Potential employers most likely get their first impression of you from your application letter and resume.

Therefore, when applying for a job, clear and well-written applications and resumes are a must.

Get a friend or family member to read your application so they understand the points you make and get them to check for typos or spelling errors.

Resume tips

Remember, your resume’s purpose is to get you an interview. So follow these rules:

  • tailor your resume for each job application
  • ensure your contact details are up-to-date
  • include an appropriate email address
  • make sure your referees are current and easy to contact
  • avoid using colour, fancy fonts or photos
  • ensure the information is relevant to the job you are applying for and the person who will read your application
  • the resume should be well-structured and to the point. So include clear section titles and use dot points for listing multiple details
  • keep the resume concise but not too short. Therefore, include enough information for the reader to understand your background and experience
  • clearly identify the skills you have learnt or acquired from past jobs or training
  • include a clear, up to date and accurate overview of your career to date or of your work experience (whichever is most suitable)
  • never lie about or exaggerate your experience, education or skills because you will be most likely found out. Instead, be accurate and highlight your recognised strengths and abilities.

Resume templates

Cover letter tips

Cover letters should:

  • address the contact person for the application, for example, ‘Dear John’ not ‘To Whom it may concern’
  • be tailored to the job description and the employer
  • include up-to-date contact details
  • have an appropriate email address.


Contact details for referees are essential when searching for a job. Potential employers will want to speak with people you’ve worked for or know you to see if you’re the best person for the job.

Therefore, let your referees know you’re applying for a job and check their contact details are up-to-date. Tell them about the jobs you apply for and give them copies of position descriptions. This way they are prepared when they receive a phone call from a prospective employer.

Be easy to contact

Make sure a potential employer can easily contact you. Several companies offer no-cost options for creating a personal email address including but not limited to: