; they were maybe, you know, two years on external extended maternity leave, so they're writing that in their resume. You know, they might write; okay, I've worked maybe 10 hours a week, what they have done, you know, and sometimes, even a good topic to like. It's maybe not sometimes… if it's a serious illness maybe not a good topic to talk about but, you know, if some people say have taken off a year to travel around the world, you know, it's a good topic to talk about sometimes in an interview.

Just be… just be honest like, you know, like, don't… let’s just like, say 2018, like let's say 2014 to 2016, 2018 to 2020; just write what happened in those two years. Don't just let it stand there because, obviously… I obviously have many questions in my mind. You know, where you what were you actually up to, you know? Where you just do holidaying around where you live, you did something bad? Then if you don't want to talk about it, that's also fine, but just, you know, just mention something. Just be honest.


Right. Yep, honesty always helps.

For someone who is in more of an analog-style work experience where their job does not directly impact; so for example, the… there's a specific question by someone, he works as a content strategist at the University radio station and they do not have analytics, so there is no way to track the results his ideas have generated in terms of increasing or decreasing audience listening power and purchases. So when you apply for jobs, he needs to play the numbers game, but he doesn't know how to get those numbers without the analytics, so he would like he would like some tips on how to navigate this type of work experience where he doesn't have access to the numbers or, yeah…


To be honest, just keep… just, I mean, those numbers are anywhere… anywhere, only there to give an idea, you know. I never… I'm never, especially because, let's say if you're looking for program managers or project managers; let's say, in what I'm doing those people might say 14 project managers with a projected value of, what, 50 million dollar budget? And this and that… I don't care about if it's 51 million if it's 50, I just want to have an idea of the size of things. That's it.

So, you don't have to like, you know, when you say content or something, just, you don't make it too precise, like, of course if you can make it precise, maktto be honest.o be honest.e it precise, but it's not a must. Just give me an idea of the ratios of things, you know, just to get an idea of, okay, how many people? What, sort of, the scale of things?

If you don't know the exact number, that's absolutely fine and if it comes to, for instance, an interview and people might ask you for that, just be honest and just say, listen, I obviously… I couldn't pull… I'll pull the exact number, however, just to give an idea of of how things are relating, I use this number for that. So, that's absolutely fine, just you know, like, just using rough estimate, that could sort of reflect of what you are doing in numbers, and that's absolutely… that's absolutely fine. 


Got it. Awesome. Well, before I… it's been almost 35 minutes now, so I'm gonna maybe share a couple of resumes that was submitted and picked up. 

So we have a few and we'll look through them and share my screen. Before I do that, a couple of students were asking about; is there—and that's like another question as well—so there's lots of templates online, you know, and the templates differ from industries as well and, I guess, from country to country as well; what are your thoughts on—because a couple of people are asking for a sample template in CV as well to be shared with them—what are your thoughts on that, and if yes, if they're good, where should we look for them or do you have any resources on that?


But just to be honest, there are many right resumes. Like, so let's say you go on and you type, “template”—I mean I don't want to recommend—you type it, take it just randomly; any template or something, but I'm seeing many different successful resumes, there's not one way of… to go about things and maybe just as a tip also, when I was, for instance, writting up my resume after uni, what I was doing was, I was getting the opinion from many different people; let's say… let's say instead of getting the opinion from one career advisor, I was getting your opinion from 10 different career advisors. So, I basically… my resume in the end was a summary of 10 different people, if that makes sense. So one people would have advised me okay, that's the way how it should look like/it could look like; I took that, took it to the next one, took it to the next one, go went back to the first one, took it so I went around different people.

So, in the end, I was basically ticking; I was fitting into everyone's opinion almost, and I was able to say, “All right, I found the average of everyone's opinion of the type of resume”. You know, that might be great to say, it's not a right way, maybe, just sorry… just quickly maybe as a rough structure. 

Obviously, let's say, obviously name, you know, name, phone number, address; the address doesn't have to be your house number, it can be just sort of, let's say if you live in Melbourne City Center, you just write, “Melbourne CBD Central Business District” or like, you know, something just to give an idea. You don't have to write… so, like, you know, like phone number, address, email address, maybe underneath, the LinkedIn account, then I also don't need to know if you're single, if you have a partner, if you are married, if you have 10,000 kids; it really doesn't matter.Sometimes I'm seeing something like that and I'm just getting irritated; it's not none of my business. I don't want to know too much personal information, you know. 

