How Personal Should a Professional Resume Be?

Professional Resume and resume writing

When it comes to writing a professional resume, it can be difficult to know exactly what personal details you should include and which you should leave out.

While it’s obvious that you need to include things like your phone number and email address, how personal should your professional resume really be? And are employers even interested in your personal pursuits?

Photographs

Should you include a photograph in your professional resume? Most of the time, this is not recommended. If you’re thinking something along the lines of, “it will be great for the employer to put a face to my name,” save this for the interview.

At the initial application stage, employers are not interested in what you look like, and unless you’re applying for a modelling or acting job, there’s no reason they should be. In addition to this, photographs can be rendered irrelevant if the resume is printed on a poor quality paper, photocopied or scanned into a database. Your face could end up distorted, or absent all together, and the photography efforts will be wasted.

Hobbies & Interests

Unless you are a graduate with little or no work experience, it is generally not relevant or advisable to include hobbies or interests.

If you do choose to include them, ensure they are tailored to suit the position. If you’re applying for a job in a design company, for instance, you may want to include hobbies like, “blogging about web design” or “attending art and design exhibitions” etc.

Email Addresses

If you don’t have a professional email address, get one. Having addresses with Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and other web-based companies is acceptable (though Service Provider addresses can be more reliable), as long as your email prefix is professional. Email addresses that use your name, for instance, are ideal (barryjones@gmail.com), but if you have an address like “ilovedogs@hotmail.com” this is not going to make a very professional or mature impression.

Resume Designs

Ever heard the expression, “less is more?” At all times, the design of your resume should be professional not personal. This means staying away from colours, fancy fonts, animated designs and other decorative images and graphics. Even a border can detract from the formality and professionalism of your document. Instead, stick to black and white, and remember that simplicity is best.

Do you require someone to write your professional executive resume?

At Resumes Australia, we specialise in writing executive and professional resumes for hundreds of candidates across Australia each year.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Formatting Your Resume for the Job You Want

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret: no one enjoys working on their resume. It’s a boring task to take on, and requires a lot of focus on selling yourself on paper – which isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. You want to know an even bigger secret? Nobody enjoys reading resumes either. Okay, so maybe that’s not a secret. In fact, you probably already knew it. But knowing that most hiring managers loathe this part of their job, and understanding the statistics that point to how little time they actually spend looking at specific resumes before making a decision (studies pinpoint anywhere from 8 to 30 seconds) is not an excuse to take a lazy approach with your resume. In fact, it’s even more reason for your resume to be perfect – you want something formatted to catch a hiring manager’s eye in those brief few seconds you have their attention. That’s right: formatting matters. What a lot of people may not realize is that there are three main ways to format a resume, and the format you choose should absolutely take into consideration the job you are applying for and the skills you have to offer.

Chronological

A chronological resume is the standard format you probably learned from your high school guidance counselor. It involves listing out your previous employment in a reverse chronological format at the top of your resume, ending off with things like education and awards received. Under each job, you might also list some of the duties you fulfilled in that role. You would want to use this resume format if you were applying for a job in the same field you have always worked in, as your previous job titles likely serve as proof of your experience and background.

Functional & Skills Based

If, however, you are looking to make a job change or have had a gap in your employment history, a functional/skills resume may be the way to go. This resume format starts by listing out your skills, and sometimes applicable experience, rather than your previous job titles. Depending on the job you are applying for, you might divide those details up into two or three specific skill sets, listing out previous applicable experience you have had under each of those headers. This is a way of highlighting what you are capable of, above what your previous titles have been. It is a good way to show hiring managers that you have what it takes to do the job, even if your previous job history doesn’t automatically make that clear. An example might be if you were applying for a job in sales and had only previously worked in clerical positions. Instead of listing out your job titles, you could list out the skills and experience you had that might be applicable to a sales job – focusing on your customer service skill-sets.

Combination

A combination resume is basically just a hybrid of the chronological and functional resume formats. You would start by listing out those skills and focusing on what you are capable of, ending with a basic reverse chronological listing of your previous job titles and companies you have worked with. In this resume format, you would preserve your actual experience for the skills section, and leave the job titles list to just that – a simple list of previous job titles, without further delving into what each of those jobs entailed. This might be the right resume to use if you are hoping to advance in your career and want to highlight your capabilities, but also see your previous moves up the ladder in your field as being proof of your experience in the industry.

