How to draft your Resume for the Australian Job Market

I try to post a job related post once a week at least. This one is not my brain child. You can contact the writer of this post, Roz Fisher via the links provided in this article. ( and at If you are thinking of moving to Australia, it is important the your “Australianise” your resume. Here is Roz’s advice on how to do just that.

Australianising your resume

I’ve been writing CVs and cover letters for more than three years, so I have a bit of experience in the field and thought I would share some tips.

You spend thousands of dollars and years of preparation to get to Australia. The success of your move hinges on getting a job, yet so many people forget the importance of the résumé.

You get ninety seconds or less to impress the person reading your application – that is all the time they allocate you. If you don’t grip them within that time, you’ve lost the job. Here are some key things you can do to make sure you don’t draw their attention for the WRONG reasons.

It is very important to have a two page résumé. Many companies specify this in the application details, along with a one page cover letter. Any longer and they won’t even read your application. I get people sending me 5, 6 and 7 page résumés – and it IS possible to shorten them. There are a few methods you can use:

-Forget about a “cover page” with your name and contact details, just put your details on the first page

-Combine positions where you did the same job

-Leave out unimportant info like hobbies, unless the hobby relates to the job

-Leave out personal details such as relationship status and religion

-Leave out your schooling – Unless you have just left school and have few or no other qualifiations.

-Use fewer words to say things or combine dot points

-Don’t include reasons for leaving positions, it’s none of their business

Things to leave out – please don’t include the following:
-Don’t send PDF files- everything I have been told and read confirms that
they want doc files, not pdf

-Don’t have anything in colour- just stick to black and white

-Don’t have anything in a table or text box – this seems to be a very popular
trend in South African résumés and should be left out

-Don’t have anything with a graphic such as company logo, your photo etc- leave any graphics out, especially your photo, unless you are applying for a job as a model or actor

-Don’t use weird borders or fonts that are going to distract from the text

-NO Spelling and grammar mistakes- PLEASE make sure you spell check and then proofread. Print it out and read it out loud to yourself or someone else, you pick up many more mistakes that way. Get other people to read it and check it. After a while, you can’t proofread your own work anymore because you just see what you expect to see, so get someone else to do it. ONE mistake could cost you the job.

Also, be aware that there are no full stops at the end of dot points, so leave them out.

Things to include:

-You want a good, solid representation of yourself on paper, outlining your skills, and highlighting your abilities in a way that makes the reader want to get to know you better

-ALWAYS include references – PLEASE don’t use “References on Request,” as they will never request them. If they have 100 résumés to choose from and all of them have referees except one, you won’t hear from them again.

If you need local references, volunteer at an organisation. You only need to be there for a few weeks to get a good reference plus some local employment background. Even if it’s not in your field, people respect volunteers. You can use someone who was a client, colleague or supervisor, it doesn’t have to be the boss.

Hopefully some of this information helps someone. These are my personal and professional opinions and I understand that other people have different ideas.A

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s