What does a good resume look like?

Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Last updated on Friday, 24 January 2020

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Recruiting and retaining high quality staff is a constant bugbear for early childhood directors. While bigger centres may have the support of an HR team to manage resumes and interviewing, for many smaller operators the responsibility usually falls directly on the shoulders of the owner/director.

For managers new to hiring staff, the process can be quite overwhelming, as well as costly and time consuming (especially in the case of bad hires!). In an effort to make the hiring process easier, we will be running a series of articles over the coming months which offer effective strategies for recruiting and retaining early childhood staff.

This week some tips and tricks on how to identify a great resume:

Clean design and logical format

Wading through a stack of resumes is never fun, and the task is made much worse when the layout is messy and inconsistent, or the content is difficult to follow. A clean, straightforward design is very important, look for resumes with lots of white space, dot points, paragraphs, logical flow and excellent spelling and grammar. Applicants who take the time to get their resume and cover letter looking the best they can are likely to have good attention to detail.

Criteria crosscheck

When reading applicant resumes keep a copy of the job advertisement next to you and crosscheck how well the skills and attributes listed match the key responsibilities of the role. It's a good sign when applicants take the time to rank their skills and experience in accordance with the specifications of the role.

In addition, look out for resumes which demonstrate and provide examples of key skills such as: "I have strong multi-cultural communication skills gained through working in an early childhood centre with children from 11 culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds."

Look for performance measures

Bold, sweeping statements are easy to make but are not helpful for recruiters trying to compare one candidate with another. Look out for resumes which provide cold hard examples of how a person's achievements drove change and improvements in the workplace. Candidates who can clearly and confidently quantify the value they added understand the role they play within their organisation.

Consistency counts

Look for resumes which describe a clear and consistent work and education history. Check for missing dates, gaps and lots of changes in a short time frame. Staff turnover is a huge challenge for early childhood directors and prioritising resumes (and people), which demonstrate a solid work history is paramount. If a candidate looks good and you are keen to interview them go ahead but remember to ask about any gaps in the resume that aren't explained in the cover letter.

Professional goal/overview

Resumes which include a concise and clearly articulated professional goal at the top are a godsend. These short snapshots often provide great insight and can be an excellent way of make a quick call about whether a person is likely to be a good fit for your organisation.

Look for overviews which describe a person's career goals, why they are seeking a new position and how they believe their skills and experience are a good fit for your organisation.

Goals which have been tailored to address your selection criteria and position description are particularly helpful.

This article is proudly sponsored by ChildcareJobs.com.au the online destination for early education and care professionals.



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