If you are targeting a career as an Aged Care Worker/ Assistant in Nursing/ Personal Care Assistant or similar, you may be wondering how to prepare your resume and cover letter.
The following resume and cover letter guide will help you prepare your application.
Your resume should be a succinct, professional document which outlines your skills, qualifications and experience. Nicole Wren, of Resumes to Impress, suggests you aim for 2-3 pages in length. It should include the following sections (usually in this order):
In this section, you will need to put your contact details, including your full legal name, phone number and email address. Your home address is optional.
In this section, you will need to highlight the skills you have relevant to the aged care industry. Focus on skills like communication, teamwork and empathy – all the qualities that will make you an excellent Aged Carer.
Relevant qualifications are critical to your success in gaining employment as an Aged Carer. A Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) or similar is usually the requirement, and it is important that you highlight this qualification in your resume (and cover letter). Include details of placements you have completed within this qualification. You should also include other relevant qualifications if you have them.
Employment History/ Achievements
Nicole notes that in general, Australian employers prefer the chronological resume format. This means your most recent work experience goes first. Remember to use the full month and year you worked in each role e.g., January 2017 – March 2022. When detailing your employment history, try and focus on the tasks you completed which highlight your transferrable skills to the aged care sector. For example, what did you do in those roles that required empathy? What tasks required teamwork? How did you show your cultural sensitivity? Rather than simply writing out a list of your duties, try and think of some achievements for each role – times when you went ‘above and beyond’. This is how your resume will truly stand out.
Your resume should include two professional referees who can vouch for your work ethic. Consider using placement supervisors to report on your skills in aged care.
Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is your opportunity to ‘introduce’ yourself to a future employer. You should consider it a formal document but also inject a bit of your personality in it, too. Wherever possible, find the name of the hiring person and address the cover letter to them, personally (according to Nicole, you should avoid ‘To Whom It May Concern’ if you can). Outline your motivation for the role – tell them what makes you want to work as an Aged Carer for this particular organisation. Want to truly impress them? Link your motivation to the values of the organisation (you can usually find these on their website).
Once you have developed your resume and cover letter, be sure to read through them thoroughly before submitting them and make sure they are free of spelling and grammar issues. Consider asking a trusted friend or colleague to review it for you, too.
Congratulations! You are well on your way to getting that job in aged care that you have been working towards.