Talking up your achievements

      Recruiters and employers receive dozens, if not hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. This puts any prospective employee in a position where they must be able to present their accomplishments and achievements to stand out against other applicants. Naturally employers will want to hire the best prospects and practices in the human resource industry has become more and more specific and targeted in zeroing in on exactly the right candidate for a particular position.
      Coupled with advancements in ATS technology, companies and recruiters can now enter a pre-defined set of search criteria and shortlisting requirements from hundreds of applicants within a split-second. Not only do you now have to beat others in the game and be at the top of the shortlist in terms of achievements and skills, you must also be able to present information in your resume in such a way as to be shortlisted.
      In a highly competitive job market, every applicant must do their best to stand out. There are a variety of differentiation techniques that one may adopt in order to be a cut above the rest, and to offer more value through the resume. It is important to note that resumes are the only basis for your value to prospective employers. As such, a resume must not only present information in a coherent and detailed manner, but it must also do so with impact and uniqueness in mind. Essentially you need to present what makes you stand out and why you are the best person for the role.
One way to strategically place yourself above other applicants is by including your key achievements. Often placed under a brief description of your roles in a chronological, functional or combination resume, key achievements present more specific examples of how you are able to go above and beyond the regular expectations or duties of a role. 
Other reasons for including key achievements in your resume are:  
They create more impact
Employers are interested to know more about how you are able to take your skills and apply them into the work context to influence positive results. By avoiding general, motherhood statements, you are able to present a clearer and more specific picture of how you will bring similar commendable results to your prospective roles.
They differentiate you from other applicants 
Picture this: you and a peer are applying for the same role. Judging by face value, your educational attainment, training, courses attended, and level of seniority may be exactly identical, but you can set yourself apart from other applicants by specifying how you were able to bring about measurable outcomes in your team. You must show that you were a valuable part of the process, leading to outstanding results, or where you have implemented new processes to streamline business operations. You must also show that you were indispensable, that the team may not have been able to achieve the said outcomes without your help or intervention. This is what gives you more power and leverage to emphasise your personal contributions to any team.
They present measurable information 
The numbers don’t lie. If you include trends, figures, and concrete examples of how your support and contributions to the team resulted in positive outcomes for the company, you will have more chances of attracting strong interest from prospective employers. Go back to your key performance indicators and ratings, your appraisals and chart your progress in terms of actual performance scores. Specify actual outcomes against expected values or projections.  Always mention any commendations, awards or a recognition for your invaluable contributions.
They offer transferability in other positions  
Often, generic information may be hard to contextualise or translate into actual deliverables. Sure, you can state that you have excellent communication skills, but employers may want to see exactly how you were able to adapt these skills in a difficult context or within a particularly challenging situation. Recruiters respond well to definitive statements instead of baseless claims or theoretical statements. It is hard to deny your capability to influence impactful outcomes if you have done it before. Thus, this makes you easier to place in departments where similar circumstances are to be expected.
There is definitely a delicate art of phrasing and expressing one’s achievements in a way that presents your skills and competencies. With the right construction and formats, you should be able to present what makes you unique and different, whilst also beating ATS scanners in the process. 
Allow us to assist you in this process by getting in touch today! 
We can advise on the right package that will be compatible to your every application or desired position.

Resume Templates

One of the most daunting parts of the application process is settling for a resume format or template that works. The wide spectrum of resume writing advice available online makes this even more confusing, as everyone seems to be saying something different about what makes a good resume.

To put it in simplest terms, a resume must outline your skills, work history, abilities and competencies in a straightforward and organised manner. Resumes are definitely not created equal – there are standout resumes that truly speak volumes about the applicant, while there are resume layout templates that may be visually striking but speak nothing substantial at all in terms of relevant information. The moral of the story is to create a resume that is designed well to be highly legible, captivating whilst still informative.

An introduction to Australian resumes

Our expert team has done the work for you and have surveyed the resources available online. It is quite common for advice on best practice to be geared towards an American audience, which leaves very little room for key information on how to succeed in the Australian job market .  American style resumes, or more commonly referred to as curricula vitae (or CVs) are different from Australian resumes in that American CVs value brevity. Most American companies call for an exhaustive one-page CV that attempts to whittle down the prospective employee’s profile into highly targeted value statements, lists of skills and competencies, and very short descriptions of previous roles performed. These are also based around where one may have worked, rather than what one did in the role.

Australian resumes, on the other hand, offer more leeway to explain in much more detail how an applicant was able to fulfill various roles throughout their history. It leaves an applicant with more room to expand on key duties, competencies, achievements, skills, personal attributes, and more importantly, an objective statement that signals a strong intent to apply for the role. There are a variety of resume styles suited for the Australian market, and we have a list of templates to choose from.

