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?


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 (, but if you have an address like “” 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.


kylie hammond

Five Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

interview coaching

You found what seemed to be the perfect job. It was at the company you have dreamed of working for, a title that you were sure you were meant to hold, and offering a benefits package you were totally coveting. Everything this job was about, was what you have been looking for since the start of your career. So it really sucked to find out someone else got the gig. Look, rejection is brutal, no matter what form it comes in. But when you are literally sitting back and watching someone else sail away on your dream job, it hurts that much more. Which is exactly why it helps to figure out why you didn’t get the job this time – so that you can at least start making changes today that will hopefully give you a leg up the next time a perfect opportunity arises.

They Promoted From Within

More and more companies are starting to recognize the benefits of promoting from within, which is great if you already work for the company you see yourself still being at in 20 years. But if you are hoping to make a change, it can be a little harder to find your “in”. The good news is that if you were bypassed for an internal promotion, that isn’t really about you. There wasn’t much you could have done to change their minds – they likely had their candidate selected before ever posting the job. But the bad news is, if your sights really are set on this specific company – you may have to consider starting a few rungs down the ladder, getting your foot in the door and working your way up.

You Weren’t the Right Fit

Just because a job is your “dream job”, doesn’t mean you are the “dream candidate”. Companies tend to have very specific hiring criteria, and they make those criteria readily available to candidates. If you don’t possess the combination of experience and education they are looking for, you probably won’t get the job. Consider using that list as a starting point for improving upon your resume, though. Just because you weren’t the right fit this time, doesn’t mean you can’t position yourself to be next time.

The Background Check Hurt You

Is your Facebook page set to public, with pictures of you drinking, complaining about your job, and making less than PC remarks readily available for all to see? Did you lie on your resume about your education or work history? Do you have a long list of criminal infractions that are easy enough for anyone to find on the states criminal database? Sometimes, the background check really can hurt you. So lock your social media settings down, be cognizant of what you post, tell the truth on your resume and – address information up front that a recruiter is likely to find with a basic check.

You Blew Your Interview

Most people know when they screw up an interview, but if you’re the oblivious type – brushing up on your interview skills might be worth committing some time to. In general, you should always be researching the company and role before showing up for an interview. Arrive on time, don’t bash your previous job or boss and respond to questions in a confident and professional manner.

Another Candidate Had More to Offer You can’t win them all, and sometimes – there is just another candidate who has more to offer than you do. You may have had all the experience and education they were looking for, but someone else had more. Instead of taking that as a reason to pout and mourn the loss of your dream job, use it as motivation to continue improving upon what you have to offer. You may not have been the top candidate this time, but other opportunities will come around, and you want to be ready when they do!

Securing Employment With an ASX 200 Company

NetworkingWhile there are plenty of amazing benefits and perks associated with ASX 200 employers, landing a job with one of Australia’s top organisations can be challenging. Positions can be extremely competitive (and sometimes rare) and ASX employers are often highly stringent when it comes to candidate selection.

How do you get your foot in the door of your ideal ASX organisation? And what else can you do to enhance your executive search strategies and increase your chances of success?

Build Strong Relationships

The ASX 200 job market is saturated with capable executives, which is why you may need help from your networks to get your foot in the door. Top companies do a lot of hiring from within and rely heavily on recommendations from current employees as well.

To build a network fit for a top company, you must create genuine relationships with the right people who may ultimately be able to impact your career movements. You can network with: industry leaders, peers and colleagues (both current and former), recruitment consultants, head hunters, hiring managers and other executives who presently work in your ideal organisations.

The key to great networking is to target the right people, be professional at all times and work consistently on building rapport with other individuals.

Develop Your Personal Brand

Creating a distinct, personal brand is important no matter what type of job you are seeking, and at the ASX 200 level, personal branding is critical.

Branding starts with a solid understanding of what you can offer a company, so decide what makes you valuable and work on highlighting the unique abilities and talents that put you one step above other candidates.

If you have your heart set on an ASX role, you may also choose to customise or direct your brand and image so that it is more suitable for the ASX space. For instance, if you are an avid blog writer, you may want to focus your content on issues that openly relate to public organisations and/or stock market trends, as well as other industry-specific topics.

Your personal brand should be evident in every space that relates to you professionally, whether online or offline. Branding the right way can get you noticed by key leaders and other industry experts who work in ASX organisations – and in some cases, it means they will come to seek you out, rather than the other way around.

