We thought this research important and necessary because a cursory
visit to the career shelves in the major book shops will show
that the majority of book on résumés are American
in origin and therefore written for an American market. For
those that want to work in the USA this is helpful but Australia
is a very different job market.
What follows is the result of the wishes of
134 senior Australian HR professionals. Like everything else
résumés are subject to fashion. However, the survey
suggests what is required (and, perhaps more importantly, not
required) in Australia now and for say the next 5 years or so.
We offer this information to you in good faith.
Perhaps it is best noted that everyone thinks that they are
a good driver and an expert at writing résumés.
Every one that you show your résumé to will have
a view and will want to give you advice. This being the case
we urge you to ask yourself the quality control question “When
did this person gain themselves a position – or some one
else a job – based on the advice they are giving me?”
If it is not recent, then be cautious.
At Transcareer we love being told “Your
resume was not right.” and then we are informed that the
person was told this at their interview!!
So here is the information. Each section is
followed by our comments based on getting thousands of people
into jobs at all levels from Chairperson to Tea person.
What the HR professionals
This is the presentation order that was the most popular
• Name Address, Phones and email
• Skills profile and sector experience
• Employment History
• Professional Training/Memberships/Technical Training
• Personal Details
Academic honours and professional memberships can be abbreviated
and put after your name. If you have lots of letters then put
them in 8 point under your name. Remember that in Australia
there is a tall poppy syndrome so do not do this if the job
does not require lots of smarts or qualifications.
The reason for skills profile and sector experience
is that large companies and employment agencies will store your
résumé in Filefinder or something similar. On
search, this system will only usually bring up information from
the first page of the résumé so experience which
does not appear on the first page , could be missed and thus
your details would be passed over for position to which you
could be the ideal candidate.
Notice: there is no requirement, which is
almost mandatory in an American résumé, for a
career objective/aspiration statement. This is only useful if
you are a recent graduate applying for you first position.
This was interesting!! Whilst there is some significant legislation
restricting employers from asking this is the ranking that they
gave on their wish list.
• Date of Birth/Age
• Marital status
• Number of Children
• State of Health
• Driving License
• Willingness to relocate
Of course they would like this. The market discriminates (unofficially
of course) against married women and single men, women with
children and those with physical handicaps as well as age.
The solution here is
obvious – do not have this section!!
How far back should you go in
your career itinery?
These are the results in employer percentages – only as
far back as:
• Ten years 52%
• Fifteen years 34%
• Twenty years 4%
• All employment 10%
Usually those employers that wanted to go back beyond 15 years
were in banking, security, and gambling – for obvious
• Current Salary 21% of employers would like this information
• Bonus 17% of employers would like this information
• Major Benefits 26% of employers would like this information
• Not needed 36% of employers did not need this information
Salary is negotiable so if you give your current salary the
employer will be tempted to offer you just enough to get you
rather than what the job is worth.
References and referees
Whist 66% of respondents said that they would like the names
and addresses of referees, surprisingly 89% indicated that they
would be content with a statement such as “References
and referees supplied on request.
Local government, academic, legal and finance sectors all wanted
full information here. This is because most of these employers
usually take up references before the interview.
Just give the statement because the closer you get to the job
the more you will know about it and the better you will be able
to brief your referees on the required significant KPIs.
Paper for the Résumé
These were the preferences:
• White 94%
• Off white 2%
• Light colours 1%
• Did not matter 3%
Size of paper:
• A4 100%
Let your resume be like the bride and not the bridesmaids
One respondent said not grained or gloss because they did not
This is why respondents did not like binding:
• Difficult to handle
• Too bulky
• Awkward to shRed
• Difficult to fax
• Difficult to file
• More effort to copy
This is why respondents did not
like paper clips:
• Other pages get attached
• Comes apart to easily
• “I have to staple it!”
• Ariel and variants 78 %
• Times New Roman 14%
• Century School Book 4%
• No preference 4%
Here we fall back on research. Times New Roman is the most easily
read font so use this for hard copy. For email use Ariel or
Preferred font size:
• 10 point 4%
• 12 point 85%
• 14 point 11%
• Fully justified left and right 29%
• Left hand only 23%
• Not important 48%
Left and right justification will make your resume look like
a book or newspaper and we know that they are published in their
thousands – make your résumé look personal
and only left hand justify.
How long spent reading your resume:
• 30 seconds 7%
• 1 minute 13%
• 1.5 minutes 8%
• 2 minutes 19%
• 2.5 minutes 0%
• 3 minutes 9%
• As long as it takes 44%
Several of us at Transcareer having been full time recruiters
find the 44% as long as it takes very surprising. However since
54% of respondents spend 3 minutes or less put a huge emphasis
on how good your first page should be.
What they said they hated:
• Overly long
• Too many pages
• Courses going back years
• Full job descriptions for every role
• Verbosity – especially on the first page
• Unnecessary attachments
• Gross over marketing of skills
• Promoting self with unjustified statements
• Claiming skills with no supporting evidence
• Too many career objectives
• Centered on the applicant’s need rather than on
those of the employer
• Studio photographs
• Posed Photographs
• Glamour Photographs
• Handwritten changes
• Unnecessary graphics
• Information in boxes
• Disorganized information
• Basis information hard to find
• Unexplained gaps in employment
• Unexplained gaps in educational studies
If you would like to work with Transcareer
to build a phenomenal résumé that achieves interviews
and provides the best training for the interviews that are to
come then please click here
of your résumé is the response that you
get from it”
A FUN competition for you!
Test you Resumé IQ
The person who can find the most mistakes each the month will
receive FREE copy
of 'The Book of 200 Career Questions' and will join our "Roll
of Honour" for Resumé Intelligence on our site!