ATS Scanners

Another important thing to consider when planning your resume-building is the use of artificial intelligence in the recruitment process. Often, companies employ the use of applicant tracking software that aid in filtering hundreds or even thousands of applications received following a job posting in their recruitment channels. ATS scanners rely on algorithms or complex computer codes to read through application documents to pick out the most suitable applicant based on keyword richness and density. 

Australian style resumes benefit when being scanned through ATS because of their level of detail. The space and bandwidth dedicated to skills and competencies alone sets Australian-format multiple-page resumes apart from other styles, as they simply give the ATS more data to read. This puts you at an advantage over more sparse resumes that do not contain any industry specific language or keywords.

ATS are ingenious tools in simplifying the hiring processes for companies and organisations that receive an overwhelming number of applications from prospective employees. Since these tools are programmed to select applications based on keyword density or keyword richness, they are less than capable of picking out implied competencies. In other words, one must directly include the skills needed to be able to respond to the keywords programmed in the ATS. Once employers run a certain set of keywords in their search, resumes that have more content, more detail, and more nuance definitely have a clear edge. 

How to beat the ATS 

ATS scanners may evoke futuristic images of robots and computers replacing humans at the HR Department, but this is far from the truth. ATS complement contemporary hiring practices in that it allows human resource personnel to whittle down a large applicant pool into a good number of really outstanding documents. 

The challenge for applicants now is to present resumes that are compliant to ATS standards. In its core, keyword density and richness is very easy to achieve. Having the latitude to explain one’s key achievements and specific job responsibilities already puts you in the upper 30% of resumes and applications that make it through the initial ATS selection process.

We can advise you on the finer points of Australian best practices in the hiring process. Our services are especially useful for those who are new in the Australian job market, or are transferring from other countries. We can also help you with cover letters and other documents to help put your best foot forward in your application process.

Contact us today to speak to one of our consultants!

Best Foot Forward: Impactful Cover Letters

Picture this: you are welcomed into a beautiful foyer or a sitting room and you are immediately captivated by the cleanliness, attention to detail and other functional elements in the room. Often, waiting rooms like these reflect the cleanliness and orderliness of the rest of the building. They are a glimpse into what to expect, and they definitely make a striking impression. In many ways, a cover letter should give employers the same experience.

A well-written, organised and detailed cover letter gives prospective employers a good idea of what to expect. Cover letters, quite literally, serve as a preview for a resume or application document, and in line with best practice one should always include one as a courtesy or even just as an expression of interest in the role.

Types of cover letters

Cover letters are best written or modified to target specific points in a job description or a position vacancy. While a speculative cover letter is a good place to start, one must always tailor them to respond to the specific requirements in a notice. This shows your attention to detail and your strong interest in proving to the employer that you are a perfect fit for the role.

A cover letter usually accompanies a resume and is regarded as an vital part of an application package submitted to a prospective employer. Additional to sending a well laid-out resume, sending a cover letter signals extra attention and finesse. It should follow the structure and format of a business letter, and must contain key parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Following this structure ensures you are able to grab the hiring manager’s attention, that you are able to provide a good first impression with a summary of your accomplishments, and more importantly, that you are able to express a strong desire in being selected for the role. By including a conclusion, often a call to action, such as asking the hiring manager to contact you for inquiries or by proactively asking to be invited for an interview, you are able to end your letter with a strong statement, sending a convincing message that you are deserving of an invite.

One-page cover letters differ from selection criteria or custom response cover letters in that they summarise and package information in a more compact narrative. Cover letters document one’s work history, professional skills and objectives in applying for a job.

Cover letters also direct the resume and the application package to a specific contact or office in the department, making sure that your resume gets to the right place for the selection process.

That being said, some organisations and companies may require applicants to outline specific experiences that respond to the key selection criteria of the role. This is where Selection criteria documentscome in to play. They may also take the form of cover letters, but they are a much more complex and structured format.

STAR responses;

             One best-practice strategy one must comply with is outlining skills and capabilities through STAR responses. Also known as SAO, these invaluable narratives relate to the key selection criteria detailed in the job notice or posting.  Selection criteria responses in the STAR format are so-called because it follows a highly organised pattern of presenting the Situation, Task, Action, or Result/Outcome for each skill.

             Selection criteria cover letters with the STAR format are highly detailed and are focused on highlighting the applicant’s instrumental role in leading the task or the project to its completion. Often, it includes specific figures, steps, and illustrations of how the applicant is able to demonstrate a skill. Apart from setting the context of the narrative, one must include the specific task or project undertaken so as to emphasise one’s role in the project. It must be presented in such a way that without the applicant’s integral part, the project would not have been successful. This strategic way of highlighting contributions show that you are an indispensable part of the team. 

             Furthermore, by presenting a clear picture of key action steps and specific processes undertaken, an applicant is able to contextualise how transferrable skills can be used in a variety of challenging situations.  Finally, by presenting the resolution or outcome of the task at hand, an applicant completes the STAR outline and rounds up the discussion on how they were able to utilise their skills and resources to get the job done. All of these are in the hope of convincing the employer that an applicant is able to utilise their skills to abide by the company’s objectives and desired outcomes and it a perfect fit for the new position.