Then your personal profile. maybe four to five like, let's say, four lines; four to five lines, short and sharp, as specific as possible, which are including your key skills, backed up with an example in the profile. Then maybe the education, then your key skills; let's say if it's technology, let's say you have used Azure, you have used AWS, you have maybe used the coding language as a skill section. Then obviously, the experience, then you might put some underneath experience, some certificates, and then, for instance, references available upon request.

As an example, you also don't need to; there’s a misconception; you don't need to put your referees details onto the resume; it's not required. Let's say even if you apply for Deloitte or something, if they really want you, they will ask for your referees anyway at some stage. So, it's not necessarily required some people say they need to. It really depends up to you what you are more comfortable with but there's not a right way of how to structure a resume. Maybe from a formatting point of view, just keep it neat and clean; don't load it full with things. As long as it looks neat and clean to you, it will also look neat and clean to someone else.

So, there are many different right ways.


Got it. Awesome.

Last question before I move on to sharing a resume is; is it important to have your age in your resume?

Was that a yes or no, sorry?


Oh no, I don't care.


Yep… so, nope! Age is not important. 

What about applying for the like a job? Is it important to have a cover letter along with it?


Definitely, yes. 

Also, I guess like, depends, obviously. If they're asking for it, if… yes, it's always a bonus, obviously. It's always like, if it… if something can increase… if something is competitive and you can increase your chance by 5% to be a step ahead, then do it; as simple as that.

Like, you know, and yes cover letter… and yes, obviously also tailoring then the cover letter according to what is required and obviously also trying to, because sometimes I'm seeing people trying to fit in all of their experience and I made that—it's not a mistake—but I just did it by those things myself as well. Just really use x; if you have like six experiences just only list the three to four experiences which are really… which do really matter to the relevant position, because sometimes, it makes people questioning, “hmm, why is he… why is he actually putting that one experience which is completely outside the box?” “Why is he actually putting it on the resume?” 

Just sometimes makes me… make someone wonder… on the different side of things, I actually realized that just makes you think too much, so just put the relevant stuff on it and it's better to elaborate on those points, rather than stretching it with more experience.


Right. Awesome, got it. 

And even many, many job applications or job descriptions are quite clear on what they want. If they want a cover letter or if they don't need a cover letter, they have a bunch of questions that they want answered; to know more about the applicant and how would it be well on the job. So, it's pretty… if it's not written, have a cover letter but if it's there, then of course, answer those questions.

All right, I'm gonna share my screen with… all right, can you see it?


Cool. Looks good. Looks already good.


Looks good.

Anyway, I have a few open here so I can move around. 


I mean, again, that's also just perspective, so let's say I would put the summary and I would—in order to just save space—I would, you know, I would write out the summary notes in dot-points, but I would like, I would basically write like sentences after each other as a paragraph.

So, if you write those sentences after each other and you save another 2-3 lines of space, and you could add the space to… like, those the saved space to, as, a new dot-point under your work experience. For instance, so just a word for instance, under summary systems, is taking away an entire line of space basically, you know, so just make use of that space you have already. It's perfect; you have already, like, made it wide and so on, which is great and it looks actually very good.

The resume… but again, like, you know, just maybe I would always write the para… like a paragraph as a summary; the other things always dot-points but the summary is a paragraph and then maybe, summary education skills, and then work experience. That's what I would be doing.

Experience: correct, correct, let's say some—in this case summary education—skills work experience and then maybe, and then under… and then, after work experience, maybe for instance, extra curricula experiences or something. Maybe… maybe you have attended like a Congress or Symposium or you won an award for something, then that comes… then under after everything and before… like, after everything but before references, obviously and as, for instance, extracurricular experiences. Otherwise, it looks very neat and clean. That's great.

Again like, with a skill section, let's say empathy and people skills—I don't know if you, you know, like maybe you're not a for… maybe to me or not, you're not a people person, but for someone else, you are. So, that's something which is, you know, that I don't know… highly organized, you know. Like it's, maybe, then in this case, better to bring in, maybe, technical skills as a dot-point. 

