effective resume

An Effective Resume is Essential

Are you:

  • eager to move forward in your career
  • unhappy with your job, boss, career prospects or employer and want to move on?
  • frustrated, angry and baffled because you've applied for jobs you know you can do, but haven't been getting interviews?
  • anxious to secure your next job quickly because you were recently retrenched?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the solution is to make sure that employers know that you are what they need with a resume that sets you apart.

In today's increasingly competitive employment market your resume is more important than ever. If your resume is written effectively, you will:

  • get interviews for jobs you want and know you can do
  • be asked for interviews for jobs in organisations in which you want to work
  • maximise your chances of getting a new job quickly if you have recently been retrenched
  • influence recruitment consultants about where to place you
  • convince recruitment consultants to submit your resume to their clients.

Your resume determines the number of interviews you get, influences the quality of the jobs you are offered and plays a pivotal role in the salary you can command.

If you do not have a well-written resume, you significantly increase the risk of being overlooked for the career opportunities you want and deserve. This is because your resume must written in a way that make it easy for hiring managers to identify that you are what they are looking for. To do this, you need to understand how hiring managers think when assessing candidates. If you can get inside the heads of the decision makers, you have an edge.

Tom Hannemann's Expertise

My name is Tom Hannemann. Based on feedback from clients since 1993, I write resumes and prepare responses to selection criteria that significantly increase their chances of being selected for interviews. I also help people prepare for interviews using a unique method based on approaches adopted by people who consistently get job offers in competitive markets.

The experience and credentials that equip me to help people advance their careers include:

  • Working with one of the world’s largest recruitment firms. You are therefore engaging someone who understands what recruitment consultants want.

  • 10 years experience as an HR specialist and HR manager. This ensures that you are getting help from someone who understands the recruitment process, how HR Managers think and the ingredients of an effective resume.

  • 10 years experience as a senior management consultant specialising in HR and organisation development. This means that you get the benefit of my understanding of how hiring managers think, what they value and what will convince them to invite you to an interview.

  • An MBA from Australia’s leading business schools, which means I can interpret the impact and benefits of your achievements and experience.

  • A degree in Psychology, which means that I understand what motivates people and how to effectively communicate with people at all levels.

Further evidence that I can make an outstanding contribution to your career is that:

  • Seek, Australia’s leading career portal, has enlisted me to provide expert commentary and advice on resume preparation since 2000.

  • I have been the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ preferred resume writing service since 2005.

  • Several recruitment firms refer candidates to me to help them overhaul their resumes so that they can successfully compete for the best career opportunities.

  • Several career coaches recommend their clients to me so that they have the tools they need to position themselves for new career opportunities.

On this website I'll share with you what I look for when overhauling resumes. I'll also show you how you can make sure that your resume does the job you want it to and how it can lead you to the job you want. In addition, you find out how to prepare responses to Selection Criteria.

Once you are ready to engage me to help you advance your career, you can select and purchase the services I offer directly from this web site.

If you would like to discuss your needs and circumstances or to clarify any aspects of my services and approach, please contact me by email: tom@advance-yourself.com.au to arrange a time to talk.


"Thank you so much for your efficiency in completing my CV (resume). Ten minutes after emailing my CV and cover letter I had a call from the Agency and I have a meeting at 3pm today to discuss a Branch Manager position." - Bernard

"Armed with my new profile I applied for 5 jobs, got interviews for all of them, have been offered three, short-listed for the other two and have accepted the pick of the bunch. This would not have been possible with my old CV. I have also raved to my friends about my new profile." - Joanne

"I have to hand it to you. My previous resume seemed to hold no appeal to recruiters - they never called. Within 8 hours of sending in my new professional profile an agency called and invited me to attend an interview! Thanks Tom, I'm on my way!" - Dennis

"I have been giving your details to a number of people. What was really interesting about my resume is the type of agency which contacted me. Accenture, SMS, PWC, KPMG. The position with KPMG matched the criteria that I had set for my next career move. There is no doubt in my mind that my resume got me in the door ... Thank you for all your help (and patience). I will be return business to you in the future." - Diane

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The Ingredients of a Good Resume

Is your resume consistently getting you interviews:

  • for jobs you really want?
  • in organisations in which you really want to work?

