How To Write A CV That Australian Recruiters Will Love

Australian CV Writing Guide.

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how to write cv australia
Irene McConnell
9 min read

July 4, 2022

Last updated: July 27th, 2022

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If you’re not familiar with how to write a CV for the Australian job market, this guide will explain which sections Australian hiring managers expect – and how best to write each of them.

I’ve also included a resume template and 7 bonus tips that will help you impress Australian recruiters while avoiding common mistakes that I see on CVs of job seekers.

By the way, you can give yourself a huge head-start by using my recommended:

What Should I Include On My Australian CV?

An Australian CV needs to contain specific sections. Include them in the order below to ensure you follow the CV format employers expect.

1. Your Name & Headline.

The best practice is to include your full name and headline at the top of your CV. Think of your headline as a book title that describes what it’s about.

Ensure it matches specifically with the job you’re applying for, followed by a certification or niche expertise that adds credibility and speaks to your unique value proposition.

Examples:

Bill Smith | Electrical Engineer | NEBOSH Certified | Photovoltaic Cells

or

Jame Smith | Business Analyst | Enabling Business Growth | UNSW

2. Your Contact Details.

Include your mobile phone number and email address at the very top of your Australian CV so you can be easily reached.

Social profiles like LinkedIn are becoming popular additions to a CV, but are not mandatory.

  • If you include your social profiles, ensure they’re up to date, relevant, and contain no unprofessional posts.
  • Do not include your marital status or date of birth on your CV.

Expert Tip.

If you’re applying from abroad, provide an Australian address to ensure you don’t get eliminated based on your geolocation. Virtual office companies like Regus will provide you with a unique Australian address for a small monthly fee.

3. Your Career Profile.

Your profile should not be longer than three to five paragraphs. Its purpose is to catch the hiring manager’s attention with a narrative that:

  • highlights your biggest achievements
  • connects the dots of your career history
  • explains which business problems you solve

Write about what you can do to improve the company. Clearly convey what makes you unique and an exceptional candidate for this particular job opportunity.

Drive home your experience, qualifications, key skills and specialisations while demonstrating how these talents and abilities will benefit the potential employer.

4. Your Career History.

Present the last 15 years of your experience in reverse chronological order. For each role, include your:

  • mandate
  • responsibilities
  • achievements

Achievements are the most important part of your Australian CV. They must be presented using bullet points that:

  • kick off with power verbs
  • use numbers to quantify the impact you’ve had on the company

Expert Tip.

If you have career gaps, don’t try to cover them by stretching your employment dates. The truth will inevitably come out at the worst possible time (probably during the interview).

5. Relevant Education, Training & Certifications.

List your academic accomplishments and training certifications by order of relevancy to the job you’re applying for.

Mention the award, the awarding institution and the dates attended.

Expert Tip.

Only include high school education if you’re applying for your first job, a graduate role, or if you have less than 5 years of work experience.

6. Additional Information [Optional].

List any additional information that you believe makes you unique and better qualified than any other applicant yet doesn’t fit into any of the headings above.

For example, do you:

  • speak multiple languages?
  • have any volunteer work under your belt?

7. Mention Of Referees.

Only list references if the job ad specifically asks you to do so. Otherwise, add “Available on Request” at the very end of your CV.

Expert Tip.

Your referees won’t be contacted until the end of the hiring process, but you should prep them well in advance. Tell them you’ve included them as referees – and that they may get a call from XX company.

Australian Resume Template & Example.

Take a look at the resume template below. Does it suit Australian CV requirements and help its owner get noticed by Australian employers?

You bet it does.

Take note of how it:

  • presents a meaningful career profile
  • spells out key achievements for each role
  • showcases professional experience in reverse chronological order
  • avoids using a career objective

Use this resume template as a departure point for your CV, and I promise you’ll experience much less frustration during your job search.

Tom Jones
Strategic Business Analyst
Phone: +61 (0) 419 123 456
Email: tomjones101@email.com
LinkedIn:  linkedin/in/thomasjones11

PROFILE
A solutions-driven and detail-oriented Business Analyst with extensive experience in the development, documentation and delivery of process innovations to ensure business processes and objectives are translated into business requirements to deliver desired outcomes.

