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How long should your resume be in Australia?

It's controversial, and not all resume writers agree, but I think 2 pages is way too short for a resume or CV - for most people, in professional roles, in Australia.

A 2 page resume is, in most cases, simply not enough information for the reader! It leaves them with questions, which often means you won't get through to the interview stage.

The 2 page resume myth is everywhere. This is because most resume resources that you find on Google are north American based, where a 2 page resume is the norm - but this is not the norm in Australia.

I've also seen lots of Australian based resume writers who recommend 2 pages, but I don't know how they fit all the necessary information. I suspect they have a very short key skills section and no career summary. Or just use a very small font!

So here I outline how long I think your professional resume should be in Australia - from graduates to experienced executives.

How long do I think your resume should be in Australia?

Resume writer Emma Maslen holding a resume how long resume Australia?

  • Resumes/CVs for professional roles in Australia are typically longer than 2 pages - especially if you are mid career. 

  • 3-4 pages is totally fine. Aim for 3 pages, but if you go to 4 pages, don't stress. Detail is expected and needed so that the reader understands what you have done and what your key skills and achievements are! 

  • If you have lots of publications or research to include, your resume can be longer than 4 pages.

  • If you are a recent graduate, you might be able to get it down to 2 pages.

What structure and sections should be in your resume?

  • In Australia, for professional roles, it's best practice to have a front page that sells your top skills and achievements, then a longer career history section which includes achievements. 

  • Page 1 is your sales page and should include these sections: Name, contact details, profile/summary, key skills, key achievements, career summary

  • Pages 2-3/or 2-4 should include: career history/experience, education, professional development, volunteering, references.

Make sure that your Career History/Experience section is:

  • Curated: only included 3-4 relevant roles or roles from the last 10-12 years. And don't list every single thing you do or did in a role; curate the high level responsibilities.

  • Achievements focused: make sure you list out your achievements from each role as well as your high level responsibilities.

What document type should you use?

  • A simple Word document is best. There is no need to use Canva or graphic design software or a complicated Word document with weird formatting, tables and text boxes.

  • You can still make a simple Word document look nice, and then PDF the document to submit. 

  • Avoid using columns and text boxes, as these are hard for Applicant Tracking Software systems to read.

If you want to cut through all the myths and create your very own best practice resume:
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