If you’ve answered, “Yes” to both questions, that’s great. But if you’ve answered, “No” to either, your resume is probably not good enough.

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential employer recruiting for a new member of staff - you’d be busier than normal from the extra work involved in dealing with recruitment consultants and candidates and reviewing a pile of resumes. This is why it’s essential that your resume is of the highest calibre to distinguish you from your competition.

A resume that just outlines your career history and experience is not enough to convince employers that they should interview you. To get your foot in the door, you must have a resume that provides them with what they are looking for.

To do this it must present your experience, achievements, contributions and expertise in the most compelling, succinct and appealing way so that you optimise your opportunities to secure highly sought after roles in the most desirable organisations.

Your resume must be professional, crisp, clean and elegant to enable your potential employer to fully and easily assess your capabilities and understand the value you can add to their organisation.


"I received many comments from recruiters on the calibre of my resume." - Mark

"Some time ago I asked you to write my CV. The comments that I (you) have received are great. Potential employers have said the CV is great. I have been offered management position that I am not qualified for but on the understanding that I will undertake a MBA all because I have a comprehensive CV." - Justin

"Please excuse my neglectfulness in returning to you. My time has been spent in interviews as I have had so many responses to the resume." - Carolanne

"I forwarded the application on Tuesday evening, I had a call from the consultant today and have an interview next week."

"What a wordsmith!! Even I would hire myself with a resume like that. A million thanks for the great profile, I really appreciate it."

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Resume Checklist and Tips

When writing resumes for clients I use the following checklist to ensure they get the highest quality resume that gives them a competitive advantage and opens doors that would otherwise remain closed.

Go ahead, assess your current resume against my resume checklist and tips below to see how you could improve it. Even if you don’t have a resume, this checklist will help you prepare an effective one if you want to spend the time and effort writing it yourself.

If you adopt all the points in the checklist, you will have a resume that is worth reading and which could improve your career opportunities. Each point is important. Your resume must incorporate all of them. If you leave one or two out, you could see your efforts on the others go to waste.

1. Are your achievements expressed in terms of the benefits and value you have added to your employers? [more information]

2. Are your achievements clearly corroborated by evidence and examples? [more information]

3. Have you indicated how you achieved what you did? [more information]

4. Are your key strengths and abilities obvious and demonstrable? [more information]

5. Are your strengths linked to your achievements and accountabilities? [more information]

6. Does your resume encourage the reader to read the rest of it after they've read the first half page? [more information]

7. Does your resume explain what you do beyond your job description? [more information]

8. Is your resume well structured and organised? [more information]

9. Is your resume visually appealing and distinctive? [more information]

10. Is the language simple and straightforward? [more information]

11. Is your resume likely to differentiate you significantly from the rest of the field? [more information]

So, how does your resume measure up? When I overhaul resumes I make sure they do and, in the process, save clients a lot of time and effort.

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Writing Your Resume

If you write your own resume, make sure you understand the Resume Checklist and Tips. Cover all of those points and you will be on your way to a resume that could increase the chances of securing interviews for jobs you want.

Further down this page, you will find some resume examples to help clarify what this means in practice. These resumes were prepared for clients with specific needs and circumstances and are not intended to be copied.

Or, make it much easier on yourself: get some professional help. As a professional resume writer, I can help you write your resume. Many people only have their resumes professionally written after they have missed out on several opportunities that might not be available again. Don’t let that happen to you.

Unless you are a qualified mechanic, you probably rely on someone who is qualified to make sure that your car works well. In some ways your resume is like maintaining your car: if it isn't done properly, your career could stall.


"Within 3 hours of sending the application I received a call offering me an interview. I had previously sent so many resumes without any success." - Lorraine

"I recently secured a position that will provide me with a fantastic career opportunity. The remuneration package is great and the potential for career advancement equally attractive. Since receiving the profile you completed so quickly for me, I have had an amazing response from potential employers and recruitment firms. In most instances I was contacted within hours and asked to an interview! The profile you created for me gave me the confidence to apply for positions I did not previously consider within my reach. I would recommend your service to any jobseeker seeking a superior result" - Andrew

"You are a legend!!! The moment I started using the resume and cover letter you prepared, I got interviews. I have already been for two ....it was well worth the money. I wish I knew about you sooner." - Betty

Developing a resume to significantly improve your chances of opening the right doors demands highly developed specialised expertise, senior level experience and insight into the needs of hiring managers and recruitment consultants. It also requires advanced writing skills, the ability to understand the value of your achievements and the judgement needed to interpret your contributions so employers will conclude that you are a highly valuable asset.

