Pure Resume

Resume writing tips

How to create the perfect Resume Part 3: What you should change

Resume writing tipsRobert Taylor1 Comment


1.  Give yourself a promotion – Change your job title

The job market is changing. The way we work is changing. Roles are changing and the way you define yours should change as well.

Take a fresh look at the role description you've had on your resume for years and update it to reflect the work you are ACTUALLY now performing on a daily basis. Re-assessing your job title allows you to adapt to the changing job market, brings you inline with in-demand skill sets and lets you compete more effectively with other job seekers. Graphic designers that have found themselves engaged with EDM design, online advertising or have worked with website front end designs in the last year can legitimately elevate themselves from 'Graphic Designer' to 'Graphic / Digital Designer' bringing them more inline with in-demand roles and potentially higher salaries.


2.  Keep yourself safe – Change your address info

Gone are the days when your resume sat on a single desk, read by only by your prospective boss or single HR Advisor. The minute you click 'Send' your resume begins a journey that has it passing through  multiple hands, is sent electronically to recruitment agencies, hiring managers, team member, sits on printers in open offices ....

Having your house number, street name and suburb on your resume opens you up to great personal security concerns. With one click on Street View in Google maps any one of the 50 people that have access to your resume will have a front row view of your house. 

As well as introducing a security risk, having your full address on your resume also opens you up to possible typecasting before an employer has even had a chance to read your qualifications for the role. The suburb you live in, your house type (a unit or sprawling house), even your street name in some smaller towns or communities can allow an employer to form a false expectation of your soci-economic status and could lead them to believe they have an advantage when negotiating salary or wage packages.   

Basic telephone, email, LinkedIn and online portfolio details are all that are needed to ensure you are contactable. Save the deeper dive into your location for the day you get the job and need to provide a mailing address.


3.  Think digital – change your mindset

The vast majority of job applications are lodged digitally. Whether it be through Seek, emailed to a recruiter, or lodging with a company's own website your resume is going to reach employers via an online medium. Change your mindset when writing your resume in 2016 re-focus it for digital with these simple tips:

1.  Clickable links: Your LinkedIn profile URL, email address, portfolio site or personal website as well as any website you are listing as part of your proof of digital experience should be complete and active links within your resume or cover letter. Make use of Microsoft Word's hyperlink features to add the URL and ensure these are active and click through correctly once you have exported to PDF.

2. Size matters: Make sure when you create and export your resume to PDF that it is below the size restrictions that some job board sites impose. A final PDF under 2MB will keep you safe and upload friendly.


4.  watch your language – CHANGE YOUR buzz words

Recruiter, employers and Human Resources personnel are buzz word weary. Real accomplishments, quantifiable results and genuine career succession are all that get noticed in a sea of resumes all vying for the same role. Do a buzz word cleanse as you are writing your resume or reviewing your VC and swap out outdated and clique phrases like 'Motivated', 'Passionate' and 'Driven' with bullet points that make employers stand up and take notice. Real world statements like "Raised weekend revenue by 14% by initiating online advertising campaign" clearly and confidently tells the reader that you are a high performer.


In case you missed it:
Part 1 of 3: What you should delete on your resume
Part 2 of 3: What you should add to your resume
Part 3 of 3: What you should change on your resume

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How to create the perfect Resume Part 2: What you should add

Resume writing tipsRobert TaylorComment

1.  On target – Add bullet points specifically written for the role 

This is an undervalued and under-utilised must-do when writing a resume that will be successful in getting you through to the next stage of the process. You don't have to completely re-write your resume, but making the commitment to add as many bullet points as possible that are specifically tailored to the job you are applying for will make a dramatic difference in your job search.

Find the employers pain points by reading between the lines in the job ad, pull terminology directly from the position description and incorporate these in the bullet points in your working history. When an employer, recruiter or computer Applicant Tracking System scans your resume the keywords and skills you've introduced will match with theirs and register a 'tick, tick, tick', sending you straight to the top of the pile.


2.  Link up – Add your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network and has steadily grown to become more than just an online run-down of your job history. It is a great way to connect with employers and recruiters, a platform to share articles that express your professional interests, a place to publish personal blog posts that celebrate you as a subject matter expert in your field and a job search tool for job seekers.

