Tips for immigrants: tailoring your resume for an Australian job

With a strong job market and a high standard of living, Australia has become a primary target for job seekers all throughout the world.

Creating a resume tailored for Australian employers is an important step towards finding a job down under, particularly because the format is quite different from what you are used to back home.

However, we’ve seen many migrant resumes that are simply not appropriate given the circumstances and what Australian employers expect.

In this post, we’ve collated a list of proven tips to help you adapt your resume to successfully compete in the typical job application process in Australia.

Resume length

Keep your resume concise and within 2-3 pages. Photo: myrfa, Pixabay

Australian resumes are often longer than you might be used to. For instance, resumes in Western Europe or the United States are typically drafted for 1-2 pages, whereas Aussie resumes are usually 2-3 pages for experienced professionals.

Do note, however, that if you’re after ‘holiday jobs’ such as those in construction or retail sectors, it’s best to limit your resume to 1-2 pages.

Delete all personal information

While it’s a requirement in your country of origin to indicate your birthday, age, marital status, or even salary expectations on your resume, Australian hiring managers and recruiters definitely don’t expect you to do the same.

All this information could potentially lead to discrimination, so there’s no need to include it.

Your marital status will not affect your ability to do the job, so it’s best not to include it. By mentioning your age, you are opening yourself up to age discrimination. The only dates that you need to mention on your resume are your employment dates.

Delete other irrelevant information

Person on social media
The hiring manager doesn’t need to see your social media. Photo: NordWood Themes, Unsplash

This type of information includes the link to your social media profiles, your school grades, and details of ‘personal circumstances.’

Unless you’re using your social media in a professional manner or for something which is relevant to the job you’re targeting, it’s best to omit it. The only exception to this rule is your LinkedIn profile, as it is a professional network. Just make sure to update your LinkedIn profile before including this on your resume.

If you already have relevant work experience, then your grades at University and high school are less relevant, so don’t focus on them too much. This is particularly true if you have completed further education or have professional qualifications.

If you’ve got gaps in your work history, specifically for the recent one, it’s advisable to include the dates you were out of work. It’s totally understandable to just put ‘out of work due to personal circumstances’ if you were attending to a sick relative or travelling. Nonetheless, you don’t have to share too much information regarding what you were dong during that time. Use keywords so your resume performs well and passes through tracking softwares.

You may also list down the skills you’ve developed while out of the workforce, including any volunteer activities you have undertaken during that period.

Don’t include your photo

It’s a standard practice in some countries to include a recent photograph of yourself on your resume. But in Australia, it’s best to leave it off.

Similar to age and marital status, adding photos to your resumes could increase the risk of you being discriminated against. A notable exception to this would be job seekers applying for acting or modelling roles.

Make sure you’re using UK English, not U.S. English

Just as with other job applications, if you have spelling mistakes on your resume, you’re well behind your competition from the start.

Set the spellcheck on your word processing application to the UK English setting and not U.S English. The biggest spelling difference between the two is the use of ‘-ize’ and ‘-ise.’ For example, U.S. English uses ‘organize,’ ‘prioritize,’ and ‘centralize’, whereas UK English uses ‘organise,’ ‘prioritise,’ and ‘centralise.’

List of references

Hiring manager greeting applicant
The hiring manager won’t need references unless you make it to the interview. Photo: styles66, Pixabay

It’s common for Australian job seekers to find their referees before applying for any job. However, instead of using a prime space on your resume to list their contact information, simply state ‘References available upon request.’

Hiring managers usually don’t ask for these details until you make it to the final stages of the interview process.

Be careful though when doing this, as some jobs require that you explicitly mention your references on your resume. If this is the case, be sure to include them to avoid being disqualified from the further process.

Your address

If you’re intending to relocate to Australia, you probably already know it’s best to leave your current address off your resume.

You can just indicate your target city/suburb, state, and zip code. Also, include your target month and year of relocation.

Final thoughts

When writing your resume for Australian work opportunities, keep in mind these simple yet very effective tips so you can tailor your resume perfectly.

If you still have concerns about crafting an Australian resume, have it written by an expert in Australian resume development.

Rev Santos
Rev Santos
Rev has been marketing job seekers for over 10 years, assisting them to brand themselves effectively through their resumes to position them for their next career target. Founder of Rev-Up Your Resume, an Australian resume writing firm, Rev specialises in school leavers, career changers, return to work applicants, migrants, as well as those with significant career gaps and other complex career histories.
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