With demonstrable experience in User-Centred Design, I work with technical SMEs, user experience specialists and solution architects in large-scale digital transformation projects.

I have a strong understanding of the different SDLC methodologies (waterfall, agile, hybrid) with the ability to deliver business analysis solutions in any of the models.

Acknowledged as a visionary and strategic thinker with strong analytical skills, I work collaboratively within a team environment with high-priority deliverables, while taking the initiative to make decisions and apply judgement.

KEY SKILLS
– Applying strategic thinking and the ability to identify and develop goals, linking strategies and actions.

– Proven analytical skills, including a thorough understanding of how to interpret customer business needs and translate them into the application and operational requirements.

– High level of flexibility with a strong ability to lead others successfully through cultural, process, system and transformational change.

– Ability to understand, effectively engage and manage multiple stakeholders with competing priorities.

– Writing documentation to a high standard including process models, business requirements, functional specifications, entity-relationship diagrams, test plans, and system and user documentation.


CAREER HISTORY
SENIOR BUSINESS ANALYST
ACDC Bank • Sydney • Jan 2018 – Present
Working across multiple relevant initiatives, I am responsible for the delivery of new products, services, and assets into the bank by leveraging customer-centric technologies.

– Work with the business stakeholders, IT Product Owners and solution delivery teams to elicit, analyse, translate, document and communicate business requirements;

– Working in a Scrum team environment and participating in backlog review and Sprint planning sessions, following Agile methodology;

– Conduct business process analysis and identify critical issues and gaps for an established organisational process;

– Coordinate diverse streams of activity and communicate across multiple stakeholders and working groups;

– Undertake research and analysis on behalf of the business unit to ensure all solution opportunities are understood and factored in;

Key Achievements:
Supported faster and easier data access by building a data lake with large-scale distributed file systems that capture, store, and instantly update structured and unstructured data from a vast range of sources;

– Recognised by senior bank executives for exceptional contributions to a critical $55M project where a third-party audit deemed the project the most efficient in the bank state-wide;

– Completed in-depth analyses for business-optimization projects, reporting tools, back-office programs and payment-processing apps to bring about 12.2% revenue growth (2017), up to 49% in efficiency gains, $632K capital-expense reduction, $1.1M labour-cost savings and 97% account-retention rates;

– Partnered with developers to automate manual processes, saving time and money while decreasing errors. Credited as a primary driving force behind a 5% increase in margins in the 2019/20 financial year.


BUSINESS ANALYST
Rolling Stones Bank • Sydney • May 2012 – Jan 2018
Accountable for developing customer-facing applications and graphical user interfaces by capturing business requirements for stakeholders.

– Applied advanced sampling and data analytic techniques to help with strategic initiatives, roadmaps and process models;

– Created presentations on new product feature ideas and opportunities in a well-researched and concise manner by collaborating with product owners;

– Provided transparency by ensuring risk reporting was created and updated at relevant reporting cycles and that inputs had been validated;

– Created formal Business Case documentation presenting project Return on Investment, Net Present Value, and cost justification for review by the bank’s Executive Vice President (EVP) and VP of Branch Operations;

– Conducted an evaluation of the bank’s workflows, implementing process improvements on Microsoft SharePoint to optimise internal processes and determine cost drivers in processes using detailed methodologies.

Key Achievements:
– Reduced paper flow by 80% by managing a process re-engineering project, improving and consolidating end-to-end service restructuring communication flow across eight departments;

– Mitigated defects by 15% by developing metrics to determine inefficiencies and areas for improvement across systems;

– Improved timeframes for more than 50% of projects by successfully maintaining change management processes;

– Delivered insights on software usage to the Procurement Team, enabling them to renegotiate the number of licences required upon software renewal resulting in a $312K cost saving;


ADDITIONAL CAREER HISTORY
Junior Business Analyst, Adele Corporation 2008 – 2011
Junior Analyst, Elvis Presley Enterprises      2006 – 2008 


EDUCATION & ACCREDITATION
Bachelor of Commerce and Arts
University of Adelaide

Chartered Accountants Program
Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (Top 5%)
Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand

References are available upon request.  