Other things to consider

             It is important to note that a cover letter must complement the resume. Contrary to belief, it is good practice to echo (not completely repeat) the contents of one’s resume in cover letters. Similar to the analogy of the sitting room, or a dazzling appetiser to start off a meal, cover letters must intrigue and spark curiosity, encouraging the employer to go to the next page and go through your body of work and experiences. Once you are able to stop an employer in their tracks, only then you have truly mastered the art of capturing attention and drawing curiosity to your competencies, skills, experiences, and objective statements.

             Our Team are glad to assist you in completing a compelling, flawless and striking resume and cover letter package that will wow a prospective employer. Our years of experience and expertise is backed by our insights into hiring practices and requirements. We have worked with thousands of application packages and have advised successful applicants in securing that coveted, highly competitive position. 

Contact us today to begin building your outstanding cover letter and application documents!

Keywords That Get You Hired

Picture the old days of “pounding the pavement”, searching the neighbourhood for job prospects and opportunities: an applicant prints several dozen copies of the same resume and hands them out to any office or workplace that has a “HIRING” sign displayed out in the front. They may get hired on the spot, or they may be told to expect a call. This may have worked, before computers and artificial intelligence became popular tools for employers, but this has definitely gone out of fashion now. For most career prospects, especially in large workplaces and popular companies that receive hundreds, if not thousands of applications daily, digital tools are definitely here to stay. 

A lot has changed with the way resumes are being written and more importantly, read, and the process of hiring and submitting documents has become more technologically advanced with the use of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) technology. ATS are important capabilities that any employer can utilise, as they help whittle down the applicant pool until they are able to find the most suitable candidates for the job. But how does it work, and how do you use ATS technology to your advantage? 

ATS basics 

As you may have learned, ATS is an essential component of the hiring manager’s toolbox: It is a programmable software that detects keywords or strings of keywords in any resume. Think of this in similar terms as search engines. Search engines like Google are equipped with components that trawl websites for keywords that are embedded in a copy. This makes it easy for search engines to pull up websites that have the corresponding keywords. For instance, when you type in “Chartered Accountant” on the Google search bar, the websites that are most optimised to display this search keyword will be the ones that are highly prominent and visible at first glance. 

ATS scanners work in a similar way. The scanners can be pre-programmed to search for specific keywords, and in the context of looking for talents from a pool of submitted applications, it can pinpoint with accuracy the resumes that stand out because of their keyword richness, density and compatibility with the search criteria. 

With the rising popularity of ATS scanners being used in the job market, having a bland, general resume may not be as effective, and there is definitely a need to custom-write and tailor resumes for each job. This seems like an awful lot of work, but it is important to take the time to study each job description and respond to the search criteria. 

How ATS scanners filter out applicants 

Although there are dozens of ATS scanners available for all types of applications, from small companies to very large multinational organisations, the principle of keyword optimisation remains consistent. Suppose a hiring manager wants to hire an administrative assistant. Some of the more common competencies required of an applicant to this role may include strong verbal communication skills, computer skills, customer service abilities, secretarial and reception duties, and the ability to answer phones and other communications. 

All of these skills can be used by employers as search keywords, alongside other qualities, say, “time management”, “prioritisation”, “accuracy”, and “composure”. The ATS picks out the resumes with the greatest number of keyword hits from their preferred categories, and sets them aside as part of the shortlist.  

Employers can decide on what keywords will be searched for different criteria, but the most important objective in writing ATS-optimised resume writing is to try to reflect most search criteria in your summary, job experiences, and core competencies sections. 
It could also be a simple as wanting to find all candidates with ‘Business Administration’ as part of their education. They can set the ATS to search this too!

How to spot keywords

ATS optimisation may sound daunting at first, but with a basic knowledge of how ATS scanners are programmed, plus a bit of creativity and ingenuity, having an ATS optimised resume may be accessible to most people. All it takes is the ability to look at job descriptions or announcements and seek out the keywords that may be used to filter applicants. Often, job descriptions will feature a section that lists down what type of skills, experience, and qualifications they are looking for.  

Your tell-tale clues can be in sections with the header “About You” or “What we are looking for.” Some keywords may also be embedded in the copy; all you need to do is read and research currently advertised roles. Furthermore, you may also focus on the selection criteria. It is essential to add both the Essential and Desired criteria in your application if these search keywords apply to you. 

ATS optimisation and landing your dream job 

The most important thing in ATS optimisation is to have a keyword-rich resume that reflects an honest and accurate picture of your skills. It is counter-productive to “pad” or “fluff” one’s resume with keywords or search strings that does not correspond to your actual experiences or possessed skills. Remember that you may get past through the ATS scanners, but at the end of the hiring process, you will still need to talk to an actual person who is likely to be highly trained in coaxing an honest and precise picture of your skills and capabilities through an interview. 