Capitalise On Graduate and Internship Positions

If you are a graduate or a younger executive, it can be comforting to know that ASX 200 companies are well known for offering young candidates job opportunities via graduate programs and internships. This can be an ideal way to get into an ASX organisation, especially if you lack executive experience.

These types of roles allow you to establish your value to a company and showcase your skills, which will ideally lead to a paid position. At the very least, you’ll have frequent opportunities to network with other executives in the company and if you are not successful in obtaining fulltime employment, your experience will still look fantastic on your executive resume.

Stand Out On Paper

There is a lot more to landing an ASX 200 job than simply networking and job searching. The most significant element of any career is your documentation; this can include resumes, CVs, online profiles, biographies and references.

Even if you make great connections, these contacts will most likely ask to see your resume if an opportunity arises, so it is vital that you are prepared and that your documentation is impressive and professionally written. Imagine the disappointment of finding an ASX opportunity, only to be told, upon viewing your resume, that your experience and talent is not enough.

Many candidates choose to work with an executive career coach or an expert resume writer at this point, simply because they realise the value of standing out on paper at the ASX 200 employment level. Without the right representation of your competencies, you will find it difficult to convert your opportunities into real-world achievements and positions. Remember, the more brilliant your resume and accompanying documents, the more you will convince employers that you are the right person for an ASX 200 role.

Are you looking for an ASX 200 role? Learn more about ASX organisations here or contact Resumes Australia for assistance with executive career strategy, resume writing and development or interview preparation.


kylie hammond

How to Write a Corporate Biography

Corporate BiographyCorporate biographies are extremely useful tools that can be published almost anywhere you choose, from your resume to your LinkedIn profile to your company website. You can also use your biography to promote your talents at conferences and other public relations events or in industry publications and reports.

Like writing a resume, however, composing a corporate biography is often a challenge. It must be accurate and succinct and it must successfully portray you as a compelling leader.

Begin With Your Value Proposition

The opening paragraph of your corporate biography should explain who you are, what you do and why you are so highly valued as a leader in your industry. You should highlight your key competencies for the reader and spell out what makes you a unique innovator and front-runner in your field.

You can also use the introduction to communicate your overall objectives and what you hope to achieve in the industry long term (alternatively, you can also leave this until the end).

Dive Into Your Achievements and Contributions

There are many ways to approach the juicy content that makes up your career. You can use the body of your biography to describe your career ‘story’ and how you came to be or (if you are trying to keep your biography short) you can instead focus solely on emphasising your key achievements and contributions to the industry. Of course, you can also create a combination of both (story + achievements).

Try to be as detailed as you can here, using concrete ‘facts’ to illustrate your expertise. For example, you could mention any prestigious companies you have worked for, conferences you have spoken at or locations around the world you have worked in. You can also mention any awards or commendations you have received.

Go Out With a Bang

You can communicate a wealth of facts or details to readers at the end of your corporate biography, but two approaches I recommend include:

  • Ending with your future goals, your vision or the ‘next steps’ of your industry mission – what’s upcoming on your agenda as an executive or leader?
  • Finishing with your most recent accomplishments, such as a global seminar you might have presented at or an article you might have had published

Both of these endings create the impression that you are actively influencing and contributing to your industry and that you are consistently working to progress your value as an executive.

As time moves on, don’t forget to update your biography with any new ‘next steps’ or accomplishments.

Biography Language

Like any professional document, the language you use in your corporate biography should be formal and professional.

Depending on your target audience, however, you can tweak your language slightly to alter the ‘image’ your biography creates. For instance, if you were to give a talk to a group of school students, you might want to come off sounding a little more ‘fun’ and ‘outgoing’, rather than ultra-corporate.

You should also write your biography using the third person. For example: “John Smith is the CEO and founder of…” or “In 2005, John joined…”

Working With Your Corporate Biography

Once you have the initial account of your corporate biography created, it is much easier to rework it into different versions that vary in length or detail.

You can expand on your biography to create a longer story about your success (keep this around 1 page) or you can shorten your biography into a ‘snippet’ that can be used at the end of posts or articles you write or on your social media profiles.

Resumes Australia works with executives and CEOs on a range of career documents, including corporate biographies, resumes, cover letters, branding documents and social media profiles. Visit Resumes Australia to learn more.


kylie hammond

Why Career Objectives Are Outdated

Career ObjectivesThe concept and history of the Career Objective is an interesting one; while it was once considered an integral part of an executive resume or CV, Career Objectives are now often viewed as an unnecessary and outdated practice that adds no value to your resume document. Why is this?

