The dos and don’ts on your resume -  A guide to best practice and a downloadable template

Drake Editorial


How many of us have the same old resume template we have been using for years? If you are like the thousands of other job seekers out there, chances are you’ve painstakingly structured your resume in a list-like format highlighting previous job titles and duties. Sadly, this common method is actually not best practice and could even be screening you out of potential opportunities.

What a hiring manager or recruiter wants to see when they look at your resume is proof of your capabilities. This is your chance to showcase the time you saved your organisation 35% in operational costs or trained a whole team on a new process! Buzzwords like conscientious, organised, and innovative are meaningless without the facts to back it up! You need to prove yourself on your resume with demonstrated achievements.

Time is short for the hiring manager; therefore, information needs to be presented in such a way that your suitability for a role can be seen immediately.

Have you focused on the outcomes?

A stand-out resume focuses on achievement vs responsibility.  Take these two statements for example:

I was responsible for 80 events per year from conception to completion.


I spearheaded a seminar program of over 80 annual events culminating in a 30% increase in leads for the business

Do you see how they both offer the same message, yet one conveys the value, whilst the other only indicates the responsibility.  Companies are interested in how your skill sets and the projects you have worked on have made an impact on the organisation and its goals.

Have you got your elevator pitch?

Your summary or profile is your opening hook, or your elevator pitch and should be used to sell yourself in 25 words or less. The profile should also be tweaked based on the role you are applying for.

What are your key skills?

Key skills need to be highlighted on the front page in an easily viewable format. You should include at least 5 and a maximum of 10 skills and ensure you have a mix of soft (personable) and hard (technical) skills.

Employment history

Employment history displays the best of your abilities in chronological order and should include title, company, years of employment, and key responsibilities and outcomes.  If you have a very long work history and have worked at multiple places, only detail your experience from the last 10 years. Anything over this timeframe can be a simple list of job titles.


  • Don’t list every single duty. Instead, list 3 overarching responsibilities of the role.
  • Don’t include general or irrelevant information.
  • Don’t over-complicate.
  • Don’t ignore your employment gaps.
  • Don’t include a photo or hobbies and interests.





  • Create obvious spaces between each section.
  • Cherry-pick your experience that matches the job you are applying for.
  • Proof-read carefully.
  • Include your most notable achievements.
  • Ensure your resume is consistent with your online information.
  • Keep it a simple; black and white.
  • Use a footer, align to left: Pg. Number – Full Name – Mobile Number, keep the document 2 – 3 pages max.
  • Ensure your responsibilities also include the achievements/outcomes.


This list is by no means exhaustive but should provide a good guide on best practices. Remember, resumes should be tailored to every role you are applying for, so have one main copy and tailor from your master copy, creating a new resume for each opportunity and update or adjusting any key skills based on their relevancy.




At Drake, we have a team of expert recruitment consultants who can help you find your next job role. Call our team on 13 14 48 or explore our latest job vacancies.


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