You can learn more about ATS optimisation and the right keywords to use by getting in touch with our expert resume writers. We have helped thousands of applicants land their dream roles through our extensive experience and insights on resume keyword richness, selection criteria response, and packaging your skills to achieve the best results.

Contact us today to find out more or discuss the services we offer!

How To Select The Best References

Most applicants expend their energy and effort writing the perfect role descriptions and qualifications in their resume, but forget to pay enough attention to a vital part of any resume: References.

Professional resume references may come in different names or forms: character references, professional references, personal references, career references, or even just referees. They all serve a similar purpose: to offer a chance for your potential employer to acquire insights about you separate from the information already listed on your resume.

It is a widely accepted practice to request references, and more often than not, you will have previous supervisors, managers and colleagues who will be willing to attest to your competence and character. 

Why Do Employers Request References?

Some employers may choose contact your references to corroborate your work history, skills and experience or simply to verify you worked somewhere.

            Employers often request for references so that they can talk to people whom you have worked with before. These people are often in the best position to vouch for your abilities and skills, and more importantly, your behavioural and non-job-specific capabilities and attributes. It is quite a challenge to encapsulate one’s character in a written resume, so employers reach out to your previous colleagues to validate the skills as listed in your resume. 

Some employers may also request for multiple references. Employers commonly require references from superiors, so it is very common for applicants to include references who were their previous direct reports, managers or supervisors. This gives one’s resume references more creditability to speak about your skills and competencies, as they are able to respond to questions on how you were able to meet certain professional expectations. 

            On the other hand, some employers may need to ask questions relating to your character or your attitudes at work. Some companies prefer a certain type of personality within their team, and may look for specific insights to help them decide if you are the best person for the role. Often, when employers are left with the last two choices for a role, they will likely hire the one with the most glowing recommendations from previous colleagues or managers. In short, resume references can mean a world of difference if it narrows down to how you are able to balance skills and competencies with the right attitude and disposition in the workplace. 

How To Select The Right References? 

There are some important points and tips to keep in mind when selecting the right references for your application: 

Select the references most likely to give a positive review 

Needless to say, since are being given a chance to select the best references who can vouch for you in the most positive way, you must take advantage of this to choose the best people for the job. You may have left the company on good terms, but it is always advised to select a character reference or a professional reference who will surely provide you with a glowing recommendation and will speak highly of your work ethic and contributions to the company.

  1. Choose referees who are relevant to your career 

It is also important to provide recommendations that come from the same industry or in the same line of work. If a company is hiring for an accountant position for example, it is essential to include a reference that will be able to put into context how you are able to adapt accounting legislation and guidelines into your day-to-day work activities. These references will have a closer understanding of the job at hand and will be able to give insights as to why the employer must hire you and do not necessarily have to be from your most recent role.

List down references from a subordinate 

Certain companies or employers may also look for references that are not necessarily from people who you reported directly to, or were higher than you. For example, some roles that require team management and positive team building may benefit from testimonials from references that you led or supervised in a previous role. They may be asked details on how effective you were in a management exercise, and these references will be in the best position to highlight your positive traits as a leader or a supervisor.

Include personal references (only if required)

Most employers will prefer that you give a reference from your previous jobs. It may come as a disadvantage if you list down references such as friends, family, or other personal acquaintances because they may not be able to answer professional reference questions with substance. 

Other things to remember 

  • Let references know in advance. It is important to ask references for their permission or consent before you list them down as references. Having a professional reference being contacted without their knowledge may reflect poorly on you. It is important to talk to your possible references about the job application so that they are also prepared to take a call.
  • Respect their privacy.  Some individuals may be concerned about having their phone numbers or email addresses being sent out to various employers and job sites. It is acceptable to have resume contacts available only a pawn request but it is important to consider putting the numbers and contact information on hand and readily available if the job description specifically and explicitly requires it. You can trust that a lot of reputable companies will exercise prudence and destroying resume files if they are not hired. 
  • Thank them. It is a reflection of good character to thank others for assistance that they have given you. Even if you get the job or not, you may send a thank you note or even a digital message to your references, thanking them for agreeing to vouch for you.

Contact us today to learn more or find out what services we offer!

Choosing the Right Resume

Selecting the best type of resume to fit your purpose is one of the most daunting choices one has to make during the job seeking process. For a good number of applicants, the decision to outline their resume a certain way is made even more complicated because of the wealth of resources found online. While there may be an abundance of various resume-related articles or information pages, there certainly is a lot of conflicting information and there doesn’t seem to be a single definitive resource on which resume styles or templates are the most appropriate. This leaves lot of applicants flustered or even frustrated with the resume writing and the job application process.

