Applying for jobs in Australia can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what the hiring process looks like, what an Australian resume should include, and if you don’t have any great Australian resume examples to learn from.
Yet, it’s December 2023 – and despite the lowest unemployment in history, competition for the best Australian jobs is tough.
Below, you’ll find Australian resume examples, resume samples, templates and guidelines tailored to the Australian job market to help you meet the formatting expectations of recruiters and hiring managers.
By the way, do you want to ensure that your resume hits all the right notes in the Australian market?
Consider using my recommended:
- free resume builder, if you’re on a budget
- best professional resume service, if you’re a mid-career professional
- executive resume writing service, if you’re a senior leader
Australian Resume Examples To Get You Hired.
Let’s start with a resume example that does everything right. It’s the perfect resume for the Australian job market.
In a moment, I’ll comb through this resume example page by page, explain why it’s effective and how you can draw on it to improve your resume.
What Makes Australian Resumes Different?
There are 6 features that Australian employers look for in resumes of job seekers:
- Clean design with white space and subtle graphics.
- Precise targeting of a specific role.
- Resume length is appropriate for the candidate’s level of seniority.
- Work history provides big-picture context.
- Achievements are front-loaded, quantified and commercially relevant.
- Correct Australian English throughout.
Before I unpack each of these, let me share a little-known but essential nuance of Australian culture.
Knowing this secret will massively improve your chances of getting your resume noticed in the Australian job market.
How To Impress Australian Employers.
Australians are famous for their laid-back attitude. They appreciate confidence and professionalism but severely dislike arrogance and hubris.
When crafting your resume, you must position yourself as a confident and highly competent individual.
Don’t get carried away, though. Your resume should not read like it was written by Conor McGregor, for Conor McGregor.
Aussies don’t relate well to overly brash and self-aggrandising people. (They reserve a term for them that begins with a “w” and rhymes with “tanker”).
Striking a balance is vital.
- You don’t want to undersell yourself, but…
- You must not come across as God’s gift to employers, either (more on this shortly).
Structure Of A Great Australian Resume.
Now that you understand the cultural background against which you need to operate, let’s delve into the critical specifics of resume writing.
A perfect Australian resume begins with getting the resume format, length and design 100% right.
What’s The Ideal Resume Length?
Australian resumes vary between 1 and 4 pages in length. The exact length of your final draft will be driven by your level of seniority and the complexity of your skillset.
- Don’t submit a one-page resume (unless you’re a graduate). It lacks the detail Australian recruiters are looking for.
- Don’t exceed 5 pages. If you find yourself in that territory, you’re probably trying to create a laundry list of everything that you’ve done. Go back to the drawing board and ask yourself whether your targeting is still on point.
- 3 pages is a good length if you’re a mid-level professional or a manager. But if you’re a senior executive, don’t be surprised if you end up with 4 or even 5 pages.
Should You Use The Chronological Resume Format?
- In 99% of cases, the reverse-chronological format is your best friend. (This means organising your work history by date, with the most recent role appearing first).
- Suppose you are in the 1% of the population that would benefit from a different resume format, you already know who you are (and you need to decide between a functional resume format, a chronological resume format or a hybrid format).
What Design Principles Must Your Resume Follow?
Keep your design clean and simple. Don’t create a fruit salad by going overboard with font styles, sizes and fonts.
Limit yourself to two font sizes and two font styles across the entire document.
- Stick to the internationally accepted font styles and sizes (e.g. Calibri, Myriad Pro, 11pt).
- Don’t use tables, images or graphs. Many Australian companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking System) recruitment software tools – and these tend to be easily confused by unnecessary detail.
- White space is your friend. Dance in the tension between white space and text. Too much of the former, and you’ll have a very long resume that looks empty. Too much of the latter, and your resume will appear dense.
Do You Need To Include Your Photograph?
In some countries, it’s standard practice to include your headshot at the top of your resume. Not so in Australia.