Knowing When and Where to Apply

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Let’s be honest: job searches are stressful. Whether you are currently gainfully employed and just looking for a better opportunity, or have been out of work for months and are worried about how you will pay your bills, scouring help wanted ads and putting yourself out there for work is time consuming and anxiety inducing. Nobody really enjoys this part, but it has to be done if you are hoping to find yourself in a new role soon.

Still, there are ways to reduce some of that stress, starting with how you go about making your application decisions.

Quality vs. Quantity

One of the mistakes a lot of job seekers make is in thinking that they are better off applying for as many openings as possible. They convince themselves they are hedging their bets by throwing their hat in the ring for any and every opportunity that might potentially be something they could see themselves doing. The problem is that this approach often means losing a lot of quality in the application process. They are haphazardly sending copy and paste cover letters and failing to pay complete attention to the requirements of the job at hand.

Applying like this creates two problems. The first is that you waste your time applying and interviewing for jobs you may not actually want, and the second is that you send out subpar applications for jobs you might actually be perfect for. Instead of applying for every opportunity you come across, be discerning about where you send those applications to – focus on customizing your cover letter and resume to the jobs you are truly interested in, and on passing over the opportunities that probably wouldn’t make you happy in the long run.

Find Your “In”

Networking is forever important when it comes to working your way up the career ladder, but it is easy enough to argue that it serves its greatest purpose during a job search. Making and maintaining those connections with others in your industry can mean getting a heads up when new openings are around the corner and having an internal recommendation for position that might have a lot of competition.

Obviously, if you are currently employed, you want to be careful about who you let know that you are looking elsewhere. But good networking means knowing who your friends are and being able to find your “in” to corporations where you would really like to get your foot in the door. Even if you aren’t currently looking, you should always be trying to make those ties – because you never know when they could come in handy down the line.

Follow Instructions

Pay attention to job postings and to a company’s preferred method of applying. A lot of job seekers make the mistake of thinking that all they have to do to get an interview is turn in a really great resume and cover letter. In some cases, this is absolutely true. But if a job posting dictates filling out an application as well, you need to be sure you are doing so to completion. Don’t write “see resume” on every line or skip the application entirely, purely because you believe your resume covers all the questions asked. Follow a company’s protocol and show you have respect for their way of doing this by applying with their preferred method. This includes paying attention to deadlines and filling out those applications online when requested – many companies today like to maintain online databases of applicants for future job openings.

 

When a Lateral Move is the Right Move

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Job changes are a part of life. It’s human nature to always be looking for something new; a new challenge, opportunity or space to grow in. People master the jobs they are in, and then they start looking towards the future. To whatever the next step may be.

What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that the next step doesn’t always have to be up in order to be beneficial. Sometimes, the roadmap from here to wherever you want to end up includes a few linear steps along the way. Job changes that may not mean an increase in pay, or even a change in title, but that still open doors you wouldn’t have found your way to otherwise.

Every once in a while, a lateral move can be a strategic way to position yourself for that next step up.

Diversified Experience

Occasionally, job opportunities will come along that don’t necessarily mean any more prestige or money, but that do mean expanding upon your experience in ways you wouldn’t be able to in your current role. This may mean an opening in another department for someone who essentially does your job, but in relation to an entirely different aspect of the company. These moves can help you to become more educated in the various elements of your business and will allow you to boast a wider range of experience in the future. The more you know about your industry, and the greater your capabilities in the various elements of that industry, the more likely you are to be considered for leadership roles in the future. And the better your resume reads.

Increased Exposure

Another great thing about lateral moves is that they typically occur in-house, so you aren’t burning any bridges by leaving one job behind for another. But you are exposing yourself to leaders in a different department or area of the company, creating even more allies to turn to as you work on your goals for the future. If a lateral move allows you to increase your team of supporters, it is almost always a good thing. The more people in your company who come to know what you are capable of, the more likely you are to be considered for true promotions in the future. This obviously only works if you are able to put your head down and truly prove yourself, but a strong work ethic will carry over into whatever department you are working for – and if you believe in the work you are putting in, your supervisors in every department will see that, and begin to form a positive consensus of what you are capable of.