If you are going through the same thing, rest assured you are not alone in this predicament! The reason for this seemingly impossible task is that though there may be accepted or recommended standards to resume writing, there isn’t an iron-clad set of rules that comprise this seemingly complex system of rules, standards, and ‘must-dos’.

The secret to choosing the right resume, however, is to stay within best-practice methods of presenting information and Australian National Employment Standards. Only extensive experience in the hiring industry can inform what works and what doesn’t work, something that Brisbane Resume has worked to maintain over the years.

There is an endless array of different formats to choose from, with each one presenting its own set of benefits and advantages. Read along to get a understanding of which resume style suits your particular situation:

Chronological Resume

In a nutshell, chronological resumes may be some of the most popular and widely used formats as it is straightforward and direct to the point: it shows a steady progression of skills acquired through the years after doing various engagements or jobs in different positions. More ideally called reverse-chronological resumes, they include an objective statement and summary and features the most recent position occupied, with subsequent mentions of previous positions. This format is more typically used if the candidate does not have any gaps in the employment, which is something that must be avoided. Fill any gaps with explanatory notes for circumstances such as going back to school, taking care of family or children, or even extended vacations or trips – anything but a gaping space in between two jobs. As a general rule anything over 3 months would require such an explanation.

Functional Resume

On the other hand, a functional resume focus on skills and competencies, and not on the chronology of your employment history. This resume style is often employed to directly address the skills required by the employer. When chronological resumes benefit from having a structured and straightforward work timeline, some applicants may have concurrent positions and a complex system of part-time work, secondments, and other complementary activities that will not be served well by a strictly linear historical account. By zeroing in on the skills and providing an in-depth narrative of how you are able to address these required skills and abilities, you are able to provide a clear picture of how you are able succeed in given tasks. Functional resumes may also include a relevant work history section, then a brief work history section towards the end of the document for any other positions held, but as the name suggests, this truly functional resume format directly responds to the specific skills listed in a job description.

Combination Resume

A good halfway point between chronological and functional resumes is a combination resume, which emphasises both work experience and pertinent professional skills and abilities.  Since a combination resume is the most flexible format, it is really up to the applicants to highlight certain sections that they think may be more helpful in getting them their desired role. The goal of the combination resume is to take advantage of visual hierarchy in presenting information – if your most viable skills are in plain sight, ATS scanners and HR managers or recruiters may focus on those skills at face value and consider you for the role immediately. Highlighting what is important is key in combination resumes. This works especially well for someone who is adaptable across multiple industries, those who want to shift or transition to a different career path, or, in the case of more complex academic and senior roles, highlight highly transferrable skills that apply to any position.

There are clear pros and cons for each type of resume, but here at Brisbane Resume our practice has always been to strike a perfect balance between chronological and functional resumes. Adopting a combination resume style, we try to bridge the need for a structured narrative of one’s professional history and career progression, whilst also highlight our clients’ skills and ensuring they are front and centre. More importantly, our years of experience and over tens of thousands of clients served has informed us that our standard of resumes proves to be more versatile and successful.

Contact us today so we can help you get started with a resume that is appropriate and targeted for any role.

Busting the Bot Barrier: How to pass ATS Scanners & land your dream job

Have you ever sent in a resume thinking you’re the perfect candidate for the role, only to never hear back from the recruiter despite your stellar credentials? Maybe they didn’t receive your file. Maybe they lost your application or maybe, your resume was passed over by the ATS and did not rank high enough to reach the recruiter’s desk?

Picture this: large multinational companies and organisations searching for perfect candidates receive hundreds, if not thousands of highly competitive and impressive applications. A decade ago, this would conjure up images of desks piled high with folders from interested applicants and hours reviewing each one. Nowadays, with the advancements in technology, resumes are received and filed in e-mail inboxes, databases, and portals that review a tremendous number of resumes per day.  This can mean a large volume of resumes are automatically rejected but how do they do it? The answer lies in automation and Artificial intelligence.

What are ATS? 

ATS or Applicant Tracking Software is the human resource industry’s biggest trend. ATS are a variety of applications, programmes and software systems – clever tools that are designed to recognise keywords from documents. Think of this as a robot that you can train to automatically read through dozens of resumes to pick out the most suitable candidates. Those are then carefully assessed by managers and only those who qualify will get shortlisted.

ATS tools do this by registering keywords. If a recruiter is hiring, say, an Administrative Manager, chances are the ATS will be programmed to pick out strong applications that feature priority skillsets and buzz words or industry relevant language.

How to beat the bot? 

The key to having an ATS-complaint resume is knowing how the scanners function, so you can respond by framing your credentials in the appropriate manner. Remember, ATS compliance is supposed to make the recruiter’s job easier, not yours, so the onus is on you to adjust your resume and outline your skills so that you can get through the preliminary elimination process.

