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How to write a modern Australian resume

If you haven't had to apply for a job in a really long time you might have no idea what a modern, professional resume looks like.

How long should your resume be? What sections should you include?

You may have heard that resumes these days are only meant to be 1-2 pages.

BUT... you'll be pleased to hear that in the Australian market, 3-4 pages is okay if you are a mid-late career professional. [In north America, 2 pages is expected.]

However you might have you heard of the 'one page resume'. This is because the front page of your resume should be a summary page.

The front page of your resume should summarise who you are, your unique selling points and key strengths, your key achievements and have a career snapshot.

This allows the reader to quickly ascertain who you are and if you would be a good fit for the job.

The front page

This front page should really sell you to the prospective employer. They need to quickly understand your experience and see that you have the skills to do the job. And your achievements should make you stand out from the crowd.

A great first page will make them want to read on for further details, and hopefully invite you in for an interview. It should include these sections:

  • Your name and contact details (mobile, email, LinkedIn URL) - this can be in the header of page 1.

  • A professional profile.

  • A skills/strengths summary - align these to the job key selection criteria.

  • A few key achievements from across your career - pick a few that showcase your range of skills.

  • A career summary or snapshot (list of jobs and years).

Pages 2-4

The rest of your resume reverts to the more traditional resume style.

You should aim for 3 pages and don't go past 4 pages in total unless you are a published academic or researcher.

Sections to include:

  • Career History/Work Experience - list responsibilities and achievements for each role.

  • Education (if applicable - only list post-school/tertiary qualifications unless you are a recent graduate).

  • Volunteer Work (if applicable).

  • Professional Development (if applicable).

  • Technical Skills (if applicable - no need to list for senior/management roles).

  • References.

This style of resume is fairly common place, so if you don't have a summary front page, it's time to update your resume!

Need more help? Grab your free 5 day RESUME MAKEOVER CHALLENGE which takes you through the above in more detail.

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