The Black Pages

…The (in)frequent ramblings of a Gomeroi Man
The Black Pages

Hey you mob! Do you wanna get a job?

 Well then here are some deadly tips for writing your resume and a cover letter

Remember that first impressions count and the whole purpose of sending in your resume is to “win” an interview from the potential employer. So your resume is like a brochure or a flyer on YOU – your experience, your skills, and your key achievements; so remember to let them know what you have to offer.

Resume Do’s

Keep your resume neat, well spaced and uncluttered

Keep it simple and easy to read – get the main points across

Stick to black and white – bright colours aren’t professional and could distract the reader (as for pictures don’t ask)

  • Use bullet points (like me)

Remember to spell check – several times! Then, ask someone else to read it

Be specific, concise and be honest

Resume Don’ts

Sending your resume out with spelling or grammatical errors (This is a big no-no)

Don’t leave large gaps unexplained e.g. If you back-packed through Europe (you may have) or cared for a sick relative, explain it

Make sure not to include irrelevant personal information like your marital status, names and ages of your children, religion etc – your resume is about what you’ve achieved professionally, not personally

Don’t use jargon, abbreviations or expressions specific to the organisation you work for. Yes it will be quicker to do it that way but the person reading your resume may not know what these are

Importance of covering letters

Cover letters allow you to demonstrate that you meet or exceed the requirements listed in the advertisement, and explain why you are interested in the position.

For most positions, it is important to write a cover letter, even if the advertisement doesn’t ask for one. Cover letters are particularly important for roles where written communication skills are a requirement.

Cover Letter Do’s

Stick to the facts

Avoid negatives e.g. reasons for leaving previous/current roles

Make sure your letter is easy on the eye – avoid bunched up text in long sentences or paragraphs.

Be specific – write a specific cover letter for every application

Personalise the cover letter – i.e. address it to the person who advertised the role if that information is available. (Interviewers remember this)

Proof read – and have someone else do it too (twice)!

Cover Letter Don’ts

Don’t go into salary information – wait until you have the job

Don’t use one generic cover letter

Don’t use clichés – remember that every candidate will say they have “excellent communication skills” and “the ability to think outside the box” etc

and last but not least don’t cut and paste your cover letter from your resume


Until then, take care of yourself, each other and your community   

Rob Waters

Aboriginal Torres Strait islander Employment Officer

Phone: +61 2 6773 3367    


 I wish to pay my respects to the Custodians of the lands we are on and pay my respects to our elders both past and present. I also acknowledge our children, for just as our elders have lit the way for us in the past, our children will hold the light when we are gone.

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