Building a winning resume

After working in the recruitment and talent management industries for over 25 years I am often asked by people ‘what makes a winning resume’. So here is my 2 cents worth…

The world has changed so fast especially over the last decade and seems to be moving at breakneck speed. There are so many many options and things to think about when looking for a job and they all need attention. Long resumes (CVs) are gone. 1-2 pages of great content is needed.

Remember short does not mean sloppy, your resume is the tool you have to really show that you are professional.

There are really 6 key components to a resume and each one needs to be taken seriously.

  1. The Header Information

  2. Summary / Personal Statement

  3. Your skills Summary

  4. Your Work History

  5. Education

  6. References

The Header Information

Your header information should include the following

  1. Your Name

  2. A Professional email address (not Try to get a good Gmail account or maybe even setup your name on a service like Zoho or

  3. Your Contact Phone number (Mobile is fine)

  4. Then your social media account links (Icons work). Yes employers these days are going to check you out make it easy for them to find you and be very aware that this will happen.

Summary / Personal Statement

Keep it professional describe your experience to date and what you love doing most. This is your ‘90 second pitch’ to that perfect employer or client (If you are a contractor). Your work histroy will also contain some hints into what you are all about.

Your skills Summary

Here you can list the things you are great at and like doing i.e. dont list skills you no longer wish to use.

Your Work History

Be a little more detailed here and list your last five - ten years work experience. If you are just starting out on your career I strongly suggest you ‘volunteer’ as there are plenty of organisations who will give you this experience.

NB: Always include name of organisation, what your job was (title if you had one) and what months/years your worked for this employer.


If you do not have a University degree no need to panic. List your industry related education. Have no industry related training? then best you think about getting some.


If you can list 3-4 work related references. If you are a student looking for work you can also use a tutor but it would also be good to have references from volunteer or work experience employers.

Example CV - Tony Cutting

Need Help?

I like to help 2-3 people a month get their career started so if you need help reach out and contact me. I am happy to accept a koha to guide those who have not yet landed their first job

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist

Explaining Agile as a Sandwich


Agile allows teams to deliver things of greatest value for the stakeholders every single time. But what do I mean by that and how?

The Agile Manifesto states “Deliver (solutions) frequently…”. This often bears out with what is termed Iterations or Sprints, or at least every couple of weeks. The idea is to reassess what is the next most valuable thing to deliver every single iteration or every couple of weeks.

There’s a great story I heard somewhere where the Subway sandwich franchise was compared to running Sprints in Agile. The way this was explained to me was that when you enter the Subway store, you have some idea of what you want, but things change as you are presented with the “product” at each stage.

Your first most valuable delivery is when you choose the type of bun (bread, roll, whatever you want to call it), at the same time you can choose what size portion you want for lunch.

Now, this is world-changing thought. No longer are you given a plate with something indescribable slapped into it, now you, the customer, are given an absolute choice in every aspect. Neither you, nor the Subway team knows what you will end up with. It might be what you were thinking about on the way into the shop, a standard wheat bun, but now you see the Italian Herb or the Honey Oat and you decide that this is exactly what you want.

This means that your first iteration chooses the exact sized bun for your needs and the exact bun you decide. That’s real, delivered value. The next iteration asks what cheese you want and you can decide exactly the type of cheese, or skip the cheese altogether and go directly to the main filling or choose to decide in the next iteration. Toasted or plain?

After choosing which vegetables will now go best with your semi-created product that you can see and almost taste in front of you, you now have an almost complete lunch. You can decide to add sauces (toppings) or cut straight to the final product and eat it now, foregoing the wait.

This is exactly what Agile looks like in real life. Iterations are much longer, a couple of weeks to about a month, but it’s the same thing in reality. After every iteration, you get to choose what is the most valuable thing that you want next, now that you know more about the solution. You know more because you can see what is happening in a presentation to you after every iteration (called a “Showcase”).

The wonderful thing about this is that at every point, not only are you delivered the most valuable solution increment, but at any time, you can choose to wait and get those extras like toppings, or cut right there and take the solution as it is.

What tends to happen in the old-school project management is that you choose everything you can think of, right up front, then the team works to deliver that completed, some time down the road. This suffers from so many problems, but the main ones are the assumptions made:

  1. That you know what you want
  2. That the team knows how to build it
  3. That nothing will change

These assumptions are all wrong and building your sandwich in front of you is often the only way for everyone to see and recognise the best possible next value at every point.

For more information on how you can become more Agile visit

What is Agile?

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Agile is a mindset that helps you deliver the best value, consistently for you organisation.

