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How to stand out in 30 seconds

Tips on how to make your resume stand out in the pile

As employers usually have many resumes to look through, and have set criteria of specific skills and experience to consider, they will spend an average of just 30 seconds scanning each one.

Taking the time needed to create a stand out resume is time well spent. Remember, it’s the first important step in your job search. Your resume will determine if you're invited for an interview or culled at the first stage of the process. So how can you ensure your resume stands out?

Look at your resume from an employer's perspective. Does it make a good first impression? It needs to be relevant for the job you are looking for and clearly laid out to make finding relevant information quick and easy.

Sandra Chiles, director of travel recruitment firm Travel People, said the use of sub-headings, clear sparing between sections and bullet points help make a resume easy to read.

"Keep your resume no longer than two or three pages in length, and remember to target your information to the position and company you are applying for."

Always proofread your resume, run a spell check on the document and get a friend or relative to read over it for you with a fresh eye before sending it off.

Chiles said spelling and grammatical errors leave a less than professional first impression.

A good structure to your resume helps employers gather the information they need quickly. Put personal information in the first section, remembering to indicate your preferred method of contact.

List qualifications, starting with the most recent. Include the type of award achieved (degree, diploma, certificate), the educational institution you attended and date of completion.

Start your employment history with your current job and work backwards.

Include the job title and duration of employment, making sure you include actual dates of employment not just the year. Also include key responsibilities, notable achievements and accomplishments and quantify these where possible.

Expand on skills used which may be relevant to the job you are applying for, and keep details brief and relevant. Explain any gaps in employment, eg travelling or family commitments, and if you've been in the workforce for many years focus on your roles over the last 10 years in detail. Include your earlier roles but only elaborate if they are relevant to the position you are applying for, Personal interests, hobbies and travels can help emphasise any qualities or destination knowledge you have which may be relevant to the Job you are applying for.