Impressing the Bosses

Everyone wants to be considered for promotions and steps up, but not everyone is always willing to dive right into those lateral moves. In fact, when it comes to job changes, most people want to know they are at least going to be due an increase in pay before shaking things up. It is precisely for this reason that the higher-ups pay attention when someone is willing to take on a position that doesn’t really mean anything more than challenging themselves to learn a new aspect of the business. It speaks volumes to ones work ethic and loyalty to the company when they are open to these lateral moves, particularly when they seem excited about the new challenge, despite the fact that this new challenge doesn’t come with any tangible benefits. Supervisors are almost always impressed by those willing to make these moves, and it can be a great way to position yourself for consideration when it comes to promotion opportunities down the line.

Making a Career Leap

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It used to be that people would choose a career field early on, do what they needed to do to pursue that field, and then  remain in the same job for most of their lives. But Millennials have changed that, pursuing a variety of different jobs  and careers over the years and rarely ever just settling into one thing.

The good news for you is, if you are considering a big career change – a lot of other people are doing the same. Which  means that unlike 20 years ago, these changes are no longer looked down upon. Hiring managers are more  understanding of the fact that it can sometimes take a little longer to nail down what you want to do with your life, and  they care more about your performance in the jobs you have had in the past while you were there, than whether or not  you remained for 10 or more years at a time.

Still, when making a career change it becomes all the more important to present yourself as a valuable employee. If you don’t have a decades worth of experience in the field you are trying to transition into, you need to find ways to prove your worth compared to those applicants who do have that experience.

 

Doing Your Research

The first step to making a big career leap is learning more about the field you want to enter, including the basic education and experience requirements that are typically required. The best way to accomplish this is sometimes finding a person in the field who is doing exactly what you want to be doing, and enlisting their help in learning more. Consider this person a mentor of sorts, and work on forging a relationship where you can go to them with questions and for guidance about how to best position yourself for entry into the field. Remember that people often have a lot on their plates, and not everyone will be interested in serving in a mentorship capacity, so how you approach those you hope to learn from is important. Be professional and humble when expressing your desire to enter the field and to one day become as successful as they are.

 

Proving Your Commitment

Making this switch doesn’t end with finding a quality mentor. You need to be willing to put in the work, and to prove your commitment to this career leap. Pursue any additional coursework that might help to improve your chances, and be willing to consider internship opportunities that could help to get your foot in the door of an organization you would like to work for. It is also important for you to recognize that making a career leap may mean starting from the bottom once more. You won’t necessarily be able to retain your current rank or pay grade when starting off in a new and unfamiliar field.

 

Converting to a Functional Resume

A traditional resume presents your experience in chronological order, highlighting your job titles and companies you have worked for in the past. But if you are making a career leap, you need a resume that instead highlights your skills and experience, pushing those job titles further down the page. A Functional Resume format (otherwise called a Skills Resume) accomplishes just that, arranging your information so that your skills are at the top of the page and your job titles are at the bottom. This type of resume puts a great focus on what you can do, and eliminates the need for listing out your job duties at each and every position you have ever held.

The goal here should be to highlight anything that proves your capacity for excelling in this new field, because while you already know you are perfectly capable of making this switch – you need to show that to hiring managers.

Is it Time to Get a Career Coach?

interviewcoachingLet’s say you have been looking for a job for a while; couch surfing at the homes of kind of supportive friends and family while you try to work towards your dream career. Or maybe you have a job, but it certainly isn’t the dream – so you’ve been wistfully looking elsewhere, without much luck or interest from employers in what you have to offer.

What are you doing wrong?

The reality is, you aren’t the only job seeker asking themselves this question. But what you might be lacking is that third party insight that could help to get you exactly where you want to be. Which is where a career coach comes in.

People are relying more and more on matchmakers and relationship coaches to help them find “the one” in terms of love – so why shouldn’t the same logic apply to finding that match in your career? If you have been searching to no avail, it might be time to enlist the help of a coach who can give you that extra boost you need.