Benefits of Agile are;

  • accelerate service/product delivery
  • enables change
  • improves team morale
  • experiment and learn rapidly
  • deliver value continuously

To gain the benefits of Agile become a Agile Certified Professional.  Add value to your CV while becoming an awesome asset for your organisation.

DragonsArm was created as an Agile training company. Based in Wellington New Zealand and operates in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Dubai, and the UK.

Agile Certified Professional (3 day) Courses in Wellington are scheduled for the following dates

1) 27, 28. 29 August 2018
2) 22,23,24 October 2018
3) 26,27,28 November 2018

To book your course and find out more about DragonsArm visit



NZ’s top exercise industry body backs calls for tighter guidelines

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Richard Beddie


The country’s top exercise industry body, ExerciseNZ, is behind the call for industry-wide guidelines around high intensity workouts including a weekly maximum time limit for this type of training for gym-goers.

ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says the guidelines should be put in place in the context of safety standards for all Kiwis exercising.

Beddie backed Les Mills international head of research Bryce Hastings whose new study found just 30 to 40 minutes a week of high intensity training was acceptable, reducing the risk of injury or illness compared to longer or more frequent high intensity session.

Beddie says people heading to gyms and exercise facilities to make sure that when they get exercise advice from suitably trained experts.

“We think Kiwis deserve protection when getting advice about what to do regarding high intensity training,” he says.

“The impact of this latest research study may have impacts reaching beyond that, especially for people exercising in their garage with mates or at a local sports club.

“While educating professionals is one half of the equation, empowering and educating exercisers is just as important. All people who exercise deserve to be safe, regardless of cost or geographical location.

“In New Zealand we have robust and well-regulated health and safety laws and together with industry best practices, forms a great basis for the start of industry standards. 

““New Zealand already leads the way internationally with more than 75 percent of all exercise professionals registered with the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which uses the NZQA qualification framework as the basis of its entry criteria, as well as being internationally benchmarked and recognised in over a dozen countries. 

“We support the movement for more regulation in the industry as we start to help more and more people getting active. This means the traditionally inactive people, with more unique needs starting to exercise.” 

Beddie also called for the government and its agencies to work collaboratively with the exercise industry community to support Kiwis getting into exercise which effectively reduces the burgeoning health bill. 

ExerciseNZ represents more than 625 exercise facilities and more than 3200 registered exercise professionals in New Zealand. They provide services to more than half a million Kiwis on a regular basis, making exercise the largest sport in New Zealand.


- Make Lemonade

Develop your ‘search’ skills to find people who can help you succeed

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How this all started.  I was recruited into the recruitment agency world in the early 90’s and this was my line of work in some shape or form for the next 25 years.  In fact, still today I use many of the skills learnt during this period to help me provided services to my clients and to grow my own business.  I was lucky as I was employed to recruit people with information technology skills.  My natural way of working is to get to know people really well and totally understand how I can help them.  This helped me to develop some great relationships with some very smart technical people, these relationships helped me to develop technical knowledge and skills that helped me be better at my job.  I built a career and then a very good business with these skills.

One of the key skills I developed was how to use ‘Forensic Search’.  On a basic level, most people know how to search Google and they may even have a LinkedIn account that enables them to reach several people every month.  You may even know how to do a basic Facebook search for people?

Using these skills, you can find people to help you in your business.  Whether that be to find great staff, clients or my favourite ‘collaborators’.

Collaborators understand the value of building large internet connections where they can either promote themselves and their work or do the same for their clients. Those that provide services for clients are often called ‘Digital Marketers’.

By working in partnership collaborators and/or digital marketers can create large networks that can be used to promote whatever the client is looking for.

However, for those who have another career they can use these tactics to develop personal networks, groups and connections that will help them advance their career.  This works by connecting with other people in your industry and setting up ‘groups’ and meetups where you and your collaborators can invite your networks to share their details with a group or even attend a meetup.  These meetups allow you to build relationships, some of which will be key contacts that help you build your career.

For those of us with advanced forensic search skills, we have the ability to reach into the internet and find anyone on any site simply using code that interrogates the website and brings up profiles that meet your search criteria.  A skill I use to promote client’s jobs directly to the people they may be looking for in a service I developed that promotes jobs rather than engages in direct recruitment.

For those of you interested more in the mechanics here is a great place to start

Of course, once you have mastered searching a site that is the first step.  The second is to master how to communicate with people when you find them.  That’s another skill which most of us Digital Marketer’s prefer to keep as our own IP (Intellectual Property).

Once you have these skills the world becomes a much more exciting place, you can use forensic search skills for a wide range of activities, but my favourite is helping people to build their business or develop a career network.

If you are interested in learning how to develop your search skills or your staffs’ search skills please feel free to contact me.



Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketer
m. +64 21 911 722