How should I lay out my employment history on my resume?

Your employment history should always be listed with the most recent role at the top! The average recruiter spends less than a minute on each resume they look at, and if the first role they see is working at a McDonalds or something else not at all relevant, you may get overlooked for a role simply because the recruiter missed the part of your resume where your relevant experience is listed.

Do I need to list the exact dates of my employment?

Every single role should have the starting and finishing, month and year listed. There is no need to put exact dates, but simply putting the year is not enough information! Some candidates only state the year and when I delve into how long that they were at that job, their answer can be anything from 1 day to 12 months.

How should I list my duties for each role?

Recruiters find it hard to read long arduous paragraphs about what you did in your last role. So that they don’t miss anything crucial dot point your tasks and responsibilities with the most relevant points for each role at the top. These points should be able to easily account for what you did on a day to day basis, what systems you used in doing so and whom you interacted with (e.g. clients, customers, direct reports, suppliers etc.)

Should I account for any gaps between roles?

One thing a recruiter looks for is gaps between employment. If you were unemployed for a period of time, it is important to account for it. It is better to state that you went on a 6 month holiday than to put nothing at all (for all we know you were sitting on your couch watching “Oprah”).

Should I include a photo on my resume?

Only include a photo if it is professional one! Bare shouldered, glassy eyed, drunken party shots do not make a good impression!

Does it really matter if I make spelling mistakes on my resume?

In this day and age with “spell check” at your disposal there are simply no excuses for spelling mistakes. As a recruiter there is nothing worse than opening a CV in Word to find half of it underlined in red squiggly lines! In many cases recruiters will not even read your resume when this happens.

Should I put my contact details on the top or bottom of my resume?

Your contact details need to be very easy to find. I would always recommend putting them at the top of your resume (right near your name) so that they can’t be missed!

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