The History of the Career Objective

In more traditional recruitment times, a Career Objective was thought to be useful for candidates to communicate their career goals and to explain how their skills and experience could contribute to a given organisation.

Some employers also argued that a Career Objective was a way for them to quickly see whether the candidate was the ‘right’ person for the job and to confirm that the candidate was committed to the role long term.

However, over time, Career Objectives have lost a lot of credence, mostly because they are very limiting in nature and because they are usually poorly composed by candidates.

What many employers also discovered was that there was very little room for candidates to justify or elaborate on their supposed talents in the Career Objective.

Many candidates also used the career objective to tell the employer what they wanted to hear or to simply repeat what they had read in the job advertisement.

Why You Shouldn’t Include a Career Objective

When you apply for a job, a Career Objective does very little to convince the employer you are the best person for the job. Most of the time, the reader will simply skim over or ignore your objective and skip straight to the nitty-gritty details of your experience.

A Career Objective is also redundant because:

  • In applying for the job, you are automatically telling the employer that the job aligns with your career goals. If it didn’t, why would you apply for the role?
  • Recruitment is much more fast-paced and diverse industry in today’s times and most recruiters are now unconcerned about your personal career objectives or needs. All that matters to them is that you are the right person for the role. If they do want to know more about your long term plans, they will ask you during the interview.
  • If you do happen to make your Career Objective too detailed or specific, an employer may rule you out at the first glance, especially if what you have stated does not fit in with what they are looking for.
  • A poorly written objective can detract significantly from your professional resume, particularly if it clashes with the rest of the details in your resume or if it uses vague, flowery or weak language.

When Should You Use a Career Objective?

The only circumstances under which you should include a Career Objective in your executive resume is if:

  • The recruiter or employer has, for some reason, specifically requested it.
  • You are changing industries and your experience does not support the role you are applying for. In this case, you can use the Career Objective to clarify this move, so that the reader doesn’t feel your application is completely unsuitable or mismatched.

Alternatives to the Career Objective

Some executive candidates feel that having a Career Objective acts as an introduction on the front page of their resumes. If you feel the need to explain your competencies in your application, you should instead:

  • Include a cover letter with your executive resume application. A cover letter is a much more comprehensive document that allows you to clarify exactly how your skills relate to the employer’s selection criteria statement.
  • Replace your Career Objective with your Value Proposition. Your Value Proposition is a brief defining statement that summarises who you are, what value you can bring to a company and what your personal brand represents.
  • Consider including a summary of your talents and experience. This might be similar to the background summary that is included on your LinkedIn profile. This should be a quick, easy to read snapshot that gives employers an overview of your skills and value.

Above all else, you will need to make sure that whichever method of communication you choose is extremely well written in order to stand out from other applications.

Resumes Australia provides results-driven services to executives, CEOs and professionals who seek career guidance, resume writing assistance and executive coaching. Review all of our career services here.


kylie hammond

10 Things You Must Check Before You Sign a Job Contract

Job contractsBeing offered a new job is a strong indication of just how much your job searching, resume writing and interview rehearsing has paid off. But before you sign on the dotted line, it is important to make sure that the details are in order and that nothing negative will come back to affect your satisfaction in the role later on.

1. Role & Responsibilities

Although you may feel entirely familiar with the role on offer, you should make efforts to clarify all details relating to your new position.

This can include:

  • Your position title
  • Your main responsibilities and duties
  • Your additional responsibilities and expectations
  • Exactly who you are reporting to
  • The locations you will work at
  • Your salary and benefits

2. Salary Package

If you were on the ball early on, you should have negotiated a suitable salary for yourself that is on par with the expertise that you will be bringing to the organisation. If your negotiated salary is now higher than the original offer, ensure that this is updated and reflected in the contract. Other details such as base pay, superannuation, bonuses and method and frequency of pay should also be included.

3. Benefits

The same rule above applies to any new benefits that you have negotiated with the employer. If you have agreed on rewards such as additional bonuses, higher super, company vehicles, company equipment or flexible working terms, make sure these are included in the contract. If they are not existent now, the employer may be able to argue later on that these benefits were never offered in the first place.

4. Start Date

Your start date should also be listed in the contract. Make sure the start date gives you ample time to give notice and finish up in your current job. If you are not happy with the start date, negotiate further with the employer; they will most likely respect that you are trying to do the right thing by your current organisation and will be flexible in when you need to start.