Do not include a photograph of yourself – regardless of how handsome or pretty you think you are.
Any Spelling Quirks To Be Aware Of?
Yes. Replace American English with correct Australian English spelling. That’s:
- ‘Analyse’, not ‘Analyze’
- ‘Behaviour’, not ‘Behavior’
- ‘Centre’, not ‘Center’.
This is obvious, but I need to say it anyway – triple-check spelling and grammar (read my guide to linguistic mistakes that make you look dumb).
Do Australians Expect A Specific Paper Size?
It’s HIGHLY unlikely likely that an employer will ask you to print your resume, but if they do, follow these rules:
- Use A4-sized paper. Australia and Europe are aligned here.
- Don’t use US Letter size (8” x 11”).
Do You Need To Include Your Marital Status and DOB?
No. No need to include your race or religion, either. (Why?)
How To Structure The First Page Of Your Australian Resume.
The first page of your resume makes or breaks your job prospects. No pressure!
In most cases, it will contain a headline, your professional profile, employment summary and key skills. Here’s how to get them right.
1. Your Headline.
The headline on a resume typically appears under your name, and is essentially your tagline.
My advice is to match your headline with the job you are applying for. Include any certifications that add credibility and, if possible, highlight your specialisation. For example:
- Ben Barnes | Chief Financial Officer | Chartered Accountant | Manufacturing
This is not the place to be cool, so no ‘Number Monkey’, ‘Head Honcho’ or ‘Moral Captain’ references. Please.
2. Your Profile.
Here is where you can inject some ‘colour’. Think story. Think brand. Think impact.
(Related: 25 Elements You Must Include On Your Resume).
Most candidates will use this space to detail their overarching experience, qualifications and specialisation. For example:
While that approach is reasonably effective, do one better and get to the heart of what makes you unique:
3. Your Employment Summary.
You may be familiar with the 2012 study undertaken by online job-matching service TheLadders that claimed recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds reviewing an individual’s resume.
Using an eye-tracking technique, researchers found that recruiters focused on your name, current job title, company and dates of employment.
You must include this information on the first page of your resume – and do so in a clear and easily digestible format.
In Australia, recruiters generally look at your last 10-15 years of employment history. Only go back further if your earlier experience is highly relevant.
4. Your Key Skills.
Also known as “Key Assets”, this section is a condensed summary of your capabilities. It’s an opportunity to provide recruiters and hiring managers with a glimpse into your:
- Technical skills.
- Hard skills.
- Soft skills.
Importantly, resist the temptation to create a table that lists generic skills like “problem-solving”, “empathy” and “negotiation”.
Instead, follow my resume examples above to create a set of 1-2 sentence stories that showcase your most commercially relevant strengths. For example:
How To Structure The Midsection Of Your Australian Resume.
Here, Australian employers expect you to get into the meat of your roles.
List each of your roles in reverse chronological order, ensuring that you provide both the big picture context and tactical detail. Here are my power tips for getting it right:
- Don’t confuse responsibilities with achievements. They’re not the same.
- Don’t use 3rd person references – unless you’re the Queen. “Emma leads a team of 5 HR Advisors”. Ergh, too much puffery.
Most importantly, front-load and quantify your achievements. For example:
Is much better than:
How To Structure The Last Page Of Your Australian Resume.
Well, it’s time to wrap things up.
This typically means listing your education, additional career history, professional development and references.
1. List Your Education.
To quote the great Sir John Monash, pioneering scholar, soldier and engineer who lent his name to one of Australia’s leading universities:
Australians, like most Westerners, value education and continuing professional development.
Be sure to highlight your academic and professional qualifications by including the name and major of your degree, along with the awarding institution:
- Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors, GAICD
- Bachelor of Science, Psychology The University of Cambridge
There is no need to include the year of completion on your resume. Also, don’t worry about including education that is no longer relevant (e.g. high school).
2. List Your Earlier Career History.
Do you have roles that fall outside the 15-year window? Don’t list the gory (but entirely irrelevant) details in your precious professional experience section. Stick them here instead.