Having an up to date and complete presence on the site is a must for most professionals and your LinkedIn address url should be one of the first things you add to your resume or CV when you start your job search. Use Microsoft Word's Hyperlink tool to make sure the link to your LinkedIn profile is active and clickable when you export your resume as a PDF.

Adding your LinkedIn URL when you write or update your resume ensures employers and recruiters have access to your full working history (relevant and irrelevant) and see you as a progressive, engaged and connected professional. Your resume is specifically tailored to fit each of your job applications and it should summarise relevant knowledge and skills.



3.  Results rule – Add real data to your resume

Employers and recruiters are 'buzz word weary'. The things that separate you from the pack and makes your resume or CV stand out from the pile of hundreds of hopefuls are RESULTS. Add real data to your resume by including:
•  Percentages e.g. "Increased open rates by 14% with Q1 campaign." 
•  People numbers e.g. "Managed on-boarding of 24 new staff/personnel."
•  Dollars e.g. "Saved $35,000 on project cost by leading a change on external supplier."
•  Frequency e.g. "Twice weekly published project updates and 6 newsletters over 12 months."


4.  Give them some click candy – Add interactive links to your resume / CV

Think digital when writing a resume updating or creating your resume / CV. If it's applicable to your job, make sure you add digital portfolio links to in your resume / CV. The more they see of your work and the deeper they are able to dive into your skills and working history, the more memorable you are when compared against other applicants.

If you are a creative make sure you have your portfolio somewhere online and include this URL as an active link in your resume. Sites like Behance, Coroflot and CarbonMade are great places to start with free hosting for portfolios.

If you're a digital designer or IT developer include links to live examples of your work. You could list these as a series of links under that role in your job history or supply them at the end of your resume to allow readers to dive deeper into your work. 

If you are neither a designer or a IT developer but have helped or contributed to content on your company's site or digital campaigns, you could add these link to help to increase the reader's perception of you as progressive and connected employee.



5.  Up skill to impress – Add a skill or qualification to your resume / CV this year

It doesn't take a three year university degree or a night class that leaves you exhausted at the end of an already long day to increase the skills on your resume and make an impression on employers and your peers this year. 

Open and online Universities offer free self paced courses that you can take at times that suit your schedule and websites such as Lynda.com, CodeAcademy, Treehouse and Coursera have a huge variety of tutorials and quick classes to help you bridge skill gaps you might have, or add to your existing box of tricks to give you the edge over other applicants. A single night on your laptop could have you confidently adding a much needed knowledge area to your Resume / CV that helps you to compete on paper, a week of online training in your spare time could have you re-thinking your whole career title!    

In case you missed it:
Part 1 of 3: What you should delete on your resume
Part 2 of 3: What you should add to your resume
Part 3 of 3: What you should change on your resume

Subscribe for the latest blog posts, career advice, and more

How to create the perfect Resume Part 1: What you should delete

Resume writing tipsRobert Taylor3 Comments


1.  Space is precious – delete your references

Reference checking is a stage in the application process reserved for those times when you have made it through to one of the final contenders. This is often after multiple rounds of resume reviews and telephone or personal interviews. Finally, employers and job seekers alike are catching up with this and it is now the norm for referees to be offered on request rather than included when writing your resume

As well as freeing up valuable space on what is often limited resume real estate, holding off on listing your references until they're requested by the employer has an added benefit – you can ensure that the referees you supply are the best possible fit for the role, the employer or the business that you are applying with

Tip: Instead of listing your references write 'Referees available on request'.

Supplying your referees later down the track means you will be able to choose referees that better suit the role you're going for (you'll now know more about what the job entails and what referees will best celebrate your skills in that area), or even the interviewer (you may have met or talked to the employer or interviewer and can choose referees that compliment their personality or working style thus giving a better rapport or response when they call to discuss you). 



2.  Ditch the mugshot – delete your profile photo

The three main reasons why you should delete your profile photo from your resume are:

  1. Photo's can place an employer in an uneasy position where there's a possibility of opening up discrimination cases.
  2. People will generally look at your LinkedIn where you should have a profile picture.
  3. How you look shouldn't be apart of your job application unless you're modelling. If you really, really want to, no-one is stopping you.

