The workforce is continually changing with new opportunities and the way recruiters are hiring is evolving in step. As aged care work continues to be a growing part of the overall jobs market, it’s natural to see more and more people vie to claim open positions. But how do you help your resume stay at the top of the pile in such a competitive field?
Let’s start with the basic formatting and design
We recommend that the resume consist of two pages of information, with your personal contact details at the top for easy reference. Underneath that, include a personal statement. This section should be no more than two or three sentences is meant to bring to life your experience in a humanising way, and establish a rapport between you and whoever is reading it.
An example personal statement could be:
“I’m a caring, friendly worker who wants to give their very best at every turn, and want to work in aged care facilities to improve the quality of life for our community”
“I enjoy learning new ways to help people, and bring out the best in myself and the entire team”.
Ensure that your CV is as clean as possible, with plenty of whitespace to make it easier for the employer to read. If you’re not a whiz at Photoshop but want to create an outstanding visual resume, give websites like Canva a go. Canva offers a free resume builder with hundred of designer-made templates that can be easily customised with a few clicks.
Detailing your work history
From there, detail the positions you’ve held in your work history so far in chronological order. This would include the job title, the employer, and the start and end dates rounded to the nearest month. Underneath each role, include three to four bullet points about the highlights of your time in that position including specific tasks you had to perform and any special achievements you had in brief one sentence summaries for each point.
Personal Care Worker, Bowen Assisted Living
May 2010 – October 2016
- Assisting client with personal care activities
- Performing household tasks such as preparing meals, laundry, shopping and cleaning
- Transport to medical or health appointments or social activities
- Respite care or carer support, or companionship
- Observing, documenting and reporting changes in client wellbeing and care environment
- Working well in a team environment
If you’re new to the industry and lacking any relevant work history, we recommend detailing the reasons why you’d like to get into aged care work and include any voluntary work in the sector or personal experience caring for a family member.
How long should you make your resume?
We recommend that your resume be no longer than two pages in length and while for some people that will mean expanding on their history, for many it means cutting out irrelevant passages.
Consider taking out roles in your work history that are outdated (for example, data entry for computer systems that have gone out of business in the ‘80s) and ensure that your resume has been tailored to suit the position you’re applying for.
While your beekeeping skills may have won local awards, they may not be what your potential employer is looking for in an aged care facility.
Highlight your aged care education and training
Regardless of whether you’ve had a long history in aged care and community services or whether you’re just starting out, include all the training qualifications and courses you’ve completed. With so many applications to review, this will help the person shortlisting to quickly identify that you’ve done the mandatory training and any upskilling you’ve done over the years to ensure you’re training is up to date with current standards.
Underneath your work history, list your references. Ideally these are former or even current employers, but they can also be workmates that vouch for your character and work ethic.
As an option you could ask each reference to provide you with a 30-50 word quote you can include in the resume where they can talk about their experience with you.
You do not need to list the contact details of your references on the resume, and many people opt for saying “details upon request”. If your potential employer wants to contact them, they can ask you for their details and it would be a good idea at that stage to let your references know to expect a call.
To help keep everything in order, have three versions of your resume kept up to date and ready to send out. Different versions are suitable for different avenues of employment or company cultures. For example, you could have one resume that uses more formal language for organisations that exhibit a more button-down, professional nature, and another that is suited for an employer who has highlighted that they’re looking for someone “bright and bubbly.” Consider having a neutral “base” resume that you can modify as needed.
Finally, take the time to perform a thorough spelling and grammar check over the document – nothing sets alarm bells ringing faster than a typo. Show it to a trusted friend or colleague to get fresh eyes onto your words.
We hope that helps you in your job search – and best of luck finding the perfect aged care role!