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Want to learn how to get someone to read your CV?  

Let’s start by looking at the Profile section of your CV:

  • Don’t write a happy story about how you’re looking for a fresh start in Australia. If you’re looking for a professional job, you need to show that you understand the Australian workplace and you must consider yourself to be a local rather than a newly arrived person.
  • Your Profile section should focus on your background, skills and experience and should be aligned to the position description.
  • If you have more than 12 months’ professional experience, you should focus on your work experience rather than your educational qualifications. Remember, while it is good to mention your educational qualifications, if you place too much emphasis on these people may view this as your strategy to stay in Australia rather than pursuing your professional development.
  • Make sure the language you use reflects the language used in the position description.

Now, let’s look at the Professional Experience section:

  • If you have experience that is not relevant to your professional field you can either include this in a separate section called ‘Additional Experience’ or, you can simply provide a Career Summary on your 1st page which provides a timeline of your work experience. Your Summary may look like this:
Position Company Location Dates
Retail Assistant Myer Melbourne July 2017 – present
Civil Engineer Construct Intl Barcelona, Spain March 2015 – June 2017
  • If you have any gaps in your experience between jobs, you may want to add a line explaining why. This is not uncommon, but it should be clearly explained. Perhaps, you needed to care for a family member or took time to travel overseas?
  • When you describe your Responsibilities, make sure to use similar language to what’s included in the job descriptions you are using or the market standard. Look at similar roles on job sites such as Seek and copy and modify as appropriate. Make sure to include enough detail and check your English carefully for spelling and grammar errors.
  • If you have some local professional experience, do not include too much detail about positions you’ve held overseas.
  • When you describe your Achievements, these should be measured in terms of productivity, profitability, and targets.
  • Make sure you make your career path clear and think carefully about how to sell yourself. For example, if your length of service at each of your previous companies is short there may be good reason for this, but this can act as a red flag to recruiters or people reading your CV. You can add details e.g. contract role, part time etc. but you will also need to know how to answer questions about this is your interview.

Let’s move on and look at your Skills section:

  • Make sure this is easy for the recruiter to find quickly.
  • Use similar language to what’s included in the job description.
  • Most recruiters look for skills such as:
    • excellent communication skills,
    • ability to engage and build strong relationships with stakeholders from all levels,
    • proactivity and willingness to multitask and manage multiple requirements.

Finally, let’s look at how to present your Education:

  • If you have recently graduated and don’t have much professional experience, make sure your Education and Training is underneath your Profile section. Otherwise, it can be further down your CV.
  • If you are currently completing a qualification or training program, include this information and just put the month/year you started and mention it is ongoing.

Good luck!