Many people find this a challenge and stress themselves over it.

On the other hand, investing in having your resume written by a seasoned professional like me can:

  • save you thousands of dollars by significantly reducing the amount of time needed to secure the right job
  • help you secure jobs with higher salaries
  • significantly improve your job satisfaction by positioning you for opportunities aligned with your career objectives and aspirations
  • give you peace of mind by delegating the process to a professional resume writer
  • reduce stress during what is often an anxious period
  • save you the time, energy and effort needed to improve your resume

I've helped thousands of people advance their careers. Many clients refer their colleagues, friends and relatives to me because I have helped make a significant difference to their careers. I can do the same for you.

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"Many thanks for your prompt professional help. I would be happy to refer you to others. I will use the profile to explore non-executive director role." - Brian

"I am referring a woman called Jane to you. I was telling her about what a help you had been to me and she asked for your number. I have a new role at ... ... and I wonder if you would update my resume. I turned down the job at …… You were right. It wasn’t for me. I’ve sent the resume to six executive recruiters and so far three have asked for a meeting. Not bad for a week’s work and I certainly wasn’t able to achieve that last year before I came to you. I even got an interview with …….. Prior to this I had been monumentally unsuccessful in all my approaches to them! Thanks again for your time and support."

"Excellent work, I think you have exceed my expectations. I will recommend you to a few more people who are currently in the process of re-making their resumes." - Vinit

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Responding to Selection Criteria

Responding to selection criteria for jobs in the public sector can be daunting, frustrating and extremely time consuming. While this is particularly the case if you have not applied for public sector roles before, even experienced public sector managers and professionals find it a taxing exercise. [extensive detail on writing selection criteria, including STAR framework]

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Interview Preparation

There is no point in being invited to interviews if what you say and how you say it don't match the expectations your resume has set.

Many clients tell me they will be fine once they get to the interview only to find they don’t always get as far as their experience, achievements and fit with the job suggest they should. [read more about interview coaching]

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As they say in the classics, the tough get going. More and more frequently over the past several months I have been working with people who have been retrenched. I don’t know of an industry which hasn’t been affected by recent and ongoing economic events. There’s a lot of anger, frustration and blame out there. People who were in what they thought were secure careers with a bright future are suddenly without security and the future seems bleak. Retrenchment packages offered by many employers are only enough to keep people afloat for a few months or, in many cases, a few weeks. And because of this, competition for the jobs that are available is getting more and more intense and the need to get back into work quickly is paramount in people’s thoughts.

To continue reading click here. (Will start downloading a pdf file)

How to Get the Best Resume

When you engage me to develop your resume or your responses to selection criteria, we’ll follow a process which makes it as easy as possible for you. You won’t need to make appointments for personal visits or have extended phone consultations either during or outside business hours. Instead, you decide when you want to allocate the time to provide the input I will need.

The time frames below are indicative only and may vary according to my workload at the time. Where possible, time frames may be negotiated around your job application deadlines.

More Detail
Click on this link for more detail on the process of working with Tom Hannemann that ensures you get the best resume .

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Resume Overhaul - A re-write, re-format and re-design of your resume to ensure that it provides employers and recruitment consultants with the information they need in the way they need it so you can confidently compete for the best jobs in the best organisations where the competition is toughest.

Selection Criteria - Your responses to selection criteria will be composed in a compelling and persuasive way to maximise your chances of convincing selection panels that you have what it takes to contribute at the next level.

Interview Coaching - You will rapidly learn a unique framework to ensure you are fully prepared for interviews and techniques that enable you to manage the interview process to your best advantage, founded on the approaches adopted by highly successful candidates.

Resume Update (updating a resume that I have prepared for you during the past three or four years) - Updating your resume ensures you will always be prepared for career opportunities if you want to leave your current employer, if your job becomes redundant, if your employer goes belly up or if your employer merges with another organisation and you no longer feel that you fit with the new culture or with your new boss (or both).