There are some rules of thumb that must be followed when writing your resume for ATS compliance: 

  • DO read the job description or the posting for the proper format or file type. 
  • DO observe submission instructions and regulations. 
  • DO use a clean, simple template and avoid unnecessary clutter like tables, graphs, or charts. 
  • DO aim for quality narrative style content. 
  • DO NOT use fancy templates, with textboxes or images. 

How to create an ATS-friendly resume? 

Submit your documents in a file format that can be read by scanners. ATS best practice usually entails saving files as a PDF. However, this may not always be the case. When you received your resume package from Brisbane Resume for instance, we give you both the .docx or the .pdf file so that you can pick the best format to be uploaded onto the application portal or to be sent to your recruiter’s e-mail. This also allows you to make changes before submitting using the editable format.

Take time to read instructions as outlined by the job description. Formats and layouts for ATS-ready documents vary from company to company, and the organisation you are applying to may have specific instructions on how to format your resume, generally based on the ATS they are using. Watch out for specific instructions such as number of pages, font sizes, margin and layout instructions, as well as the file format. Failure to do so may result to your resumes being automatically disregarded. ATS weed out non-compliant resumes, regardless if your experience and achievements are phenomenal. 

Clean layouts that show hierarchy in information are preferred. Aim for a few clearly defined headers, such as Core Competencies, Key Skills, and Employment History. Also include Key Software, Languages, or other credentials such as Education and professional memberships, Licences/Tickets, and Awards or Achievements. 

ATS relies on keyword richness, or how many times key terms and important concepts are repeated throughout your resume. One way in which ATS-ready resumes differ from regular, conventional resumes is the level of detail. Short, clipped sentences often fail to paint a clear picture of one’s roles. With denser and more detailed information on key job descriptions, the ATS has more text to go through, boosting your chances at a keyword hit. More is definitely more in this case; however, keyword richness is not the same as simply ‘fluffing’ one’s resume. It requires focusing on maximalism in describing your achievements, flaunting your contributions in a manner that tells a more detailed story. 

Never use a creative resume template unless specified, and avoid using graphical indicators, tables, images and illustrations to describe your skillsets. ATS are programmed to parse text, and may entirely skip your credentials if they are not in the proper format.

Using ATS technology to your advantage is easily becoming one of the most important skills for job seekers. Fortunately, Brisbane Resume offers an ATS-compliant resume writing service that integrates best practice human resource knowledge and strategic optimisation expertise to give you the best possible chance.

We assist with applications ranging from the government service, Australian Public Service, international firms, and local companies and organisations.

Contact us today for a pricing breakdown and ask us about our ATS- friendly resumes and application documents. 
[email protected] 1300 174 435

Its not all about the page count.

One of the most important things to consider when crafting your resume is the success of your document. The goal of a resume is to create a point of difference for yourself, compared to other applicants and therefore, the page count should be a secondary consideration. Quality over quantity is always encouraged and therefore, ensuring that the most important information is still included, is pivotal to the success of your submission.

How long a resume should be remains a dilemma to most applicants and this generally comes from not knowing which standards to follow when filing and submitting a job application. 

Perhaps you have heard of the general rule of having a one-page resume. Time and again, this practice has proven to be ineffective as it generally leaves human resource professionals and recruiters trying to clarify certain aspects of your resume, especially if you left out significant information on your previous roles, such as your responsibilities and key achievements.

The subjective nature of resume writing is due to varying practices and preferences unique to different companies and organisations. Some hiring managers may want comprehensive resumes, whereas some HR professionals want concise, “highlights only” formats. There are also differences between the length of resumes in the public and private sector. Within Australia, each state government has their own preferred format also. Moreover, resume length may also vary depending on the industry. Understandably, because of these varied standards, people are left confused and even intimidated by the idea of writing a powerful resume. 

Here are some things to consider when deciding on resume length and level of detail:

FOLLOW BEST PRACTICE. Despite the differences in standards and preferences in resume writing, one key to success is to be guided by best practice; primarily by looking at the “least common denominator” of a good number of employers. It is important to bear in mind that although there isn’t a singular correct way to write a resume, these best practices are an average expectations of the guidelines that most HR professionals set out when they post jobs and request applications from interested jobseekers. Overall, Australian Best Practice is between 2-5 pages.

DECIDE ON AN IDEAL LENGTH. More information is in demand these days, such as one’s trainings and certifications, software skills or technological tools used, areas of expertise and skill, and character or behavioural traits. However, for certain professions such as the medical field (where applicants could have a significant number of placements, specialisations, fellowships, and professional developments or training) and academics (professors and researchers may want to include a list of select published documents, papers, books, and journal articles), a page count of 5 or more may be required. Some companies, luckily, specify the page count in their job postings, so watch out for these key instructions.