The Attitude

Just as with dating, success in a job search has a lot to do with attitude. Your resume could speak volumes to what you have to offer, but if you lack the confidence to express that same level of expertise in your interviews – you will almost always be passed over for the job. Even when you might otherwise be a perfect fit.

The flip side of that, of course, is when applicants have a confidence that spills over into arrogance. No one wants to work with the person who thinks they are too good for any give job, either.

A career coach can help you to hone your attitude, and to exude the right level of confidence, without turning hiring managers off. They can aid in working through any job search anxiety you may have, as well as creating realistic expectations for the task at hand.

The Search

Plenty of job applicants make the mistake of applying to any and every opening they find. Particularly when a person has been out of work for a while, there is a desperation that takes over – and that has them sending the same exact cover letter and resume to each and every opening, because they are focused on quantity over quality.

A career coach will help you to better define what you are looking for, and to know where to look in order to find those opportunities. They will also help you to refine your resume and cover letter so that it is job specific, thereby increasing your chances of getting a foot in the door.

The Presentation

Which brings us to the presentation. Yes, making your resume career specific is absolutely important – but so is ensuring that your resume format best exemplifies what you have to offer. Career coaches will work with you to understand what hiring managers are looking for, and how to present yourself in a way that will be irresistible to recruiters. Then, they will guide you in your in-person presentation as well. Because it isn’t just about what you put on paper; but also about how you can back that information up in reality.

The Interview

An overwhelming majority of people suffer from anxiety surrounding public speaking and interview situations. You aren’t alone if the idea of sitting in front of a hiring manager and selling yourself makes you feel uneasy. But a good career coach will go over tools you can use to help dispel that anxiety, while also working with you on your interview skills until you feel confident in your ability to convince any hiring manager of your value.

So if you’ve been searching for a while, it might be time to consider a little extra help. While a career coach won’t ever be able to just hand you a job, they can provide the guidance you need to not only define what it is you want out of your dream career, but to also go out and get it for yourself!

 

How to Format a Resume so it Get’s Noticed

How to Stay On track During Job InterviewsPicture this: Your resume sitting on a pile beneath 20 others on a desk. You know you have what it takes to be successful in this job, but first you have to catch the hiring manager’s attention. How do you stand out amidst all those other resumes? How do you communicate on one sheet of paper that you are a candidate who shouldn’t be ignored? The answer isn’t always simple, but there are a few tricks you can utilise to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Highlight Your Key Accomplishments           

Most applicants are used to using a Chronological resume format that breaks down your past work history from top to bottom. In some circumstances this can be beneficial, especially if your previous job titles are impressive and fairly identical to the job you are applying to now, but in most cases hiring managers are hoping to see something more. It isn’t just about your past job titles or who you have worked for; they want to know what you can do. Create a bulleted list that highlights some of your past accomplishments, whether that includes recognition and honors you have received on the job, or ways you have helped past companies to get back on track.

Personalise Your Objective

Plenty of people use the objective at the top of their resume to create a generic phrase they submit to each and every job they apply for. The problem is that for hiring managers, it becomes very obvious when the objective is little more than fluff meant to take up room on your resume. Instead of using the typical buzz words in your opening phrase, consider including the job title and company you are applying to work for. This is a very simple way to let hiring managers know you are serious about getting this position. It takes a minimal amount of effort on your part, while helping you to stand apart from the many applicants who likely have mirror image objectives to each other.

Target Your Audience

Think about the job you are applying for and how your skills and background play into that job description before you submit your resume. If you take the time to tailor your resume to the current opening, you stand a much better chance of capturing a hiring manager’s attention. Look for any key words which may appear in the job description over and over again, and then be sure to include those same words in both your resume and cover letter. If there are certain skills or abilities which seem particularly important to being successful in this position, take the time to alter your resume in a way which makes it clear you possess those qualities. Use your resume to show that you are not only the right fit for this job, but that you are also interested enough to have studied the company and the job description.