Yeah, technical skills and maybe, elaborate on those a bit more and use those soft skills and and basically, you know, bring them in like… let's say, you know, “interacted with customers via emails, phone codes, online chat, and in-person,” so you might bring that one in as, I don't know, like let's say, you know, “developed… we developed high organization skills by… developed higher organizations goods by multitasking,” you know, like, “by multitasking different… what about customer service channels or whatsoever,” you know, just to, you know, like basically, which skill developed with what, you know, you can use those skills for. 

So, you save a lot of space actually, but otherwise, it looks actually great. It's a great one-page resume. I like it… it's to the point otherwise.


Perfect, awesome. Thanks, I'll move on to the next one a little time for about…


See that's… maybe like, let's say, I mean… like, I have very good eyes, but if I, you know, I need to basically go very close to it to, sort of, see what's happening here, so maybe it looks actually great. 

Like, it's another slide and again like, see… like, everyone uses a different style of experience or, like, sorry… of resume writing. That's… and that's awesome; you can just, maybe—and I know that's difficult—you might say, but I don't have space for… to do that and so on. I know that, but try to make space then, you know, just try to increase the font by maybe, make just the font a bit bigger and again, like… see, like under freelance content writer experience; there would be more space available, you know, if you just write it maybe a bit more, like, smarter, you know, like, let's say, sourced related and high-quality imagery. Maybe just “sourced high-quality imagery,” you know, like, just to save… send them the world, but you, but it looks then more clean and you save space to actually bring in more… more… more other information relevant to the position, you know.

Otherwise similar to the… it looks great. Don't get me wrong, I'm just very picky of it now and again like, you know, like, let's get communication time management. Like, show me in your experience where you have developed those skills because everyone can claim it and I know that in, let's say, even LinkedIn Workshops or something, they just say, “okay, put it on your… put in your LinkedIn profile, put it in a resume because it just helps you.” 

That might be right, but if it really comes down to the hiring manager in the end if you skipped… if you basically over… like, you went through the system and you made it successfully to the interview round, but then it… then you were anyway exposed to the actual person talking to you, so it doesn't make sense anyway. 

But otherwise, I mean it looks fine otherwise. You know, just, it's great that you have… that you include a volunteer experience. That's something I would always bring onto the resume. It's good otherwise, I mean, you know, like again, there are different ways of writing things up, you know. The… it's also good cool that the person has like, see my website, blog, LinkedIn, and portfolio. That's great. 

You know, like, I have basically points to, you know, just to click somewhere to see, maybe LinkedIn profile. That's also always great because always keep in mind that if you are saying your freelance content writer, it has to match, including the dates also on your LinkedIn profile. I've seen so many people who are, for instance, saying; I am like… I like, let's say, on the… on the link on their resume, they're writing, “I'm a technical content writer,” but then, I'm going onto the LinkedIn and it just says I'm a junior technical content writer, so that raises questions for me, you know, about the personality, about if the person's honest and so on. 

Summary: compulsory? Good question.

I would not come… now, nothing this… nothing is compulsory. But I would say it just helps you, so if you make it short, concise, and worthwhile reading, it's definitely beneficial; that makes sense.


Awesome. One second… someone just shared their resume right now on chat. I'm gonna open that. 

It's a bit long, can you see it?


Yeah, that's… that's absolutely fine. 


All right let me scroll down. 


So, for instance, it looks great; lots of information, like lots of information written again like maybe on the top when basically, the address was given. I just wouldn't give the… like I would not state the personal address, if that makes sense, you know. I would just leave that out.

I would also leave those—I'm not sure how you call it—but let's just leave it as address for an email without any extra things like, I don't know, I'll just head in English. But doesn't matter, but you know, just leave that. Exactly, leave that part out. Just Legos; maybe Lego City, or whatever. 