7 Bonus Tips For Writing An Effective Australian CV.

Writing an impactful CV that will impress Australian recruiters involves paying attention to small, but important details. Follow my resume tips below to grab them by the eyeballs.

1. Follow Instructions.

Demonstrate attention to detail by providing exactly what has been requested from you by the recruiter.

  • For example, if a hiring manager requests that you send over a CV and a cover letter, then send both at the same time.

The same applies to any other requested documents or information that are listed in the job description or requested by your recruiter or hiring manager.

Expert Tip.

If the employer asks you to email the CV by a certain date and time, make sure that you make this deadline. Don’t be late, ever.

2. Spell And Grammar Check Your CV.

Over 50% of recruiters state their #1 CV turn-off is bad grammar and spelling.

Typos make you look uneducated, incompetent and lazy.

(Related: 5 Resume Grammar Errors That Make You Look Dumb).

Proofread your CV at least 3 times. A CV with errors sends a message that you have poor communication skills and that you’re not organised well enough.

Expert Tip.

Use a service like Grammarly to scan your resume for typos and look for opportunities to improve grammar.

3. Use Correct Australian English

No matter which part of the world you are from, Australian hiring managers expect to read Australian English on your resume.

For you, this likely means replacing Americanised “za” syllables with Australian “sa”. For example:

  • industrialization -> industrialisation
  • organization -> organisation

Don’t rely on your eyes to pick up all instances of words that need to be Australianised because you’ll definitely miss a few.

Leverage the language functionality of Microsoft Word instead.

4. Keep Your Formatting Clean

Funky fonts and jazzy graphics are not the way to go in Australia. They clutter up your CV and make information difficult to find.

  • Leave plenty of white space to make your CV easy to read
  • Use bullet points rather than graphs and never use images or .gifs

Stick to a common font type that’s 12 or 13 pixels in size. Don’t use strange-looking fonts to stand out.

Expert Tip.

Applicant Tracking Systems tend to get confused by tables and graphics. Avoid using them as much as possible there’s nothing a table can do for your CV that a well-formatted set of bullet points can’t.

5. Get The Length Right.

Your Australian CV can be anywhere between 1 and 5 pages, depending on the role you apply for and the depth of your experience. My full guide to resume length has all the details.

That said, one-page and five-page CVs are rare. Yours will probably end up being between two pages and three pages in length.

6. Tailor Your CV.

When potential employers are scanning through your Australian CV, they’re looking for a candidate-to-role fit. Specifically, they want to see how well you satisfy the requirements of a specific role.

Help them connect the dots by tweaking your CV each and every time you submit a different job application.

Be sure to highlight unique skills and accomplishments that are listed in a specific job ad.

7. Kill The Career Objective.

Career objectives are generally a waste of space on an Australian CV.

They take up vital real estate that could be better utilised to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.

Besides, career objectives are usually generic statements that could apply to anyone, and they went out of vogue in the 1990s.

How Do CVs Differ From Country To Country?

Australia, America, the United Kingdom and other European countries approach CV writing differently.

You should know about the cultural conventions of each country when applying for a job across borders.

Australia

  • Australians use the terms “CV” and “Resume” interchangeably.
  • Australian recruiters love achievement-oriented resumes that highlight your track record of impact.
  • The length of Australian CVs is typically 2-3 pages, with some exceptions being 1 and 5 pages in length. The more experienced you are, the longer your CV is likely to be.
  • Photographs are discouraged.

The United Kingdom

  • All rules that apply in Australia also apply in the UK, except that employers in the UK use the word “CV” to describe what is a resume in the rest of the world.

United States of America

  • A “CV” is very different to a “resume”. The former is an academic document, while the latter is your personal advertisement.
  • American employers prefer to see a shorter resume that is 1-2 pages long.
  • They’re OK with a photo, but don’t expect it.

Final Word On How To Write An Australian CV.

Learning how to write a CV that will improve your chances of getting a job in Australia is not easy. But your success depends on your ability to put the advice in this CV writing guide to action.

Resume writing is a science, not an art.

Follow the steps above and you’ll have a perfect Australian CV that helps you stand head and shoulders above the majority of job seekers.

Remember not to miss any essential CV sections, be sure to emphasise your achievements and don’t let silly mistakes get in the way.

Irene

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