Show Your Worth

Listing off your various skills and abilities is a simple task to accomplish, but when you can actual quantify your past achievements in a way that hiring managers can relate to, you make it much harder for them to pass you by. Paint a picture by using numbers and percentages to show how you have been successful in past positions. Give indisputable facts which can back up your worth as an employee. Anyone can use flowery language to make themselves sound like a great candidate, but when you can actually sell yourself with quantifiable evidence, you become a candidate who is difficult to ignore. Nothing is ever quite as convincing as hard numbers when it comes to assessing an applicant’s abilities.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can help you format the perfect resume. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Christmas is a Great Time to get a Professional to Write Your Resume

tree18Competition is fierce nowadays when it comes to job openings. Everyone is on the hunt, whether they have been out of work for months or are simply looking for opportunities for advancement. No matter what job you are applying for, you will likely be up against applicants who are more qualified than you in some way or another. Having a solid resume is the way to ensure you still get an interview and the chance to impress hiring managers with what you know you have to offer. By allowing a professional to compose that resume over the downtime period, you are giving yourself the leg up you may not have had, as well as allowing you to be ready to apply for a new career as soon as the New Year commences.

Here are some great advantages to hiring a professional to work on your resume:

Field Insiders

Professional resume writers make it their job to understand the market. They understand the needs of various career fields in a way you may not, even after decades working on the inside. While you may look at your resume as a way of getting everything you know and have accomplished across, a professional knows how to highlight your most important skills. They can read a job description and write your resume specifically to the qualifications desired. If you want to look like the best in your field, a professional resume writer can help you to accomplish that.

Hiring Manager Experts

When it comes to understanding what hiring managers are looking for, no one is more clued in than a professional resume writer. Often they have spent years on the other side of the desk themselves, reviewing resumes and making determinations regarding who should get the interviews. They make a point of networking with hiring managers and remaining aware of desired skills and buzz words that are starting to draw attention. These professional writers can serve as the conduit between you and the hiring managers, helping you to draft a resume that is written specifically to get their interest.

Sticklers for Perfection

We are all capable of glossing over our own mistakes, no matter how many times we have looked at a document we carefully prepared. The problem is that even if your resume is perfect in every way except for one small spelling or grammatical error, you can almost bet that hiring managers are going to immediately pick up on that error. You can always ask friends or family to review your resume for you, but if you want a true guarantee of perfection; a professional resume writer is the way to go. They are the ones who can ensure the resume you are sending off to hiring managers is pristine and ready to land you the job. These are the people you want on your side when it comes to identifying and removing any potential errors or issues which could otherwise cost you an interview.

Masters of Presentation

You may think that your qualifications and experience speak for themselves, but the truth is that presentation and layout matters. Professional resume writers know how to frame your background in a way that hiring managers can’t ignore. They highlight your most impressive assets and are skilled at ensuring the important details are located right where a hiring manger is sure to look first. There are several resume formats which can be utilised today, and they all serve a different purpose depending on the type of job you are applying for and what your current background is. By hiring a professional resume writer, you are consulting with someone who understands all the formats and can help you to select the one best suited to your needs. The end result will be something far more eye catching than anything you could have drafted yourself.

So if you are planning on seeking a new job or career in the New Year, why not engage a professional resume writer now.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can help you with your resume over the Christmas period. 

Regards,

kylie hammond

Is My Resume Bad?

resume writing tipsYou have submitted your application to countless jobs, but can’t seem to land an interview, or even a return to your phone inquiries. Stepping back to assess the situation, it is impossible not to question yourself. Are you applying to jobs you aren’t qualified for? Or are there really so many job seekers out there that you simply can’t compete? If you are fairly convinced the answer to all these questions is “no”, it leaves only one other possibility lingering in your mind.

Is your resume bad?

Watch for Errors

One of the easiest ways to discredit yourself with a hiring manager is to have a resume littered with spelling and grammatical errors. Give your resume a thorough read through to see if there are any errors you can recognise on your own. Seek out a friend or former colleague who can then do the same for you. If at all possible, hire a professional to copy edit your resume as well. As competent as you may believe you are in the use of the English language, we are all more likely to miss our own errors when reviewing our work. This is why it is essential to have as many additional eyes on your resume as possible. Eliminating those errors now can keep a hiring manager from automatically assuming you are careless with your work.

