Resume Dos and Don’ts – Australian Style

Resume Dos and Don’ts – Australian Style

Got lots of questions about how to start working in Australia on your Working Holiday? The most important piece of advice we can offer is to convert your resume to Australian standards.

Resume formatting is not universal – what is acceptable in one country may not be accepted in another. We have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for writing resumes – Australian style.


Do: Include a brief description of employers

This is appropriate for those coming from overseas or in cases where the company might be largely unknown. Organisations like InterContinental, Hyatt, or Domino’s to name a few examples, will need no explanation. However many companies, while well-known where you are from may not be familiar in Australia. I recently read a resume from a candidate with fabulous experience gained while working in one of the most famous restaurants in Paris but he didn’t say that. The restaurant name, without a description, might not ring any bells with a hiring manager in Australia.


Don’t: List personal info

This includes your age, marital status, religion, or nationality. This might have been a standard in the past or in your home country but as all of this information is now illegal for your employer to ask you, there is no need to include it on your resume. For security reasons you may also not want to include your date of birth, street address, or bank account details.


Do: Update your formatting

Follow Australian standards for formatting details on your resume. For example, when including your phone number you should leave off the plus sign and country code and take a look at how Australian’s list their address. You’ll notice a few differences and you’ll want to adhere to Australian standards before submitting your application.


Don’t: Make it too short or too long

As an American, it was difficult for me to transition from a one page resume to anything over one page. It had been ingrained in me that a resume should ONLY be one page and anything over was considered outrageous. This is not the case in Australia. In Australia, for school leavers and those that have been in the workforce for only a few years, two pages is acceptable but for everyone else 2 to 5 pages is advised. With that said, you do not need to list every job you have ever had. Keep your resume relevant to the job that you are applying.


Do: Keep it simple

Use a simple text in one standard font.  The font style should be easy to read like 11 point Times New Roman or Arial. Bold for headings is easier to read than bold and underline (plus, it’s an overkill). Use bullet points but keep it consistent throughout. Do not use complicated formatting such as headers, footers, or tables as they take up too much space and do not always transfer when viewing on another computer.

Always remember that the content of the resume is the most important thing.


Don’t: Include a selfie

Photos on resumes are accepted in some industries but it’s best to air on the side of caution. A professional photo can be included, if requested by the employer, but DO NOT include a selfie on your resume as it looks unprofessional. You should rely on the skills and expertise listed on your resume to sell you instead of a photo.

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