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What's best practice for a Professional Resume in Australia?

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Searching the web for information on best practice resumes can be a very difficult.

It's hard to know if the information you find is recent, relevant for your sector, and suitable to the Australian market.

best practice professional resume Australia image of Emma Maslen

More often than not it's not!

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.

In Australia, we like do our resumes a bit differently.

We combine simplicity of a front page 'sales page' with a longer career history section that includes achievements.

How long should a professional resume be in Australia?

Resumes/CVs for professional roles in Australia are typically longer than 1-2 pages.

3-4 pages is totally fine. Yes, really!

More detail is expected and needed so that the reader understands what you have done and what your key skills and achievements are!

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 that includes achievements.

It's essentially combining the 1 or 2 page north American style resume with the more traditional curriculum vitae or CV.

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

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

Make sure that your Career History 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 I use?

A simple Word document is preferred. No need to use Canva or graphic design software or a complicated Word document.

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.

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