Keep it Clean

The other important piece of resume construction is creating a format that is crisp, clean and easy to follow. This means avoiding a resume which is too long or has information jumbled in a haphazard manner. You also want to avoid printing your resume on bright paper or utilising a lot of graphics – anything which might appear to be unprofessional. Most hiring managers will typically only glance at the first page of your resume before deciding whether or not to read further. A poorly designed resume is much more likely to end up on the bottom of the applicant pile. This is another opportunity to ask for the opinions of friends and former colleagues. Allow others to read your resume, and then ask if they thought the important information was readily available or if they had a hard time determining your skills based on the current format. Take their advice to heart, and consider hiring a professional to help you design your resume if necessary.

Remain Relevant

While you may be proud of your work history dating back to your teens and the 20 different volunteer projects you are involved in each year, remember that your resume is an opportunity to present the skills and experience which make you the perfect fit for a specific career. If the two years you spent serving drinks at the local bar aren’t directly relevant to the types of positions you are looking for, and if you do have other experience which is more pertinent, consider cutting your bar duties out of your skill set and focusing instead on the ways you are a perfect fit for this job. Remember, however, that more and more hiring managers are conducting background checks these days, so under no circumstances should you make up a work history or experience in order to remain relevant.

Concise is Nice

If your resume requires a staple to hold it together, it is likely to long. Even with 40+ years of work history, condensing your skills and past positions down to those most relevant and recently occupied will prevent a hiring manager from becoming overwhelmed by the wealth of information in your resume and tossing it aside as a result. Use as few words as possible to describe your background and work history efficiently, consistently asking yourself “does that really need to be there?”

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Why You Didn’t Get a Response to Your Job Application

executive career coachingMost recruiters receive more applications than they know what to do with, for every job they are looking to fill. When you are the one taking the time to apply, it would be nice to think you would get some sort of response for your efforts – even if it is simply a ‘thanks but no thanks’ to let you know the company has decided to go a different direction. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, mostly due to time constraints. However here are other reasons why recruiters don’t get back to everybody:

You Didn’t Do Your Research

Personalising your cover letter can go a long way in grabbing a recruiter’s interest. If you are able to show you did research on the organisation and position available, you increase your chances of being contacted. On the other hand, if you put together an application that is similar to what you could submit to a hundred other jobs, you might be missing an opportunity to make an impression. When a recruiter feels as though you don’t want a job badly enough to do a little research, it reflects poorly on the kind of employee you could be down the line.

You Weren’t the Right Fit

Sometimes it really is that simple – you just didn’t have what they were looking for. That isn’t necessarily a reflection on you. They may have someone else in mind, or have decided to hire from within. There also may be just one small aspect that they are specifically looking for – a specialised education or skill – which you don’t possess. Sometimes the most important part of a new position isn’t always made completely clear in a job description, but they know what they are looking for when they see it. If you aren’t it, you probably won’t hear back from them.

Your Opening Pitch Reads Like a Resume

Your cover letter should sell you, but not in the same way a resume does. Recruiters don’t want to see a long list of your accomplishments and skills; they want to know how those accomplishments and skills directly apply to the position they are looking to fill. What is it that makes you special? Why should they consider you above anyone else? These are the things they want you to convey to in your cover letter, or in the e-mail you compose to send with your application. You should be trying to hook the recruiter in with that opening pitch, not simply regurgitating the information they will find on your resume.

You Didn’t Take the Time

If your cover letter and resume are consumed by grammatical and spelling errors, it will be quickly discarded. That should be common knowledge, but it is something that occurs so often in applications. Another reason is if you failed to follow simple instructions, it says that you don’t care enough about this position for the recruiter to give you any consideration at all. Every once in a while recruiters receive an application addressed to another company entirely, and it becomes immediately clear that a generic cover letter was used without the time being spent to even swap out company names. Mistakes like this will land your application at the bottom of my pile, because they have no interest in wasting time on someone who couldn’t be bothered to put a little effort in.

At the end of the day, that really is what it all comes down to: time. If you don’t have the time to make sure your application is ready for a particulr job, than a recruiter probably won’t find the time to give you a call.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our serviceshere.

Regards,

kylie hammond

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