Table of Contents
- 1. Provide the necessary personal details only
- 2. Consider adding a catchy one-liner headline
- 3. Avoid using tables, images, or graphs
- 4. Use Australian English as your resume language
- 5. Make sure to get the right tone
- 6. Aim for the correct length
- 7. Do not use a US letter paper size (8.5” x 11”)
- 8. Do not add a career objective unless you’re a fresh graduate
- 9. Follow proper design principles
Competition in the Australian job market is tough. Outshining this competition can be much tougher if you are not sure of the hiring process, what an Australian resume should look like, and how to market yourself effectively to impress Australian recruiters and employers. In cases like these, you can always seek professional support. But to help you get started, we’ve collated some effective tips you can use as a guide to ensure your resume meets the formatting expectations and standards of the country’s market.
1. Provide the necessary personal details only
A modern Australian resume should only contain your full name, city, and state for the address, phone number, professional email, and LinkedIn profile URL. Other personal details such as birth date, marital status, and nationality are irrelevant for Australian employers and should be omitted from your resume. As a matter of fact, they are legally forbidden from asking you this information under their Fair Work Act, which protects job seekers from any forms of discrimination. In relation to this, you should not also add a photograph of yourself as this can also be ground for any biases during the hiring process.
2. Consider adding a catchy one-liner headline
Yes, you’ve read it right. You can add a headline in your Australian resume just right next to your name. In general, employers spend only 7 seconds scanning a resume. So, this can be one great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your field. Your headline should reflect the specific role you’re seeking, acknowledge your current job title, and contain industry skills, achievements, or keywords relevant to the job ad. Doing so allows employers to have an instant view of what you can bring to the table. In the example below, it’s immediately obvious that the candidate is a Chief Financial Officer, has experience in the initial public offering (IPO), and operates in the financial technology space.
3. Avoid using tables, images, or graphs
Many Australian recruiters and employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in managing job applications. This kind of software is very sensitive to graphics, and some of them are unable to parse tables, columns, and charts. So, unless you are sending your resume in PDF format via email or handing it in person, make sure it doesn’t contain any images. This also helps you ensure that your application will be processed correctly.
4. Use Australian English as your resume language
Do not forget to set your resume language in Australian English. Remember that Australian English and other languages, such as American, British, and Canadian English have different ways of spelling certain words. For example, in Australian English, it is analyse, not analyze; centre not center; favourable not favorable; or travelling not traveling. It can be a bit tricky and confusing, so make sure to check your spelling and grammar multiple times before sending your resume. We suggest using a spelling or language checker to pick up every spelling mistake and ensure your language is consistent throughout.
5. Make sure to get the right tone
Australian employers appreciate confidence, professionalism, modesty, and humor. When writing your resume, you must position yourself as a highly competent professional capable of achieving the company’s desired results. However, don’t get carried away by overselling or talking yourself up way too much. Discussing your accomplishments with too much bragging is considered distasteful and impolite in Australian culture. Make sure to strike a balance so you don’t come across as someone who’s overly confident. Focus on the value you offer and let your success stories speak for themselves.
6. Aim for the correct length
While other countries advise limiting your resume length to one page, this is not the case in Australia. The exact length of an Australian resume is determined by your seniority level or the complexity of your skillset. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t submit a one-page resume, even if you are a fresh graduate or an entry-level professional, as it may lack the detail they’re looking for. Australian recruiters and employers expect your resume to be two to five pages in length. However, even though you have the freedom to present yourself with a lengthy resume, don’t forget to be on-point and relevant. Avoid adding unnecessary details so you won’t exceed the recommended maximum length of 5 pages.
7. Do not use a US letter paper size (8.5” x 11”)
Australia and Europe are aligned when it comes to resume paper size. Recruiters and employers are expecting you to submit your application in an A4-sized paper. Whether you’re applying via job portals, direct emails, or in person, make sure to follow their standard paper size. Double-check it in the layout menu before submitting your resume. Doing so can help you prove your ability to pay close attention to the smallest of details, making your first impression a good one.
8. Do not add a career objective unless you’re a fresh graduate
For a job seeker who has plenty of work experience, Australian employers don’t want to see a career objective in your resume. They consider this as old-fashioned and belong only on resumes of fresh graduates who don’t have much hands-on and relevant work experience to showcase. So instead, add a professional summary to give employers a brief but clear overview of the expertise you are bringing to the position and the company.
9. Follow proper design principles
Australian recruiters and employers prefer clean and simple resume designs. So don’t go overboard with font styles, sizes, and colors that can make your resume difficult to process and read. Stick to the internationally accepted font styles, such as Calibri, Arial, and Helvetica at 9 to 11 points in size. Then, use sufficient white space to ensure it is easy to scan through. Remember that you don’t have to limit your resume to one to two pages long. So make sure to strike a balance between having too much and not enough white space to enhance its overall readability.
Applying for jobs in Australia can be more challenging than you expect, especially if you are an overseas candidate. However, taking the time to format your resume to match the expectations of Australian employers can make a lot of a difference. So to ensure you start on the right foot, we recommend using the tips we’ve listed in this article as your guide to creating an effective Australian resume. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to provide clarity.