LinkedIn Profile Overhaul - A LinkedIn Profile is virtually a must have. It should be designed to optimise your chances of being 'seen' by the people you want to see it. While it should be tightly aligned with the content of your resume, there are some subtle and not so subtle differences in the way your experience and accomplishments should be expressed, the tone and the level of detail.


Occupation Level

Resume Overhaul

Selection Criteria

Interview Coaching

Resume Update* or LinkedIn Profile Overhaul

Level 1
Administrative, Technical, Graduate and Trades





Level 2
Management and Experienced Professional





Level 3
Senior Executive





* A Resume Update inolves updating a resume I have already developed for you within the past three or four years. Otherwise, the appropriate service is a Resume Overhaul.

All resume development services include a cover letter template accompanied by detailed guidelines to enable you to prepare cover letters for any opportunity. Many clients tell me that this template is invaluable.

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What Next?

If you are ready to engage me to help you advance your career, select and purchase the services you need using the secure online payment shopping cart below.

If you would first like to discuss my approach and method or your specific circumstances and needs, please contact me by email to arrange a time to talk:


Engage Me to help you Advance Your Career

If you would like to move ahead now, there are two options: Secure Online Payment or Direct Deposit.

1. Secure Online Payment

First select your Occupational Level (see the Fee Table above). Then select the service or services you want within that Occupation Level and click the Add to Cart button. You will then be taken to a secure online shopping cart where you can complete the payment process.

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3


2. Direct Deposit

You can deposit directly into my bank account and send me a confirmation of your deposit by email.

Bank Account details:

Account: Tom Hannemann
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
BSB: 062010
Account Number: 10384846

Reference: Your Last Name

(I suggest copying and pasting the BSB and Account Number into the relevant fields in your online transfer form to ensure that the correct information is entered.)


Don't have a Resume?

Please email me: tom@advance-yourself.com.au to find out how to best advance your career.

Payment Terms and Conditions

Once you have engaged me, you have agreed to pay the full fee. No refunds are made after you have authorised or made payment, unless I am unable to deliver the service.


"I forwarded the application on Tuesday evening, I had a call from the consultant today and have an interview next week." - Erica

"I found your service invaluable. I was able to secure a role on my first interview."

"Thank you for making me look a thousand times better on paper. I was really impressed with the style of the CV and your attention to detail with the selection criteria" - Leonie

"Let me tell you I fell off my seat, and now that I'm back on it I can tell you how impressed I am with your work. I actually am a different person on paper. Thank you!!!"

"Late last year you wrote a selection criteria for me for a position with ...I just thought I'd let you know that I was successful in getting an interview and also getting the job. There were 29 applications and 8 people were interviewed. The panel advised me that my written application scored the highest points."

"Once again, I sincerely thank you for your assistance and please accept my praise for your professionalism, skill and people skills. In the short association we have had I have become very impressed."

"Tom, I forwarded the application on Tuesday evening, I had a call from the consultant today and have an interview next week...After the interview with the recruitment consultant I will talk to you about interview coaching, I can handle a consultant but have never had to front a board." - Ritchie

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Free Resume Examples

Here you can see the original resume and the overhauled version. The comparison between the two can provide insight and principles you can apply to your resume.

1. Senior Manager – Financial Services

Case study background
Stewart Tucker has worked in several senior management roles in a top tier Australia financial services institution. While he enjoys and excels in his current role, a re-structure which may impede his progress is underway. After five years with this organisation, Stewart decided it was time to discreetly see what other opportunities might be available. [continue reading]

2. Senior Marketing Executive - FMCG and Pharmaceutical

Case study background
After building a successful marketing career in the UK and Thailand, Winnie Nguyen moved to Australia. Her brand building experience meant she was soon creating a profitable "own brand" for a major Australian grocery organisation. Winnie has subsequently worked as a management consultant in best practice, advising major FMCG and pharmaceutical companies as to how they could improve their sales and marketing processes. [continue reading]

3. Account Manager - Publishing

Case study background
Melissa Bleeker is an Account Manager with experience developing and managing the day-to-day relationships with clients in her region. Melissa and I worked on a resume which highlights her range of work experience as well as detailing achievements and responsibilities, rather than just tasks. Take a look at the before and after files to get the complete picture. [continue reading]