MANAGE AND EDIT YOUR CONTENT. It is essential to outline your achievements and highlight your duties and responsibilities from each role in order to support your claims to your skills and competencies. Managing your resume content entails selecting which information is relevant,  and presenting it in a clear and logical manner that demonstrates your career progression. Moreover, apart from what goes on the resume, key to editing information in your document is deciding what not to include. More professional resume writers and hiring executives recommend excluding things that could subject you to inherent bias and hiring discrimination, such as age and birthday, marital status, and most especially, a headshot or a photo. We also follow a 15-year rule when listing your employment history, unless your prior work directly relates to the role you are seeking.

ATS COMPATIBILITY. To sort through the volume of applications generated from online platforms, companies nowadays use an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) of some sort. There are hundreds of these used to track and process applications, some of which may be unique to the individual organisation or jobseeking website. An estimated 95% of companies employ their own internal ATS, which can be programmed to rank online job applications based on their suitability and match to the job posting. It takes professional experience with ATS to be able to create a document that presents the right format, information, content, and overall look in order to maximise the opportunity to be included in the shortlist.  As a rule of thumb, to beat the ATS, your resume must be of an acceptable length, must be free of grammatical errors and follow a simple, clutter-free format. Creative, stylish and innovative resume formats that have a lot of white space may not be the best for ATS. Instead, opt for clean and impactful designs with simple fonts and layouts. Adapting to ATS technology is the way of the future.

KEYWORD RICHNESS.  ATS rely on a set of pre-programmed keywords and the density of these keywords in your resume text is your ticket to the shortlist. Due to the nature of ATS programs and tools, short and truncated resumes with barely any information are not optimised to pass the scanners. A professional resume from Brisbane Resume, may look “too wordy” and dense, however our formats and templates have been proven to fuel the success of our applicants. We have worked with thousands of clients, a good number of them returning clients who want a fresh update to transition into higher positions, and we can assure you we have done our due diligence in seeking out the most rewarding keywords that can help bolster your application towards getting that coveted call.

Resume writing is all about presenting the best version of yourself to your prospective employer. Unless there is a page or word count specified the job notice, aim for a more detailed and comprehensive resume, not only to optimise for ATS scanners, but to leverage this as an opportunity to market yourself to prospective employers. 

Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of very important real estate on your resume to  create a great first impression at the outset. Even before you meet the employer and tell them more about yourself and your skills in a comprehensive and personal manner, it is important to impress despite the limited space you are given to outline and package your professional profile. 

At Brisbane Resume, we take our cue from experts in the field of human resources and recruitment, ensuring we give you a point of difference and help you stand out against other applicants. 

Having written thousands of resumes Nation wide, we are confident that the focal point of your documents should always be the quality of the information, giving you a competitive edge, rather then the page count itself.

For more information or a personalised quote, kindly email or call us today!


The ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) epidemic has caused major disruptions in the way that businesses function. With the rise in infection rates, the situation continues to pose as a challenge to various industries worldwide as operations come to a halt and as thousands of people are faced with the challenges of reorienting work practices and policies in compliance with social distancing and disease prevention measures. 

According to an assessment by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), unemployment is on the rise due to the economic consequences of the virus outbreak. COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on employment, as outlined by immediate concerns relating to the health of workers and their families, as well as the quantity and quality of job opportunities that are available, leading to the reduction in work hours and wages as companies struggle to stay afloat. The ILO forecasts undesirable effects on specific industries and groups who are more vulnerable to negative market outcomes. 

Here are some tips that you can apply in order to stand out in your job search during this outbreak: 

  1. Highlight special skills

Since a significant number of jobs have moved to modified arrangements such as working from home, working under reduced hours, or minimising transmission by refraining from gathering in large groups, those with excellent communication skills will stand out. You need to highlight what makes you special and what makes you the ideal candidate. You can do so by including information such as sales figures, awards and recognitions, promotions, and special projects. You may also include significant contributions, especially if they led to the success of projects. This information can be highlighted under your employment history as “key achievements”.

You also need to highlight how your skills will give you an advantage in the work environment. The use of various communication tools such as Skype, Zoom and other technologies feature prominently in these current arrangements. It is also important to highlight self-motivation skills, as new circumstances call for significant amounts of unsupervised work where there are limited opportunities to be mentored. Moreover, high levels of organisation and prioritisation will be highly regarded. 

Lastly, learning and absorbing information in an agile and active manner are also important skills. Highlight these in your resume, as recruiters will be searching for prospects who are well suited to working in challenging and unusual circumstances. 

  • Focus on transferrable skills        

Transferable skills can cover a wide array of attributes such as leadership and team management, sound problem solving and analysis, teamwork, communications, time management, prioritisation and task management. These, along with the ability to think outside of the box are considered transferrable because they apply to a wide array of roles. Employees from all levels and with different specialisations who possess these skills will stand out to a potential recruiter.

The challenge in succeeding and securing your desired role isn’t only about current technical proficiency in job-specific tasks, but also, communicating to potential employers that you have the fundamental and sought-after skills and attributes that will enable you to receive mentoring, coaching, and direction. As mentioned earlier, highlight your ability to absorb information and your willingness to learn for the most impactful resume.