It is again with skills; problem-solving, just to make it as specific as possible. For instance, if it's… if you are, for instance, let's say you are a project manager and I'm actually looking for only for project managers. If you're a project manager, because you have already quite a lot of, like, you have already experience maybe for two, three, four, five years, I'm keen to see maybe, instead of—and again that's always case-by-case—but let's say, let's say, skills and then, for instance, projects worked on; that's another point you can make, like an… like obviously achievements that's what many project managers having achievements and then before actually stating the the actual work experience, you basically write all your achievements down in dot-points, you know. Have whatever; “I have upgraded data center this to this and this by managing a team of Engineers” or whatsoever, you know, like did you because, like… let's say if you're a project manager, I'm expecting you to have problem-solving skills. 

I must expecting you to have all these sorts of things. There's nothing new to me; I want to see, you know, I want to have… I want to see something spicy. I want to see something that's… that stands out to me, you know, otherwise, it looks clean. 

So, we maybe go further down; for instance, in that case and that's right, education is underneath the work experience. Just because that person seems to be more experienced. All right, here, accomplishments; already so that's fine, then. Sorry I didn't see that before.

So, for me, this resume looks looks fine. Absolutely, it looks maybe like very, like, maybe if you look at it from, like, that it's a lot of text, so if possible, cut it down as much as you can. So, instead of, “I have consistently engaged,” just say, “Consistently engaged…,” you know, leave “I have…” or leave that out “just successfully closed…,” you know, just to make it as short as, and precise as possible. The less words you're using but space and still saying the same, the more powerful it is… it comes across.


Right, awesome. Great, maybe… maybe the last one for the day.


Looks… looks fine. Maybe, you know, maybe just to make it… maybe just making it a bit wider, you know, making more use of the actual space and maybe the space between lines and the dot points to make it just a bit wider; just that it's easier for me to to read.

You know, sometimes it also just helps, you know, like ask a friend—ask someone completely not a stranger but obviously somebody also needs to have the time for that but just ask someone else—for an honest opinion, you know, or like, just put it aside one or two days and just look at it. Just from trying to look at it from a neutral perspective with common sense, like is it easy to read? Is too much text, like, sort of, you know, visually on one or like, you know, tense together? Otherwise, it looks good.

For instance, when you're writing developmental code… the person has actually great experience. Obviously, if somebody is, let's say a business development manager or has done other things, maybe… maybe that in this case, the fund a bit smaller, but then, elaborating more on the experience because, obviously, if it's such a title, there must have been extensive work with it or extensive work output or achievements or whatsoever.

Just to elaborate more on that, if that makes sense, but otherwise that's great. I mean, that's actually a good resume. Otherwise, just to make it wider; make more use of the space though maybe slightly smaller and obviously, always as precise as possible, you know, any word you can leave out—any buzzword… any buzzword—just leave it out, you know, like make it as as precise as possible, but it's… it looks actually very good here. That resume… besides that it's to the point, but because, obviously, let's say it says over there, let's say startups, marketing; that… those are like, it feels like somebody's shooting words, but like, I just puts not on. 

What… what does it mean? Startups, you know, have you founded a multi-million dollar startup? Is it a startup just as a side hustle? Partnerships? What exactly does that mean, you know, yes, of course it gives me but it's because it's a very broad space here, you know. Like, let's say, obviously depending on which position you are going for, don't confuse the reader. You know, like I wouldn't know actually what you're going for now. Are you going for Fintech? Are you going for marketing? Are you going for partnership? Like, what do you actually want?

But otherwise, it looks great. Hmm, my fingers hurt a bit.


Awesome. I'm gonna stop sharing now thank you Robert for reviewing those resumes and thank you for everyone to sending your resumes and a couple of people sent me resumes on chat here as well, but unfortunately, we do not have enough time to go through go through all of them.

There were like more than 50 resumes or maybe, yeah, 100 resumes submitted. But maybe another time. 


Great a couple of…

Yes, Robert you were saying?


Oh, no go ahead. Sorry I was like, I was just saying I'm impressed by how many people are here. 


That's great; I'm sure a few are probably watching on YouTube as well. 

