Make your resume stand out with our Recruiter’s top tips

A recent eye-tracking study revealed recruiters look at resumes for an average of 7.4 seconds. With more and more employers listing jobs online, it is so important for job seekers to make sure their resume is displaying the right traits for the right audience.

We’ve compiled the best tips from our Programmed Professionals Recruiters to make sure you have everything you need to make your resume stand out amongst the crowd and secure you an interview.

Professional summary

Short, sharp and to the point! Use the summary to describe your experience and achievements relevant to the role concisely. The summary should perfectly surmise why you are the perfect candidate based off all the information to come and land this role.


List the systems, skills and competencies that you have which are most relevant to the current job you are applying to. Where possible, dependent on your skills, you should have keywords from the job description in the same order as they appear in the description.

Work experience, duties and responsibilities

This is where you can expand on what you did in your previous roles. Beginning with your most recent employer and working backwards, include the employer name, your position, both month and year you started and finished, a blurb contextualising why the role existed and a list of your duties and responsibilities. Have leave gaps in your experience? Don’t forget to mention it! If you took six months or a year out, cared for a family member, or travelled, then mention it on your resume.


While applicants will have similarities in duties and responsibilities for each role type, the achievements section will be where they differ greatly and should be as unique as a fingerprint. This section offers you the opportunity to display what makes you the best at your job. Add at least three most relevant accomplishments and ensure to use examples of work with tangible benefits or results. For example, part of a team that implemented new infrastructure saving the department $100k.

Education, qualifications and licences

Keep it concise by listing the qualification and licences obtained, year of completion, the institution’s name, and expiry if relevant. If relevant to the role, you can add more information such as courses and grade but do this sparingly.

Document format

Many companies using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), making sure that software can easily read your resume gives you a better chance of success. We recommend sending your resume as an MS Word document. And keep it as simple as possible. Don’t add any tables to the resume as it makes it harder for the ATS to read.

Final checks

With all the hard work done, don’t forget to run a spelling and grammar check! Ask someone you trust to proofread to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Programmed is a leading Staffing and Maintenance organisation, providing staffing, professional, technical, training and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand with more than 20,000 employees supporting industry.

Are you ready for your next career opportunity? Browse jobs here 

  1. My suggestions are to make your resume ats friendly by using keywords which ats system can scan and sort your resume for selection for the desired job and don’t make bulky heavy lines to describe your experience and your personality. Just keep it simple and readable for a better chance to get selected.

  2. Great article PJ, I certainly agree accomplishments are important to include under each job. I also believe reasons for leaving are worth noting AND I know its debatable, but I don’t mind an image 🙂

  3. When you say you recommend sending in your resume as an MS document to make it ATS-friendly, is the use of text boxes acceptable? I’ve laid my resume out in such a way that I believe it stands out while still being easy to read, but to do so i had to use text boxes. Is the ATS software still able to read it?

    1. Hi Ella,
      I agree that tables and text boxes let you format the resume and helps it to stand out. But ATS still has issues with reading them and can put that information while processing in different areas messing with the content you have worked so hard to put together. My advice is to stay away from text boxes and keep it simple.

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About Programmed

Programmed is a leading provider of operations and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand. Our business model is built around our ability to recruit, deploy, manage and maintain a large, directly employed workforce of professional, skilled and semi-skilled staff with a wide range of capabilities. We are proud to efficiently serve more than 10,000 customers every day.

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