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Write Australian Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

How to Write an Australian Resume/CV

Resume/CV for International Students

Your resume is part of your personal brand in your Australian job search. Without relevant Australian experience, you need to shine even more.


Each country has it's own way of doing things, so we share the typical format for Australia. Of course, each industry may have it's own style of presenting your experience, but the overall expectation of the content is going to be the same.

We share some grammar & language structure tips and provide examples, to help you have a more 'natural' resume in English.

We recommend you bookmark this page - refer back to it as you are developing this very important document.

Is it a Resume or CV?

Traditionally, a resume focuses on the work experience and skills the job-seeker has developed. On the other hand, a Curriculum Vitae (CV) presents the academic qualifications.

For example, in engineering a CV as you must be qualified, while in in the sales world it may be a resume, as experience is more important.

Does it matter in Australia? No! We interchange the name. You can call the document what you like.


Preparing to write the document...

Do your research!

Before you begin research the business and industry that you are submitting to resume to. Make sure you have the basic skills and experience needed for that company/industry.

Remember, hiring managers may have 50 resumes to read, so be clear and concise of you want the full document to be read.

Be honest!

40% of applicants lie about their employment history, 20% about their education level, and up to 30% give false references. Employers have a lot of tools to check information, so do not take any risks.

Page layout

It is best to keep it simple and easy to read:


  • Times New Roman or Arial are popular fonts

  • A4 is the printer paper size in Australia - make sure you format correctly

  • Add the header to each page in case any of the pages of the resume get separated

  • Add a page number to the bottom of each page for the same reason, keeping your flow of thoughts in the correct order

Use the correct spelling for Australia

Australia = analyse, favourite, organise, centre, enrollment


USA = analyze, favorite, organize, center, enrolment

Sections of an Australian Resume/CV

A clear and well present resume, that is easy to read, may make the difference between your resume between on the top, or bottom, of the pile. Here we share how to prepare each section of a resume.

Tip: Keep your resume/cv short. 1-2 pages (3 maximum) is the general expectation. The power of words is in clarity & getting to the point.

Resume Header


In this section, include your full name, postal address, phone number & email.

You want to make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to contact you for the next step.

Use a professional sounding email. is far more professional than!

In Australia, it is not common to include a photograph in your resume. However, this is becoming a little more popular. It is your choice whether to or not.

Never include the following:

  • your religion

  • your age / date of birth

  • your residential address

  • marital status (ie. married/divorced)

  • number of children you have

Including such information could make your application invalid due to anti-discrimination laws. in Australia, hiring managers are not allowed to consider such life information in the job hiring process.  Asking such questions is also not allowed in the job interview process.

Do I add a photo?

While it is becoming more common, it is still not recommended to add your photo.

This is an example of a header:

Kevin Hopeful

Mobile: 0410 000 000

Executive Summary / Summary of Qualifications


As you can imagine, hiring managers receive many resumes, and often want to read them as quickly as possible. Sharing a strong statement at the beginning of the resume sells yourself in a quick way. This may be all the hiring manager needs to read!

Use this space very carefully and include the most important keywords that are connected to the job role.  Why are you the right person for the job?

If you have a lot of relevant experience and/or related education, in this part may be very easy for you.  if you don't have a lot of relevant work experience, you may need to rely on other information.  This might include goals for your career future, your hard work ethic, your connections in the industry, etc.

The best way to prepare for this section is to read the job ad carefully - what exactly are they looking for? What is the required experience?  What are the duties of the position?  Address these topics in the summary.


It is obvious to a hiring manager when the version of the resume is used for every job someone is applying for. Tailor your resume for this exact job, and you will show time and consideration in applying.

Never use he/she.  Use “I” or just the verb tense (ie "Worked as ...). It is impersonal and sounds like someone else has written your resume.

It is important to add your personal qualities into what you write. Sell yourself - it has taken years for you to develop your traits and abilities and employers are willing to pay for them! You will see examples highlighted in the Executive Summary below.

Here are some career-related adjectives you might use in your resume:










Executive Summary

An experienced professional with 4-years of experience in the social media industry. A meticulous researcher, I make sure I understand the business objectives of my clients while focusing on the needs of the target market to which I am delivering social media content.  Most importantly, I rigorously stick to the budget I have been approved to use. I have a friendly nature and enjoy working in a team, but am self-motivated to deliver results on my own as required. As a flexible self-starter, I am happy to work on short or long-term projects.  I have experience in fast moving consumer goods and luxury holidays, and have demonstrated successful customer growth results for the last two companies I worked with. I am fluent in German and English.