Cool. Before we start to wrap up, I'm just gonna look through the questions in chat and so, please some for people who are there's a question on how… “Hi Robert, how would you advise to a career change in it my current job has nothing related to it so…”

And there's a couple of questions like that where people don't have any experience in the new field they're moving into but they have, maybe, a couple of experiences. So, let's say they have experience in marketing and then now they want to go into data analytics or that sort of thing. So they have experience in different industries but they're moving on to a new industry. So how can they capitalize and should they mention their different industry experiences in there? And I think that's… that, let me add another question because there's sometimes all the jobs that we have done which are maybe, like part-time jobs that we do like, “when I was in Australia, I was doing a lot of part-time jobs; teaching basketball or doing other things. Should we mention unrelated things not related to the job you're applying for in the CV and how?


Oh… might take another hour.


So, let's say, maybe to the last question; if you should be putting in if you have played basketball or so or like, sorry, you coach basketball besides, you know, it’s case-by-case. It's… I know what people are wondering… like they want, you know, a go-to answer, but I would actually—if it's an entry-level role for instance—obviously, say that they get an idea of your personality, but if it's then later going more into more Plano and, like you have already experience and so on, then I would leave that, maybe, but it can be a topic for coffee catch-up, it can be a topic maybe as a side note, as a joke in the in the interview, but over there, they just want to see results and they just want to know that if you are coming in, you are not coaching us basketball; you're delivering results, if that makes sense. 

So maybe for junior… for junior junior positions, not they just want to get, first to get to know you as a person, how, you know, it’s your first career; like a first career move, but for something more senior; maybe give a short glimpse of, maybe hobbies, but nothing else, if that makes sense. Maybe sports coaching or something, and then it could be, oh… and actually what you're doing then, and you can say, “all right, like I'm doing basketball coaching.” 

And for a trend, like… like career move, I actually worked recently with a couple of people together who some of those are still on the verge or like… on the way of maybe like achieving that move successfully. Some others have done that already, what I have seen, but I've seen what made people successful is always like, I mean you must have done something in your so far in your career, whatever it is, and I mean and you want to move into I.T. there's obviously always, like, I mean I.T. is I.T. but let's say if you are applied, you want to move into an… I don't know what it is but let's say a junior software development job or something like that in an energy company or in an… in a bank; maybe you have done… maybe there’s… you know, the industry of the work… the industry of the work you have done so far, maybe at least you can say, “all right, I have already, at least, worked in the same industry,” if that makes sense. 

Like, I've had, for instance, guys who were Financial Managers. They were Financial managers and they were thinking, “okay, how am I best possibly moving into… now, into technology?” So it was basically, we were sitting together, we had like a year-long plan and so on, and we were then in the end coming down to, “okay, all right, I'm… I'm targeting, maybe, Risk Technology, Risk Management in Banks.” Like, I have worked as a finance or like, as I say, or like Financial… Financial Sales Guy in Banks, you know, but I'm moving.

Maybe I'm now targeting, maybe technology risk in banking, so I can, maybe, combine a bit of my experience plus, obviously, upskilling through, maybe, internships; through virtual internships, through variously also just asking people for advice on going to combine that and to make still use of your existing experience to not say, “okay, right now I'm working in a bakery and now I'm jumping into… to something completely opposite, something we make.” Try to make the transitions smoothly, if that makes sense.

Try to think, all right, maybe I'm working currently in marketing maybe there's a software company which is actually in producing marketing tools or something as an outcome, so it's, maybe, good to know how a marketing tool works or something. 

As a developer, maybe I can make use out of that thinking or something, you know, but otherwise, it's… I know it's a very—just to maybe finish off like that—but there is no common answer, you know, like, I'm… I have… I'm getting those questions quite a lot and I'm also thinking quite a lot about it; what's the… what's the best advice to give? In the end, it just comes down to perseverance, to maintaining drive, to be very resilient because, obviously, it takes time to make that move and I've seen people who were very much struggling, maybe mentally or as well because they were thinking like, “oh God I'm trying to, for one year, this does not work out. It doesn't help, like nothing works out,” to just keep going. 

Always reflect on what went well so far, what didn't go well, and to always learn from these things. Maybe as a final note, when I was applying for a job or what I would always recommend is; for anything it's, maybe, like you have, maybe, a Google like a Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel or whatever it is and you basically… and you take notes of every application you have written or submitted or applied for… whatever. And you highlight those experiences in either green for being successful or moving to the last stage, maybe orange for it made it to like, let's say, shortlist red for immediately red-flagged or not successful and then always write down notes on the side of why do you think—you reflect actually like—why do you think this was not successful? What was the feedback and you basically developed a sheet of like your development in applying and your development of your resume and your development of you yourself in your career towards the the career you want to pursue. 

