How to write an effective resume Part 2: A step by step guide to writing an Australian resume

link to Blog #1] of writing an effective resume, what are the specifics of writing a resume for the Australian job market?

Preparing an impressive resume is unquestionably dependent on adhering to local cultural and professional practices.

What to include on an Australian resume 

1. Contact details Place your contact details clearly at the top of the page. Include your full name, address, phone number and email address (professional sounding email addresses only please!) Do not include your date of birth, nationality, marital status, gender or religion. Do not attach your photo to your resume.

2. Key strengths / Career Summary / Career Overview This section is optional. It is essentially a summary of some key strengths in bullet point format to immediately grab the attention of the recruiter. Alternatively, a Career Summary or Overview section states clearly your career experience, goals and what your resume will set out to demonstrate. This section may be most useful for either recent graduates or those with a specific career goal. Another option is to include a Skills Summary after the Education section which details skills such as computer competencies, languages and special skills, if they are relevant to the job.

3. Work history Detail your professional history in reverse chronological order, that is, most recent first. Include the job title, company, dates and responsibilities. For each job, list the key tasks you were responsible for. You may also wish to include approximately three achievements for each job. Achievements should be specific ways that you exceeded expectations and requirements.

4. Education List your highest qualification first. Include university degrees, industry or TAFE courses, completion of secondary school and other relevant professional training.

5. References You may either write “References available upon request” or list 2-3 referees. Include their name, titles, phone number and email address. Be sure to request permission before listing someone as a reference.

Design and layout 

  • Use a clear, professional font such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri in size 10-12.
  • Keep the design simple with clear bolded headings, consistent bullet points (optional) and no fancy colours or graphics (except perhaps if you are applying for a job as a creative graphic designer!).
  • Keep margins reasonable.
  • You can slightly narrow standard margins but be sure to leave some ‘white space’ on the page to make it easier to read.
  • If you are new to the workplace, 1-2 pages will suffice.
  • If you have many years of experience, your resume should be about 3-4 pages.
  • Be sure to check for spelling and grammar mistakes, keeping in mind that Australian spelling is different from American spelling and should be adhered to in an Australian resume.

Your resume should be in Word or PDF format. Good luck in your Australian job search!

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