Anne McDowell© 2015

What is a Professional Resume? 


A professional resume is a marketing document that is professionally written by a HR, recruitment and strategic career specialist and expert, so that it markets your talents, skills, attributes and capabilties to your best advantage.  You only have one chance to shine, so don't put your career and future into the hands of a person is not an expert HR, recruitment or career specialist - especially do not place your future into the hands of someone who offers "discount resumes", or someone that you know who can "knock one up for you".  That will be an unmitigated disaster for your career.


The difference between a generic ordinary Resume and a Professional Resume is content, presentation and length.  


Guide for length of Resumes:


Australia: 3 -4 pages

UK: 3 pages

USA: 1 page


One page Resumes are American in style and recruiters in Australia do not consider this to be worthy of consideration as they think that you don’t have the depth of experience because your whole history fits on one page!


On the other hand, American recruiters and employers want to only see a one page summary – they feel you can’t present your history on one page, and your summary and writing skills are not sufficient for their needs.

Adjust your resume and cover letter for every position.  Remove any information that is not applicable to role and ensure you delete skills that you would prefer not to do.  Remember - your resume does not have to be a full confession of everything you have ever been involved in.  Give yourself a chance to elaborate on your history during the interview!


Don't waste your potential employer's time by forcing them to sort through information that is not relevant. Obtaining the help of a professional resume writer can assist you in grabbing a competitive advantage.  Well worth the investment!


Always submit a cover letter when you are applying for positions. A cover letter is a professional introduction to your potential employer.  Again, a Cover letter is not designed to contain your life’s story – maximum of one page please!!


Read the advertisement criteria and ensure you address each point in your resume or cover letter.


Respond to all the outlined selection criteria for a government application. Omitting even just one question may cause your application to be automatically discarded.  Obtaining assistance from a professional resume writer will make this difficult task easy.  Recognise when you need help and get it!


Only 20% of jobs are actually advertised, and 80% of job seekers will apply for them.  That means increased competition for these roles, so be proactive and seek out your opportunities.  It is important to focus on the “hidden market” and send out your Resume to the companies that you might like to work for.  


You'll increase your chances if you go directly to the source and request that the company keep your resume on file for any future positions.   Don't apply directly to the HR Manager - discover the name of the manager in the department of which you want to join and address your cover letter and resume to them.


Acquaint your friends and family with the nature of role you are seeking. Ask them to keep and eye out for you. Don't underestimate the power of networking.  


Many companies include a 'positions vacant' area on their website and some will email you available roles on a regular basis. Use this tool! In addition, sign up with the employment agency websites and forward your resume to as many recruitment agencies as you can.  


Dealing with Recruitment Agencies


Be nice to recruitment consultants - the recruitment process can be frustrating and at times, demeaning, however, do not let this deter you.


From first hand experience, recruiters are often juggling up to 16 roles at a time (as Anne was) and if you think 16 roles times around 100 applicants  each role, this is managing 1600 applications at the same time.  


So, be cheerful and pleasant to win them over.  Show them that you are resilient and determined and that you will be as accommodating as necessary to achieve your goal. Your aim is to inspire confidence so that they genuinely want you to succeed in winning the job and will go in fighting to get you an interview.


Follow up, but don’t harass as one applicant did with 3 calls a day, every day over a 6 month period.  Put it this way – the squeaky wheel does not always get the oil and it makes you go to the bottom of the pile!  Follow up and be confident, energetic and friendly at all times.  Don’t speak in negative terms, whinge, complain and do not off-load your frustrations or panic on them.  They do not owe you a job!


If you are not offered an interview, check your skills against the description.  Decide if you are being realistic with your goals then phone to ask why you were overlooked.  You could have just missed out making the short list by someone slightly more qualified.  You may possibly feel better if you discover that you performed admirably against hundreds of other applicants.


Touch base with them every 3 months advising them of your availability. Again, don't concentrate your efforts just in this area.  If you wait around for their phone call and rely on them calling you, you may be greatly disappointed.  Agencies have a limited number of positions with more than enough applicants.


Send a copy of your resume to your referees and a description of the type of role you want. Helping them prepare will assist you in obtaining a favourable outcome.  Ask them to advise you if they are contacted for a reference; this can indicate the level of interest. An employer or agency should not contact your referees before you have been interviewed.


Ensure you have a professional email address included on your resume, NOT something like puppylove@hotmail. Make checking your email your NUMBER ONE priority!  All agencies and most employers will utilise email first for welcome messages, so if you are not regularly checking your email, you are potentially missing out on opportunities.  Check your email daily!


Today’s world is about instant contact – you must have a mobile phone to make it easier for an employer to get hold of you.  Ensure that you record a professional message on it.  Be aware of your tone on the phone – ensure it’s friendly, energetic and happy.  A recruiter often will only have your tone of voice to go by – if it is a monotone, boring or sounds cold, they receive a negative image of you that doesn’t leave them.


If you provide a home phone number, then have an answering machine activated with a professional message on it. Advise other household members, including older children, to answer the phone using a friendly tone.  First impressions count.  


As a last note: 


Never underestimate the influential power of a professionally written resume. It is a powerful marketing tool that successfully competes against other applicants.  Without a professional resume with a contemporary format you will limit your chances of obtaining and interview.


Ask yourself - Is your resume and cover letter generating interviews? Do you know how to stand out from the others? Does your cover letter introduce you and highlight specific strengths that fit the job you are applying for? Do you need a powerful resume to make a career change? Do you need a custom-written resume that generates top results and interviews?


Professionally developed high-performance resumes and cover letters can dramatically increase your chances of getting interviews.


If you are not successfully gaining interviews, it is time to book a Professional Resume service.


Job websites


There are hundreds more including recruitment sites that specialise in graduates or specific industries.  Here are just a few across Australia, USA and UK.










Professional Resumes @ AMC