And it just helps… it keeps track of things because, otherwise, you just you'd apply and apply and apply and apply and you think that you are the… you are right and everyone else is wrong, but you just have to always constantly analyze yourself, you know, track yourself. That's the only… that's maybe, something I would recommend that otherwise, it's… it just sometimes takes time. Have patience and I'll keep… just keep going.


Awesome. Lots of action points by the end and great advice, Robert.

I hope that answered most of your questions, everybody. I know we, I mean, I had a list of many more questions, but time is… time is always limited, but we'll be having more of these sessions in the future, so we'll answer the rest of your questions, then, everybody.

But just like to point out what… like reiterate what Robert said in a couple of questions by people around someone in product management applying the product management roles but have experience in publishing and then another one is transitioning from banking operations to product management. It's again, when you're applying for roles to look for similarities, and because product management is a very new field and it's sort of everywhere, in every… Like, new age startups have product manager roles, so maybe if you're coming from the banking industry, look for product manager roles in, yeah… 

Use your banking operations experience and highlight that that you have expertise in… you have expertise in banking operations, and then you can use that to apply for those roles and as Jennifer said, doing a lot of personal projects; if you don't have experience in a particular industry that you're looking to hire for a particular role, specially things like product management and data, do your own personal projects, build your portfolio and use that to show that what you're capable of doing and showcase that in your portfolios.

To start wrapping up, Jennifer will be sharing with you the recording and so you can, of course, go back to this this session because there was a lot of information unpacked by Robert. 

So you can look into it in the future and, of course, reach out if you have any questions and we'll be hosting more events. You will be receiving that information in your email. 

Robert, any… any action… any last bits of advice or action points for people? Where can they find you, and…? 


You can you can always find me on LinkedIn. The problem is that I'm just very busy and obviously you can imagine, and that's also something I mean to keep in mind as a last final note.

When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn or email or whatsoever, the problem is just like that I'm getting so many messages in general or any recruiter. To be in order to stand out, I guess or to kick something off to… and to provide value, you know, to ask something interesting or to, yeah, whatsoever. Just to keep in mind like, I'm more than happy to answer questions as best as I can, so feel free to reach out. 

But obviously, you know, I won't be able, maybe, to answer those within the next week or so. So. it might take some time.


Yep, awesome. Thanks, Robert. 

Thank you so much for joining us and for your time in the evening and… lovely to have you everyone else for attending this call live and we'll see you in the next event and I'll chat with you soon. 

See you, everyone.


See ya. Bye.

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Did you know that on average a hiring manager looks at each resume for just 6 seconds?

Having a great resume puts you on top pile of your potential employer.

When searching for a job, it can feel like you are sending out resumes into a void, never hearing back from hiring managers.

In this workshop, we have Robert Neumann (Specialist Recruitment Consultant) who will answers questions such as:

  • How do you craft the perfect resume?
  • Should I tailor my resume for each organisation?
  • What mistakes to avoid while creating your resume
  • How to think from a recruiter’s perspective?

We also talked about the job search mindset and how to deal with rejections and keep on moving.

Watch this resume workshop recording to learn all the tips and tricks to creating a standout resume, as well as how to write effectively about your experience and yourself.

We also reviewed a few resumes that were sent in.

About Robert

I came to Melbourne as an international student in 2018, worked in elite sporting organisations, participated in various Entrepreneurial tech competitions, and won an innovation program in Silicon Valley before joining Marshall McAdam to work with tech talent as a dedicated Cyber Security Technical Recruiter. I have since then built entire Infrastructure and Security teams for e.g. ASX listed companies.

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Robert Neumann

Specialist Recruitment Consultant at Marshall McAdam

As a Specialist Recruitment Consultant, Robert Neumann has years of experience connecting talent to various companies. Before working at Marshall McAdam as a Cyber Security Technical Recruiter, Robert has worked in elite sporting organizations, participated in entrepreneurial tech competitions, and won an innovation program in Silicon Valley.

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