A picture says a thousand words. Too young? Too hipster? Not hipster enough? Your appearance, your age, your personal style and your ethnicity will be the first thing that people see, shaping an impression of you before they've even read a word of your resume which includes the incredible wealth of experience and skills you have that make you perfect for the role. Wow them with your passion and suitability for the role and save the photo for your LinkedIn profile when they are already hooked from your resume / CV and want to know more, and hopefully contact you.



3.  You wouldn't ask a stranger their age, don't supply yours to one – delete your D.O.B

In the same way your photo can typecast you, adding your date of birth when you're writing a resume or cover letter can open you up to discrimination before you've even had a chance to impress. Not limited to older applicants, a D.O.B (Date of Birth) on your resume / CV advertising that you were born in the nineties could have recruiters and employers labelling you a 'Millennium', instantly discounting you from particular roles as inexperienced or unmotivated. 

If it is illegal for employers to ask your age in an interview, it is an unnecessary inclusion on a resume. Leave a little mystery and delete it from yours.



4.  This is one for you creatives and devs – delete the skill indicator graphics

You know what these are – the little graphic circles or bar charts partially filled in to show whether you're competent or incompetent at a software or skillset. You're creative. The ability to use Photoshop is assumed. Putting it on your resume with a skill level indicator is like saying you can do your job. Moderately. 

Loved by creatives and developers because they add a visual 'pop' to a resume, these totally pointless and space consuming icons actually do the opposite of expressing your skill level. Unless you have every one of your piechart / dot matrix / wheel of skill icons completely filled in they only serve to highlight where you are lacking. A 75% filled in Photoshop icon shows the employer you have a 25% LESS than their ideal candidate, less than some other applicants are offering.

Your capability or experience level with CSS and Javascript can be discussed once you get to the one-on-one interview stage – don't put yourself on the back foot by including fad graphics that show you in less than the best light.


5. It's time to move on – Delete your first job

When I was 17 I worked at Charcoal Chicken. I loved it. I was there for two years and, as well as getting great free lunches, I acquired a whole set of skills in customer service, food preparation, register operations and chicken turning. All great skills at the time, none of them relevant in any way to my current senior digital designer role.

As you're writing your resume and cover letter for your job hunt make sure you are not carrying around long gone job references that don't reflect, support or relate to either your current role or the exciting new position you are applying for. If you have more than five previous positions on your resume delete outdated or professionally disconnected ones and use the valuable space on your 1 page or 2 page resume (especially on your executive resume) to flesh out the most recent and relevant jobs you have held. If you are a new job seeker and only have one or two positions in your working history re-read and re-work the bullet points. Make sure unrelated skills from your previous jobs are downplayed, and hero the skills that match or compliment the position you are applying for, fleshing them out and bringing them front and centre in your resume / CV.

In case you missed it:
Part 1 of 3: What you should delete on your resume
Part 2 of 3: What you should add to your resume
Part 3 of 3: What you should change on your resume

Subscribe for the latest blog posts, career advice, and more

Resume Lying: How Guilty Are Australians?

Resume writing tipsRobert Taylor1 Comment

A June 2016 survey by Pure Resume asked 1,518 Australians one simple question – ‘Have you ever lied about your credentials or work experience on your resume?’ The age of those surveyed were as follows:

  • 18-24 – 21.6%
  • 25-34 – 14.3%
  • 35-44 – 12.1%
  • 44-54 – 11.3%
  • 55-64 – 7.8%
  • 65+ - 7.5%

From the survey results, it would seem we’re quite an honest nation with 86.9% of respondents claiming never to have falsified details on their resume before, leaving just 13.1% admitting to lying at one point or another.

Other studies suggest the number of resumes with false information could be closer to 25-40%, although these studies also include respondents that have exaggerated the truth as well, which is slightly different to lying.

The low 13.1% finding could be influenced by one very obvious factor – LinkedIn. In Australia LinkedIn attracts 3.7 million unique visitors per month, with many having created their own profile featuring a copy of their resume. Given the public nature of LinkedIn, it would be difficult for someone to lie about their education or experience, such as inflating a previous job title or graduating from a different university, when former colleagues can call them out on it.

