How do I create a basic NZ standard Resume?


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Resume’s may come in many formats, but many jobseekers doesn’t realize how many Resumes are not taken into consideration because it lacks information that the employer wants to see, and this while your Resume is the most important step of job hunting as this is the first impression the employer will get to know about you.

On the other hand, while a sweet and short, well thought “Summary” or “Highlight” section may stand out and grab attention, we will discuss only the minimum requirements that should be on any Resume.

The Basic Resume:

Not everyone can be equally creative when it comes to creating a Resume, and that is perfectly fine because a Resume is about a summary of your previous work experience and not a piece of art.

A basic Resume should contain:

  1. Legal full name, address, email & phone number
  2. Excerpt/Summary/Personal Statement (they are all the same). This is a sweet and short, well-thought attention grabber to described to the potential employer why you wish to apply for the role, why you believe that you would be a great candidate and anything else that is great about you or your work history.
  3. Your Work History. With your latest job at the top, this should include the company you have worked for, your position and the start and finishing period including month and year.

Work History:

  1. This only includes work you have done for companies or registered businesses. So if you have cleaned the neighbours homes for an extra income for example, then this is not considered as professional experience.  
  2. What you have done 10 years ago is no longer considered as strong experience, so although it is important to have this information on your Resume, half a page of all your duties is irrelevant and should be limited to 3 or so bullet points.
  3. What you have done last year is more relevant, especially if it is in the same field, so 5 or so bullet points together with a short description is enough.
  4. Your latest job is fresh news so here you can elaborate a bit more but it is still important to keep the reader captivated with relevant content.
  5. Work that you have done in another country should be included in your Resume however, you should state the country as well, and not giving employers the impression that you worked for a NZ company.


It is not suggested to provide this together with your application. Reason is that this gives the employer automatic permission to call your ex-employer(s) without them expecting a call about you which is not etiquette. Instead, once the interview went well and the employer indicate interest in you and the employer ask if they can call your referees, then you can (and should) make this available. You should then contact your ex-employer(s) and let them know that they can expect a call. This way they are better prepared.


  1. Don't tell an employer “I need a job because . . . “ or “Please get back to me asap”.
  2. Don't leave gaps between dates, regardless of the reason. You may have good reason for it, but again, what you don’t tell them they will not know and you may not reach the interview stage to explain this as a result.
  3. Don’t be dishonest with content or dates in your Resume. 
  4. Don't apply for a job as a cleaner, while you Resume indicates that you are looking for work as an apprentice in construction etc.


  1. Send your Resume in PDF format which will prevent anyone from making changes.
  2. Have your Resume updated to at least the current month.
  3. Confirm your status e.g. Citizen, Working Holiday Visa, Permanent Resident etc.


  1. There is nothing wrong with some creativity to make your Resume standing out, but an overkill is a turn-off.
  2. Feel free to ad your Interest, Objectives, Strengths, Technical and Personal Skills, Qualifications, Education, Certificates achieved etc. but use with moderation and only where relevant. For example, a certificate in bricklaying is not relevant if you are looking for a cleaning job neither is a degree in business administration however, the latter will indicate that you are smart and have potential however, it may also tell the employer that you are over-qualified and will only stay until you find your ideal office administration job.
  3. Below is an example of a very simple yet effective Resume as it tells the potential employer everything they need to know. Note that because have a working history of 20 years doesn’t mean that your resume should be a stack of documents because it will most likely not even be read. A standard Resume should not be more than 2 pages long.

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