Depending on your age and the industry that you are applying to work in, education may or may not be a strong focus in your resume.

If you are applying for a job that requires formal qualifications (such as nursing, teaching, accounting, etc), education will be one of the first sections of your resume, as you are often ineligible for the job without that qualification.

If you do not have much to share in this part, you can put this section below the work experience section.

If you are currently studying, list the qualification as in progress, especially as most international students are completing the qualification at the same time they are working.

Include the name of the institution, date of graduation and name of the qualification received. Also include the country if it is not clear.

Short courses should also be added in this section.  This might include business writing, presenting skills, short courses in coding, etc.

You can include your high school qualification if you are young and do not have further experience or qualifications, but do not include your primary school.


Master in Business Analytics                                             2023-present

Platypus University, Sydney AUSTRALIA

Coding for Digital Marketing                                             2018

Rome College of Coding, Rome ITALY

Bachelor of Information Technology                               2013-2016

Pisa University, Rome ITALY

Work Experience

Work Experience

This is a section in which your language and grammar really matters.

Many companies now use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scan resumes, selecting only those that have the exact keywords they are looking for. You must be very clear about the skills and experience this specific job is looking for. Again, it is really important to read the job advertisement in detail.  Write down or highlight the most important things that they are looking for.  Then, make sure to include these topics in your work experience, if possible.

Also be aware that plagiarism is something companies can detect in resumes. Using an AI tool like Chat GPT to write your resume is risky! Make sure EVERYTHING is presented in your own words. 

Do not have long gaps in your experience. Add activities related to the experience they want - charity work, travel, volunteering, etc. 

If you have had short periods of work in your jobs, explain why – contract work, relocation to another city, pregnancy, etc.

Do not blame the employer a short employment periods - you may sound like you are making excuses for incompetence.

Focus on your verb tenses

You may use the past tense (past jobs) & present perfect (current job) when describing your roles or duties


Use action verbs - developed, exceeded, created, demonstrated, organised...

There are two things you want to present for each job:

1.  the duties that you were/are responsible for day-to-day

2.  your accomplishments during the position - these are not the duties, they are what you achieved while you performed the duties

Creating the Content:

  • List your employment from most recent to oldest.

  • Generally limit work experience to the last 10 years; unless it's extremely relevant to the job description.

  • Limit it to 5 to 6 duties for each role - don't go into too much unnecessary detail.

  • Include 2-3 accomplishments for each role.

  • Try to avoid large gaps of time your work history - include volunteer experience, travelling, raising a family, etc, if you need to account for time gaps.

  • If you only worked for a short period of time with a company, try to give an explanation as to why this was the case. For example, moving cities, for pregnancy. Be aware that employers may be concerned if you change jobs regularly, as this could show you are not reliable or you were not suitable to the job. Do not blame a company for the short gaps as it could come across that you are making excuses.

How do I express my accomplishments?

As mentioned, your accomplishments are a result of you doing your job well, or new initiatives.

  • Business development is the duty, while increasing annual sales by 10% per each year through additional client visits is the accomplishment.

  • Selling registrations for an event is the duty, while grew event registrations from 100 to 450 participants over a two-year period through regularly time special offers is the accomplishment

  • Organising safe outdoor play activities at in early childhood centre is the duty, while reducing injuries in the playground by 15% year-on-year by keeping children in smaller groups is the accomplishment.

Work Experience

Sales Manager                                                                                                                2022-present

Woodrun Timber Yards


  • Ensuring stock is continuously available in the timber yard

  • Assisting customers to select the correct timber type for the project

  • Organising deliveries to worksites

  • Coordinating the timetables of the part-time workers

  • Monthly product training sessions for all staff


  • Have increases customer retention through follow-up phone calls to ensure quality and happiness with our services

  • Have reduced turnover of the team through staff appreciation activities like family day and monthly awards

more examples coming shortly....

Do I include references/referees in the document?
Including References

This is your choice.

However, it is common practice to simply write: References available on request

If a hiring manager begins the reference checking process, it is assumed they will offer you the job if the outcome is positive.

However, what if they do not offer you the job? Do you want your manger to know you are looking for another job?

If you are applying for a more senior role, it is usually not until after the 2nd interview that they start reference checking. If it is for a part-time, casual or entry-level job, there may only be 1 interview, and then they reference check.

Whether or not your include the references now or provide them later,  make sure you have asked your references for permission to use them, and keep them up-to-date if they might receive a call.

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