2016 Australian Survey Results

2016 Australian Survey Results

Categorisation by state

The breakdown of lies told by state and territory in Australia makes for some interesting reading. The order of the biggest liars to the most honest is:

  • Northern Territory – 16.7%

  • South Australia – 14.4%

  • Victoria – 13.8%

  • Tasmania – 12.9%

  • New South Wales – 12.7%

  • Queensland – 11.8%

  • Western Australia – 11.2%

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – 10.3%

The Northern Territory is clearly Australia’s biggest resume lying state, while South Australia and Victoria are close together in second and third. The most honest state or territory is the ACT with just over 10% of their citizens fudging their resumes.

This could be due to the importance given to checking the claims of applicants in various states and territories. In the ACT, public administration and safety; professional, scientific and technical services; healthcare and social assistance; and education and training accounts for approximately 60% of all employees. All new employees in these industries would be required to undergo stringent background checks before being offered a job.

While Public Administration and safety; healthcare and social assistance; and education and training are the Northern Territory’s top three industry sectors, they only account for approximately 40% of all employees. Other industries in the top 10 include construction, retail, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing, which may not require the same background checks as other industries.

Categorisation by salary

Apart from the lowest earners in Australia, there is a distinct relationship between how much a person earns and if they are likely to lie on their resume.

  • $0 - $24,999 – 13.2%

  • $25,000 - $49,999 – 15.3%

  • $50,000 - $74,999 – 13.7%

  • $75,000 - $99,999 – 13.6%

  • $100,000 - $149,999 – 12.9%

  • $150,000+ - 11.2%

There could be two reasons for this:

The first is the correlation between the age of the respondents and how much they earn. Almost 36% of the respondents were 18-34 years of age (16 year span), and are unlikely to be in the higher wage brackets. Conversely approximately 19% of respondents were in the 44-64 year age brackets (20 year span), and are more likely to be in the higher wage brackets. Therefore it stands to reason that more respondents in the survey are in lower wage brackets.

The second is the likelihood of lower wage earners being caught lying on their resumes. Those earning less money are probably less likely to be working in industries where cross-checking of information and background checks are rigorously taking place. Conversely, high earners are more likely to be required to undergo background checks, and are more likely to be well known within the industry, thus making it more difficult to lie about their background, experience and qualifications.

What lies are ok, and which lies aren’t?

It’s common practice for some resume exaggeration to take place, and employers expect there to be some untruths when they sift through applications for a recently advertised job opening. But some lies are more serious than others, and resume cheating is illegal in Australia and can be prosecuted with large fines. So, to help you avoid getting in trouble, here is a list of common and unacceptable lies you should think about before submitting your resume:


  • Current salary – It is not uncommon to exaggerate your current salary to a prospective new employer to get a better deal, that’s called negotiation, right?
  • Project participation – Don’t claim to be the project manager if your job was to get the tea and coffee, but certainly highlight your involvement in any successful project and the role you played.


  • Education – Claiming to have attended Harvard Business School when in fact your ‘degree’ is from a dodgy online provider is generally not acceptable - you'll get found out eventually.

  • Referees – If you make up referees that don’t exist, or put down the names of friends who will lie on your behalf, you will soon be found out and the consequences won’t be pretty.

The ability for recruiters and employers to find out your professional and personal history has never been easier. If you get caught lying on your resume during the application process, chances are you’ll be dismissed immediately.

LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms, as well as cross-referencing information found in resumes and cover letters against the selection criteria, is a far quicker and simpler process than the days when we used to post our applications by mail to prospective employers. A quick Google search will often tell a recruiter or employer everything they need to know about an applicant.

Save time and hassles with putting together a professional looking resume. Check out our 1-page and 2-page resume templates today!

Top 5 IT resume Tips

Resume writing tipsRobert TaylorComment

I caught up with Trent Devers - IT Manager at Dynamiq, to find out which aspect of an IT resume are the most important to him. Like most IT businesses, they get a huge response when hiring and have to scan through an abundance of applicants, where many of them don't even make it passed the initial scan.