5. Probation Periods

If you have been given a probation period, you need to not only review the time period (e.g. 3 months, 6 months), but also ensure that any of the details and terms of the probation are included.

6. Performance Reviews

Your contract should also outline how your performance will be measured in the role and how and when performance and/or salary reviews will take place. Performance reviews are often linked to your salary and bonuses, so make sure that the details of the review process are clear.

7. Notice Period

Your employer will also require you to give sufficient notice if you choose to resign from the company or if they decide to dismiss you. How much notice do you need to give if you resign? How much notice do they need to give if they terminate you? Check your notice period both in relation to your probation period and your permanent employment.

8. Non-Compete Clauses

Some employers will also include non-compete clauses in their contracts. This means that if you leave the company, you are prevented from working for a competitor (or in a competitive capacity) for a certain amount of time.

You should make sure that any non-compete terms are reasonable and that they won’t mean you’ll be out of work for a long time. If you are unsure about whether your non-compete clauses are acceptable, engage the help of a legal professional or at least an experienced career consultant.

9. Confusion

If there is any information contained in the contract that is confusing or unclear, you should seek clarification on these before you sign anything. You can either ask the employer to elaborate on the terms or you can obtain the help of a legal professional or a career consultant. Make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into before you sign the contract.

10. Think Ahead

It’s also a great idea before you sign a new contract to think carefully about what lies ahead for your job or career over the coming months and years. Is this really the right position for you? Does it effectively tie in with your career goals and desires?

Hopefully at this stage the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, but if you are unsure, it may be time to revisit your objectives and have a serious think. If you are keen to move ahead, consider how you will handle your job transition and what plans and measures should be in place as you settle into your new job.

Starting a new job? Resumes Australia provides executive coaching services that can help you successfully transition into a new role – or even find a new job. Visit our website to learn more about what we do.


kylie hammond

Keeping It Relevant: How to Stay On track During Job Interviews

How to Stay On track During Job InterviewsI recently had a client come to me with specific concerns about where and why he was going wrong in relation to his job search. He had attended several interviews, but at the end of the day, he found himself being constantly passed over in favour of other candidates. Despite his unique talents, he felt it was all going wrong at the interview stage.

One of the biggest problems this candidate had was keeping his responses and conversations on track during the interview process. Although he gave quite competent answers in interview sessions, we found that he simply rambled on until he finally realised that he had either lost track of what he was saying or had forgotten the question altogether.

If, for some reason, you fall under this same interview “spell”, here are some fantastic tips from the interview coaches at Resumes Australia on how you can keep your interview dialogue relevant and on the right track!

Talking Too Much

Talking for too long in response to interview questions is a problem that many interview candidates have. Whether they are nervous about the process or uncertain about the question, they tend to provide an answer and then the fear sets in that this answer is not enough. So, they keep talking and eventually find themselves rambling on for too long.

It might take some practise, but knowing when to stop talking in an interview is a valuable skill. To start with, you might want to try thinking thoroughly about the question before you answer or asking the interviewer to clarify the question if you don’t understand what is being asked. Make sure your answers are clear and succinct and focus on responding to the question directly, using concrete examples.

Concrete Answers

Using concrete examples is a great tactic when fielding interview questions. Examples allow you to demonstrate your skills and competencies in a specific way and they also mean that your responses stay highly relevant and on track.

When you are asked an interview question, one of the first responses that pops into your mind should be: “When have I done/achieved this in the past and what was the outcome?”

You can then use this example (or examples) to answer the interviewer’s question and give them ‘proof’ about what you can do and how well you can do it.

If you are unsure of what examples to give, take a look at your resume and make a list of your past achievements, both big and small, and consider how these relate to the job description. This will provide you with a good bank of examples to choose from during your next interview; the more interviews you attend, the more confident you’ll feel about providing examples in your answers.

What Does the Employer Want?

When you apply for a particular job, you should base your resume and cover letter (and any other documentation) on the job advertisement or job description. Hence, you should have a fairly clear idea of what the employer wants from a candidate and you can use this knowledge in your interviews.

You can keep your interviews on the right path here by ensuring that your answers directly relate to what the employer is looking for. For example, if an interviewer asks you when you had to deal with a difficult situation on the job and you know they are searching for a candidate with strong conflict management skills, you might want to describe a situation in which you handled a tough conflict, explaining what methods and tools you used to resolve thee issue.

