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Westpac Group Australia

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  • #6 in Banking & financial services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Westpac Student Application Survival Guide: Resume writing

Your resume is a critical component of your application and will be reviewed at multiple points during the recruitment process. The following information will assist you in tailoring your resume in such a way as to make a great first impression!
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Resume writing

1. Why is a resume so important? 

At Westpac Group, we see the resume as a key document in the application process: it is your opportunity to tell your career story. A resume should succinctly convey your motivations, capabilities and achievements, allowing different stakeholders to understand your background and how you can positively contribute to the role. It’s important to invest the time in developing a professional resume as, ultimately, you want to prove you are suited to a particular role over another applicant.

2. Getting started: A few do’s and dont’s 

Before you get started with your content, we have outlined a few top tips with regards to your personal information and general layout. 

DO 

  • Ensure your name and contact information are clearly visible at the top of the first page – make sure you list an email address that is current/ regularly monitored
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile • Use a legible font and consistent structure throughout. 

DON’T 

There is no need to include a photo with your resume, along with details such as your date of birth, religion or marital status. As an inclusive company that supports diversity, we don’t believe this information will impact your ability to do a great job! 
Do not overdo it – try and limit your resume to two pages. 

3. Career objective: To include or not to include? 

Starting your resume with a ‘Career Objective/Personal Summary’ is a great way of highlighting aspects of your personal brand that you wish to convey, as it may be quite difficult to inject this content into other parts of your resume. Remember – this is the first section visible to Hiring Managers and their first introduction to who you are, so make it memorable! 

  • Don’t overthink it. This section should comprise of a few sentences, outlining who you are and what you want to achieve. 
  • This section should always be tailored to the role you are applying for, so make sure the content is relevant. 
  • Always ensure to highlight any transferrable skills or knowledge, particularly useful when transitioning from university to a work environment.

4. Employment History

Format example

Feb-Jun 2017
Summer Intern (Robotics Analyst) Westpac Group

Dec 2016 – Feb 2017
Casual Retail Assistant (Menswear) David Jones

  • Responsibilities are required as part of the job – what are you responsible for? These may include specific skills and personal qualities you bring to the role
  • Achievements highlight quantifiable results, such as the completion of a project, recognition with feedback and any certifications gained during the role.

Format example

Feb-Jun 2017
Summer Intern (Robotics Analyst) Westpac Group

  • Tasked with monitoring a shared mailbox and responding to queries relating to technology monitoring and alerts. (RESPONSIBILITY)
  • Assisted the team in building an automation to drive operational efficiency for the Operations team. (RESPONSIBILITY)
  • Successfully built a suite of dashboards that provide insights into the operational and strategic performance of the team. (ACHIEVEMENT)

TOP TIP: Remember, Brief is Best. Aim for no more than 3 bullet points per position, as you want to be able to expand on these at interview stage.

5. Including Responsibilities and Achievements.

  • The employment history section should clearly outline your work experience and highlight your achievements and responsibilities within the roles listed.
  • Ensure that you list in chronological order (the most recent position first) and list your job title, employer name and dates of employment.

6. Skills

Including a Skills list on a resume allows Hiring Managers to quickly determine if you possess the core capabilities/role requirements.

TOP TIPS:

  • Use bullet points rather than lists to document your core skills
  • Prioritise skills that are relevant to the role itself
  • Avoid including ‘basic’ or ‘generic’ skills i.e. ‘Microsoft Office’, ‘strong written skills’
  • Be sure to include a mixture of Soft/People Skills and Hard/Technical Skills.

7. Education

TOP TIP: It’s optional to include your current GPA/WAM – most employers ask you to upload a copy of a current academic transcript at the time of application. If successful in obtaining an offer, a background check will be conducted which will include an education verification.

Education – Format example

2016 – Current

Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Economics and Finance)
The University of Sydney
Expected Graduation Date – June 2020

8. Extra-curricular activities and personal interests

This is an important section to include as it documents your interests outside of your studies.

  • Involvement in any organisations, including Student Societies, Sports Teams and Community Groups, adds to your skillset and creates behaviours that are desirable to all employers. Make sure to list them and emphasise your roles and responsibilities within that organisation.
  • Do you have any unique interests? From baking to marathon running – if it adds to your personal brand, then we want to hear about it!

9. References: To include or not to include?

For most employers, referee details are not required at application stage: most reference checks would be completed at the end of the application process. For this reason, there is no need to list the names and contact information for your nominated referees – you can simply indicate that references are available ‘on request’.