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Preparing a Resume for the Resources Industry

Posted: 25/06/2012 5:00:00 AM by Paul Dean, thinkSMART resumes
Filed under: Job-seekers, Career-resources


Today we welcome guest blogger Paul Dean, Partner and Principal Resume Writer at thinkSMART resumes. Paul ran several information sessions at our recent jobs expo. His presentations were so well received, we asked him to share his insights on our blog. Over to Paul.

Preparing a resume for the Resources sector


The AMMA miningoilandgasJobs.com EXPO was recently held in Perth. There were nearly 14,000 visitors over two days lining up to speak with some of the country’s top employers, training providers and support services. I was fortunate enough to be invited to present several information sessions discussing resume preparation.

So what did I talk about? With only fifteen minutes, I concentrated on those common mistakes that I see every day, as well as my three top tips for resume success.

Top 5 resume mistakes

1) Too Long

The general rule is that resumes should be no longer than three pages. But the three-page rule is like the speed limit… just because you can go 100kph, doesn’t mean you have to. If you can adequately reduce the size of your resume to one or two pages, then great!

2) Irrelevant Work History

For example, if you’re thirty years old with five years plant operator experience within the civil construction sector, don’t stress over that six months at Burger King while you were sixteen.

3) Irrelevant Extras

We all like a nice long walk along the beach. We all like reading books and socialising with our friends. However, the hiring manager generally doesn’t care. HR departments are not too interested in passport numbers, marital status and bronze swimming certificates from high school either.

4) Poor Layout/Appearance

If your resume looks average at best, meaning it’s a black and white standard resume (or a Microsoft resume template), then you will come across as average… would you interview the average candidates over the standout candidates?

5) Spelling and Grammar

Maybe this is unfair? If you’re seeking a job where you don’t have to write all day, why does it matter if your resume has a few typos? Think of it this way, if you have fifty resumes and only want to interview three people, which ones will you throw in the bin? So remember… fluent spinach speakers who increased anal sales by 25% need not apply!

Top 3 resume tips

#1 Top Tip… Writing style

This is the easiest thing anyone can do to improve the readability of their resume. Simply cut out all the personal pronouns. By that I mean take out all of the following… ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘I’ve’. Once you’ve completed this simple exercise, you will find your resume is shorter, more salient, more professional and easier to read.

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#2 Top Tip… Defined Sections

It is so very important that each section of your resume is clearly defined. The reader must be able to quickly and easily identify the following headings within your resume. If they can’t, it may just end up in the bin.

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#3 Top Tip… Appearance

This is the resources sector. Generally, you don’t need to go too fancy, don’t get too smart with multiple colours and multiple fonts. ‘Design’, just for the sake of it, is a waste of time, you may as well stick to black and white. However, good design will actually make your resume stand out (in a professional way) and increase it’s readability. Take these two examples…

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It was great speaking with so many people at the expo wanting to break into the sector or move within it. I was bombarded with questions from people, following the presentations, each with a story of how they had applied for several jobs but not heard anything back. Why? Upon reviewing their resumes, they had all made these mistakes. The average resume was either dreadful or average at best. But there’s good news folks, follow these simple tips (whilst avoiding the mistakes), and you’ll be ahead of the pack in no time. Good luck everyone.

If you would like professional help with your resume, check out our Resume Writing Service. Also, our Resume Help section on the Careers and Industry Guide offers lots of advice to get you started.

Do you have any questions for Paul concerning your resume?

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  • Subscribe to our blog. We’re publishing new information every day about employment in the Australian resource industry.
  • If you’re looking for a job in mining, energy or oil and gas, make sure you visit our industry jobs board where we only advertise real jobs by real employers.


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