If you do not have the best memory, you can bring a copy of the job description with you into the interview. However, you should also conduct thorough preparation beforehand: write down what the employer is looking for and make a list of how your talents satisfy each requirement.


Often, candidates stray off the beaten path in job interviews because they simply don’t know enough about the role or the company. Preparation is essential, so make sure you conduct extensive research on the organisation before you get to the job interview. You can peruse the company’s website, read reports or other materials they offer or ask the HR manager or recruitment officer if they are able to give you any information.

In addition to company research, you can also research the people who will be interviewing you (if possible) and/or any relevant industry news or movements that might benefit you in the interview process.

Keen to know more about our Interview Coaching & Performance programs at Resumes Australia? Simply contact us for further information or review our packages here.


kylie hammond

Fantastic Options for Retiring Executives

Options For Retiring ExecutivesAs a cultivated corporate executive, you may or may not be looking forward to reaching the finishing line of your career. Wrapping up a lifetime worth of professional experience and achievements is no easy feat and it is usually one that is fraught with mixed feelings.

While some executives may look forward to relaxing in the sun or spending time with family, other executives may have issues ‘letting go’ and instead wish to stay active in the corporate world.

If extending your current position is not feasible, there are many other options open to you that will allow you to sustain your talents and your passion for work.


Finding a job as a corporate mentor is a wonderful and lucrative way to cultivate your leadership abilities and keep your hands in the workplace pot. You can mentor other executives in your field or you could consider continuing working with your present organisation but in a mentorship capacity. This can be a rewarding position that allows you to contribute to the success of others and impart your wisdom to less experienced executives. To top it all off, it can be very financially rewarding as well.

Coaching & Teaching

Coaching and teaching can also be a fulfilling career step post-fulltime employment and the wonderful thing here is that you can work as much or as little as you’d like. You can become involved in any facet of coaching or training that you enjoy, such as coaching people on various leadership competencies or obtaining employment with a college, institution or a private educational body.

Starting a Business

Starting a business is a great option for executives who find themselves finishing up in the corporate world, but who still want to exercise their leadership and business competencies. This may be the ideal opportunity to start the business you’ve always dreamed of, but have perhaps never had time to initiate and manage.

It’s good to keep in mind here that your new business doesn’t have to be corporately focused and instead can centre on any hobbies or personal interests that excite you. For instance, you could start business that is based on gardening, writing, consulting, finance trading, being a handyman or anything else you find enjoyable.


Volunteering can also be a very rewarding job to take on once you retire and it will give you the opportunity to both use your skills and meet new and like-minded people.

If volunteer work appeals to you, consider searching for work within your community or donating time to a specific charity that you feel passionate about. Once again you can volunteer as much as you like, whether in a fulltime capacity or a casual one.

Don’t have a soft spot for any particular type of charity or cause? You can also volunteer in places like hospitals, retirement homes, special schools, museums or at events and festivals that you are interested in.

Starting a New Career

You will have no doubt built up a lifetime of talent in managing a business, so you should be able to easily apply these skills to another job altogether after your retirement, especially one that is less demanding and less “executive.” Starting a new career can also mean you cultivate new abilities, keep your brain active and get to know new and interesting people, even if you only work part-time.

In Australia, there are plenty of job search sites you can utilise in order to find employment suitable for seniors and one of the biggest benefits here is that you can be as choosy as you like, so dedicate the time to finding a job that both interests and motivates you.

Need a little help with your post-retirement employment? Resumes Australia provides flexible executive services such as career coaching, resume writing and more.


kylie hammond

Effective Leadership Conversations for Job Interviews

Interview CoachingJob interviewing at the executive level demands a high level of professionalism and engagement, particularly if you are looking to secure a top-tier role. Mastering interview dialogue is a must for any executive, especially as this will be your key opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and confidence to the employer.

1. Think about the bigger picture

If you are going for an executive role, you will probably have a wealth of accountabilities placed before you and many interviewers want to simply focus on know how you are going to handle such pressure and responsibility.

But one of the most critical things that many aspiring leaders should realise is that the bigger picture of the organisation is just as critical as their individual role. In addition to discussing your responsibilities and skills in an interview, link your competencies (and conversations) to the larger vision of the company.

This will portray you as a forward-thinking executive who is capable of considering much than his/her job role and who is able to truly think like a leader, rather than an employee.

2. Lead the Conversation

At the senior level, job interviews should take on the form of a true conversation or dialogue, rather than a quick back-and-forth firing of questions and answers. This will allow the conversation to develop more naturally and to flow more comfortably; as a result, you will find many more opportunities to build rapport with the interviewer and further highlight your unique talents.