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"I have to say this resume far exceeds my expectations and I am absolutely stoked with the quality of the service provided. I have hardly any time on my hands these days and it was all taken care of. Fab investment... You can be guaranteed I will be recommending your service to friends and colleagues." - Nick

"Many thanks for your sterling effort on my behalf. Your work certainly exceeded my expectations. I was delighted with it. You managed with admirable style and chutzpah to transform my dreary dossier into a pithy pertinent and readable Professional Profile. It’s a pleasure to do business with you!" - Jean

"You have successfully assisted me through revamping my cv on several occasions over the past 2-3 years. Recently, a number of people have sought details of someone who can sort out their respective CV’s – I have provided them with your details." - Craig

"I did get the job. You did a terrific job with my resume and I will warmly recommend your services. Thank you very much."

"It takes a lot for someone to impress me, and you have definitely done that. I can completely justify the money for having this work done. I can assure you that when anyone I know needs the same service, I will be giving your details to them with the highest recommendation." - Tristan

"After the first day using the new CV, I am getting phone calls … The money is certainly worth it. Let me just thank you for bringing me up that long list of candidates. I will definitely spread the word." - Peter

Resume Articles

Getting the Most from Interviews


The primary function of a resume is to secure an invitation to an interview. But that's not all it can do. It can also provide you with a competitive edge at the interview.

Because your worst enemy in an interview is time, optimising that limited time is critical. Many interviews devote 50% or more of the precious, never to be repeated time to clarifying your experience and achievements rather than being a discussion about your ability to contribute to the organisation.

Click here to read more about how a resume optimises interview time by downloading this article (pdf file 121kB).

Expressing your Accountabilities and Achievements


Hiring managers and recruitment consultants are interested in finding out the purpose or value or contribution of what you did, not just the tasks you undertook or the duties of your jobs. They often already know the types of duties and tasks that comprise the jobs you have done because they are relatively standard between organisations. They want to know what makes you special.

Click here to read more about how to express your accountabilities and achievements in your resume to make you stand out by downloading a copy of this article. (pdf file 147kB).

When an Outstanding Resume isn't Enough


Many people think that a powerful, well written resume is enough to give them the edge needed to secure a interview. While an outstanding resume is absolutely necessary, it may not always be sufficient. Consider which of the following factors apply to you in determining whether you will be amongst the chosen few.

Click here to find out more about why an outstanding resume might not be enough to get you an interview by downloading a copy of this article. (pdf file 146kB).

Career Direction - Why External Diagonal Moves are Rare


An external diagonal move occurs when someone moves into a more senior or broader role in a different organisation in either the same or a different industry. For example, if a Marketing Manager in an organisation moves to become a General Manager or Chief Operating Officer or CEO in a different organisation, I call this a diagonal move. They are rare. Most of the time people move either vertically or horizontally.

Click here to read more about why career external diagonal moves are rare by downloading a copy of this article. (pdf file 146kB).

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If you would like to learn more about my services and approach, or discuss your circumstances and needs please email me: tom@advance-yourself.com.au to arrange a time to talk by phone or Skype.

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"...sorry about the delay in getting back to you. The upshot is - I'm absolutely delighted with what you did on my CV and have already used it with positive results (most recently with Morgan and Banks). If you ever want to refer a client to me for comment, I'd be more than happy to provide very positive feedback on the value of your work."

"Thanks for your wonderful resume. I’ve had more interviews with your help in the past two weeks than I’ve ever had."

"Firstly, let me say you wrote an impressive letter for my application which scored me an interview. As it turned out, the job was not for me. However, with your guidance I am now more focused and I would like your help again in applying for roles more in line with my aspirations."

"This is excellent, money well spent. Everything looks good." - Renee

"All I have to say is absolutely outstanding. There is no way I could have done anything like that myself. This I think is money well spent, and I assure you I shall be passing on your name and contact number to friends. I can not thank you enough." - Angela

"Great work! Really pleased with the final result. Worth every cent." - Daksh

"Thank you for a job well done, I am inspired by your cover letter which I think was absolutely superb."

"I find your services very good value for money and will recommend you to anyone who seeks guidance."

"Many thanks for your sterling effort on my behalf. Your work certainly exceeded my expectations. I was delighted with it. You managed with admirable style and chutzpah to transform my dreary dossier into a pithy pertinent and readable Professional Profile. It’s a pleasure to do business with you!"