3. List Your References.
Australian recruiters appreciate data protection restrictions and don’t expect to see referee names, addresses, and telephone numbers on your resume.
- Writing “References available on request” is perfectly acceptable.
- Referee details will be requested in later stages of the recruitment process
4. Optional Sections.
Aside from your previous experience, achievements and personality flavour, there are a few other details that you can consider including on your resume:
- Non-Executive / Committee / Voluntary Roles: Don’t be afraid to expand on these, as you would your professional experience, provided they enhance your value proposition as a professional.
- Professional Memberships / Affiliations: e.g. Member of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Financial Planning Association of Australia or the National Association of Sales Professionals
- Visa Status: Show that you are eligible to work in Australia. For more info on Visa requirements and applications, head to the Australian government’s “Working In Australia” website: (http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work)
- Publications: Provided they are relevant and credible.
- Awards: List them simply as you would your education, e.g. Award Name, Awarding Body, Year. If you’ve earned the award at work (e.g. President’s Club 2021), include it as an achievement for a specific role.
- Volunteer Experience: Always a good idea to include if you have this under your belt.
- Personal Interests and hobbies: Include if you’re early in your career. If you’re a manager and above, you can probably put your resume’s real estate to better use.
Download 3 Free Australian Resume Templates.
I’m about to provide you with 3 free resume samples that you can use to kick-start your resume writing journey.
But first, a word of caution.
It’s very easy to get carried away with downloading resume samples from the internet. Unfortunately, free resume templates are typically very generic and stuffed with meaningless keywords.
You need to treat them as a starting point of your resume – NOT an almost perfect CV that requires minor tweaks. (Learn more about the dangers of downloading resume templates here).
These resume samples are pre-loaded with the right resume format and design cues but are devoid of all resume content.
This is intentional, as I don’t want these templates to become a crutch that then leads to a boring, generic resume that looks exactly like thousands of other resumes online.
You need to write your resume content from scratch for best results.
Resume Sample #1.
Resume Sample #2.
Resume Sample #3.
Browse More Australian Resume Examples.
Here’s a list of Australian resume examples that you can use to inspire your own resume:
- Australian IT Project Manager Resume Example
- Australian Business Analyst Resume Example
- Australian Accountant Resume Example
- Australian Lawyer Resume Example
- Australian Senior Executive Resume Example
What Are The Best Job Search Sites In Australia?
Everyone knows about SEEK, Indeed and LinkedIn. But did you know that several excellent niche job search sites cater to specific role types? Check out:
- GradConnection – jobs for graduates, interns and folks with minimal work experience
- Ethical Jobs – jobs for folks who seek a purpose.
- FlexJobs – jobs for people interested in remote work.
Remember To Customise Your Australian Resume For Each Job Application.
Australian hiring managers view your resume as a targeted marketing document. It’s not an “everything for everyone” dossier that lists everything you’ve ever done.
Follow these steps to customise your resume for different jobs:
- Read the job description thoroughly. Look at the job title and the main requirements of the role.
- Reflect on your experience and decide whether you have relevant skills for the job.
For example, if the role requires someone with “great customer service skills” and “strong communication abilities”, include these keywords in your resume and back up these claims in your achievements.
4 Bonus Resume Writing Tips:
The above resume examples will help you produce a perfect resume to help you land a dream job in Australia. Before we part ways, here are my bonus tips for bagging a job “down under”’:
- Pay attention to your online presence. LinkedIn plays a significant role in Australian recruitment and should form a part of your professional brand.
- Use professional resume examples with caution.
- If you’re an executive or a senior business leader, more rules apply to you – be sure to read my piece about executive resumes.
- Be patient. Landing a role in Australia can take 12 months, especially at the senior level.
Alright, that’s all I have for you today.
P.S. Let me know in the comments below if you want to see any specific Australian resume examples (or Australia-specific job search tips).