While it can be easy to get stuck in the Q&A format, try taking the conversation to the next level by offering consistently intelligent responses that go beyond answering the question in a couple of sentences and that provide additional insight and value to the employer about who you are and what you can achieve for the business.

3. Understand Your Leadership Values

Knowing your values as a leader is also vital an interview and your values and strengths are what will essentially keep the interview on the right path. What do you believe in? What qualities do you feel every great leader must possess? Although you don’t need to endlessly promote your leadership values in the interview, you should find ways to translate your values into specific actions that you can employ within the organisation.

For instance, if one of your values is to always produce high quality results, this might manifest itself in actions such as engaging your staff to create better productivity and outcomes or implementing control measures to ensure quality is being met. This not only demonstrates your leadership values to the interviewer, but also shows them how your qualities can directly and positively impact the employer, should you be successful in the role.

4. Give Lots of Examples

Being concrete in your conversations will also help you create interview conversations and stand out against other executive candidates. You should be consistently providing detailed examples in your interviews about the contributions you have made to previous employers and what achievements or outcomes you produced that truly rewarded or progressed the company.

Using lots of concrete examples in your interview dialogue will allow you to take the conversation into a new arena and gives the interview a much more comprehensive picture of your skills and talents, becoming more of a discussion, rather than an ‘interview’, about who you are and what value you can bring to an organisation.

For further information on how to transform your job interviews into powerful and successful conversations, contact Resumes Australia about our executive interview coaching workshops.


kylie hammond

Resume Writing: From the Public to the Private Sector

Resume WritingWorking in the Public Sector or in a government job often entails many key benefits, such as increased superannuation, flexible working hours and dedicated time-in-lieu. However, for many public sector employees, there may come a time when private employment is desirable.

What to Expect

Changing sectors is often a positive and engaging move and public sector job seekers will often find a wealth of possibilities open to them. However, there are many things you will need to be prepared for, such as:

•    Culture changes – these can be small or large, depending on your current role and your desired role
•    Different people with different mindsets, goals and personalities
•    A need to undertake further education or qualifications
•    Demanding interviews, often using competency-based interviewing structures (however, the interview phase can often be shorter)
•    More industry fluctuation and volatility
•    Potential for higher salaries, but lower superannuation payments

Resume Writing

Moving into a private or corporate role means that you will have to write a new resume or significantly rework your current resume so that is specifically targeted at corporate or private roles.

This may seem difficult at first, but the key to success here is knowing exactly what value and skills you can bring to a corporate company and understanding how to demonstrate this via your professional resume.

Understanding Your Value: Make sure your value is portrayed clearly in your resume. What can you offer companies that other candidates can’t? You will need to point out to a private employer exactly what talents and competencies make you stand out over other candidates. You might have international experience, second language skills or experience in coordinating tasks across different locations. Think about what you can uniquely bring to a private company.

Including Achievements: Any employer or recruiter will want to see evidence of your achievements, no matter what your experience entails in the public sector. If your resume is simply a list of your duties, take the time to expand on the accomplishments you’ve made in your past roles. Employers not only want to see what you can do, but how well you can do it and how it improved your organisation as a whole. Include concrete examples where possible and use statistics (e.g. I improved this by x% or decreased costs by xyz amount) to support your claims.

Transferable Skills: Your transferable skills can often be what sells you as a candidate, especially if you don’t have extensive experience in a particular niche or industry. You will also need to relate your skills acquired in the public sector to the skills and experience the employer is looking for. This will be listed in the job advertisement or description.

If you were previously an administration clerk in the Defence Force, for example, your transferable skills might involve a capacity for improving processes, adhering to strict policies, employing attention to detail and gaining extensive database or record keeping experience.

Ability to Learn: If you are lacking in experience in certain areas, it can be beneficial to point out your ability to pick up new tasks or systems. You’ll need to back this up with evidence in your resume, however, by highlighting your learning achievements in your public sector job.

Jargon: Using any jargon or terminology from the public sector should be avoided in your resume. Instead, focus on using plain and simple English. If you do need to use specific terminology (such as for a job title), ensure that you explain what the term means in your resume.

Are you moving from the Public to Private Sector? Resumes Australia can help you write a great resume, figure out what jobs to apply for and ensure you achieve a smooth public-to-private sector transition.


kylie hammond

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