  • Emphasise adaptability and openness to change 

In the current job environment, flexibility, resilience, and adaptability are paramount values as change can and will occur within most organisations. Strategic, leadership, process, and technological changes take place with very little notice in response to challenges created by the outbreak. According to the ILO assessment, more and more companies will hire employees who are capable of transitioning through rapidly evolving circumstances.  

Resilience and openness to change are valued attributes as these are abilities required in easing tension and creating smooth processes within teams. As such, skills such as effective communications, initiative, and sound organisation of time and resources must be highlighted front and centre. It is essential be able to communicate to your employer that you are capable of adopting standards whilst maintaining consistency in order to create a more dynamic and innovative workplace. 

  • Widen your search          

If you are having difficulty searching for prospects because of limited postings due to the outbreak, you may find more opportunities if you expand your search and cast a wider net. You may also try alternative platforms to apply for jobs – explore government websites, company job portals, and sites such as Indeed, Seek, and others. LinkedIn has a role advertising feature that will allow you to put your profile out there for employees to see. Working with recruitment agencies may also allow you to take advantage of wider job searches and existing relationships with employers.

Moreover, you may leverage existing and previous relationships with clients, employers, and organisations to look for openings. Look outside your usual scope and expand your search to related industries where you may find success in transferring your skills and applying your existing knowledge to similar roles.

  • Optimise your resume for ATS readability. 

With reduced HR capability due to suspensions and social distancing measures, more and more companies take advantage of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) scanners, which rely on keyword richness in order to highlight resumes that stand out. These keywords must be prominent in your resume, as tracking software pick out the most compatible submissions from a recruitment pool. Use keywords that represent soft skills and hard skills aside from the expertise that you have acquired over the years that qualify you for your desired role. Moreover, clearly outline key sections such as Core Competencies and Professional Skills in order to produce a document that is coherent, and organised, and leverages your most significant values, skills, and qualities in relation to the roles you are applying for.

Aside from keywords, layouts and design formats matter when it comes to ATS. Pick a simple yet readable format, free from graphics and tables, which will highlight information in a more streamlined manner.  You can consult a professional on ATS readability, and a consultant will help you improve your credentials by applying tried and tested principles in working around ATS constraints. 

In this current economic and labour environment, most companies remain functional and have instituted some form of modified working arrangements. Businesses must undergo effective change management to prevent the worst effects of the outbreak from impacting profitability and productivity.  In order to fare well in your search for prospects, it is essential you demonstrate resilience in highlighting important skills that show your fitness to assume critical roles. 

Brisbane Resume is the leading choice in ATS-friendly resumes. Contact us today to find out more, and let us assist you in creating professional documents to stand out in these trying times. 

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Resume

A great first impression goes a long way in life in general. It can determine whether you secure that first meeting or head start in whatever it is you are pursuing. This is especially true in the realm of job hunting, mostly applicable to fresh graduates or beginners searching for their first employment experience. With this in mind, it is a fact that having an excellent resume gives you the edge over other applicants who apply also. 

Below are 5 easy and efficient ways to give your resume that extra edge to aid you in securing your dream job.

  1. Get to the Point – Employers appreciate someone who knows what they’re talking about and does not ‘beating around the bush’. Avoid adding irrelevant information to your application. Including only the vital information and ensuring to focus and narrow down the facts is essential in creating an impactful resume.
  2. Highlight your accomplishments – Key achievements are work achievements performed by a job seeker that are both measurable and unique to their experience. When listing them on your resume it is different to duties or responsibilities in that duties and responsibilities are virtually the same for any employee in a similar role. Achievements are relevant to you personally. Putting a spotlight on how you handled a difficult situation shows your commitment to excellence which is a trait potential companies place in high regard.
  3. Use Numbers – In addition to the above, quantity does not take a backseat when it comes to hard data. If possible, try to provide a number or percentage on tasks completed as prospective employers use this as a metric for future performances. Giving you resume a healthy dose of statistics helps solidify any effect your actions may have brought your previous work.
  4. Be Specific – Most if not all job posts have points listed which the ideal candidate will possess. These are usually a short checklist designed so the Hiring Personnel knows you are the right candidate for the job. Focus on what it is asked and try not to stray far from it. Do not forget to cite any technical skills or knowledge learned from both official and personal experiences. 
  5. Double Check – After you’ve created or edited your resume, don’t forget to double check on everything. This includes dates, numbers, references, spelling, grammar and so on. This will make your resume easy to read and free of any discrepancies that may raise some inquiries. Preserving the integrity of the document also displays your aversion to errors. Be sure to use Australian English and include any role or industry specific keywords.

Contact Brisbane Resume today to speak with an experienced consultant on how to best present yourself to prospective employers. 1300 174 435