Resume Advice

Making the right first impression: resume and covering email

Make the best possible first impression on every potential employer. Present yourself and your work history in the best possible light with a carefully constructed resume and engaging covering email.

Securing an interview is a crucial step in selling yourself to a potential employer, so we’ve got a few tips to help you catch their attention.


The Covering Email

  • Address the letter to a specific person. Make the effort to find out who you are approaching – no generic Dear Sir/Madam!
  • Every email you send should be tailored and targeted towards the company, project and roles for which you are applying.
  • Choose your words carefully and make your point succinctly. Often the reader gets hundreds of these, so yours needs to stand out for the right reasons.

The Resume

  • Make sure grammar and spelling are correct and the layout is neat and easy to read,
  • Keep the resume brief, and include only basic details, no more than 3 pages.
  • Include a brief paragraph as a value proposition, outlining how your unique skills and personality will add value to the organisation.
  • The education section should include institution, qualifications and dates.
  • Your employment history should be in chronological order and should include the following:
    • Dates you were employed
    • Company and Division
    • Duties & Responsibilities
    • Projects and Values
    • Job Title
    • Key Achievements
  • Tailor your resume to reflect the position you’re applying for. You must alter it EVERY time. Use the job specification to help you add or select information in your resume to make it relevant. Don’t stretch the truth, you will be found out!
  • Additional information you could include:
    • Specific computer skills
    • Licenses and tickets
    • Language skills
    • Residency status (if relevant)
    • Interests (only as they relate to the position, no need to get too personal)
    • Flexibility for relocation or travel
  • If you have any specific achievements you are proud of, this is a great way to differentiate yourself eg. industry involvement, charities or sport
  • Account for all your time and ensure there are no gaps
  • Include the details of 2 work referees of direct managers in the last 5 years