Australian Resume Format: Best Practices & Examples

Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW
By Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 14, 2024

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Breaking into the Australian job market starts with crafting a compelling resume that follows local conventions and highlights your unique skills and qualifications. 

We’ll delve into the nuances of Australian resume format best practices and expert tips to maximize your chances of standing out from the competition and landing your dream role. 

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What makes Australian resumes unique?

In many ways, Australian resumes and U.S. resumes resemble one another. However, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when crafting your Australian resume from abroad. 

Terminology 

In Australia, the terms “resume” and “CV” are often used interchangeably, with “resume” being the preferred term. 

This differs from the U.S. — where resumes and American CVs are distinct documents — and from European countries, where CVs are commonplace and have unique formatting differences. 

Length 

The key difference between U.S. and Australian resumes is the length. Whereas a one-page resume or two-page resume is preferred in the States, in Australia the average resume is around two to three pages long. 

The exact length of your Australian resume will depend on your professional background and years of experience. Here are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • University students or recent graduates: 1-2 pages
  • Early career or midlevel professionals: 2-3 pages 
  • Senior or executive-level professionals: 3-5 pages

Ultimately, the content of your resume is more important than the length. In Australia, your resume should only go back 10-15 years unless you have additional, highly relevant experience.  

Dialect

To impress employers and demonstrate your ability to adapt to the culture, you can follow Australian English spelling and vocabulary conventions in your resume.

Below are a few examples of how Australian English differs from American English.

Spelling: 

  • American English — “color,” “center,” “realize”
  • Australian English — “colour,” “centre,” “realise”

Vocabulary: 

  • American English — “elevator,” “apartment,” “gasoline”
  • Australian English — “lift,” “flat,” “petrol”

Units of measurement: 

  • American English — “miles,” “pounds,” “quarts”
  • Australian English — “kilometres,” “kilograms,” “litres”

Australian resume formatting tips

Aside from the length, Australian resume format conventions are very similar to those in the United States. 

Here are a few formatting tips to keep in mind while you craft your Australian resume:

  • Use a professional resume font — the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations notes that Calibri and Arial in size 11-point are good options. 
  • Your document margins should be 1 inch on all sides. If you need additional space, you can reduce the margin size, but they should not go below half an inch. 
  • Use single line spacing throughout your document or up to 1.5 line spacing to enhance readability. Additional white space makes your resume easy to scan. 
  • To ensure an ATS-friendly resume, do not use images, tables or graphics that can confuse applicant tracking systems (ATS).   
  • If you plan to print your resume, use A4 (8.3” x 11.7”) paper size rather than U.S. letter (8” x 11”) paper size.

Australian resume examples

Explore the professionally crafted Australian resume templates below. You can also browse our library of resume examples for additional samples built by professional graphic designers.   

Note that the samples below are one page long. You can use them as a starting point and expand your resume up to five pages to adhere to Australian resume conventions.

Registered nurse resume

Registered Nurse Australian Resume Example

Construction manager resume

Construction Manager Australian Resume Example

Software engineer resume

Software Engineer Australian Resume Example

What to include in an Australian resume

See what information to include in an Australian resume to stand out from local and international candidates. 

We also recommend exploring what to put on a resume for additional details and examples for each section.

Contact information 

Your Australian resume should have a header that includes your full name, email address and a phone number with an international dialing code. 

For your physical address, you’ll want to make it clear that you are either in the process of relocating to Australia or open to relocating if you have not yet established residence there. 

Here is an example header for an applicant who is relocating to New South Wales: 

LUCY GARCIA 

lgarcia@email.com │ +1 (555) 555-555 │ WA, USA ( *Relocating to NSW, AU )

See our sample resumes for Australian job applications for additional examples of how you can display your contact details.  

Professional summary

Include a three-to-five-sentence resume summary at the top of your Australian resume. Your summary should highlight the key qualifications that make you an excellent fit for the role. 

It is important to tailor your resume to the role by highlighting skills and qualifications that directly relate to the job description. Here is an example: 

“Results-oriented marketing professional with over five years of experience in developing and executing successful digital marketing campaigns. Skilled in SEO, SEM, social media marketing, email marketing and content creation. Proven track record of driving brand awareness, customer engagement and revenue growth through strategic planning and innovative marketing strategies.” 

In Australian culture, it is considered distasteful to brag too much about your traits or abilities in the workplace.

Avoid self-inflating adjectives such as “exceptional,” “outstanding,” or “incredible,” and, instead, let your experience speak for itself. 

For instance, in the sample above, the job seeker describes their “proven track record” of executing successful marketing campaigns.

Skills section

Ensure that your resume skills section features job-relevant skills that accurately describe your capabilities.

According to the Australian Government Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, the following are the most sought-after skills by employers:

Remember to include a balance of hard skills (e.g., Google Analytics and A/B testing) and soft skills (e.g., cross-functional collaboration and creative problem-solving). Here is an example skills section for a digital marketing position:

Skills

  • Google Analytics
  • A/B testing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content strategy development
  • Campaign planning and execution
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Creative problem-solving 

Work experience

The work experience section on an Australian resume can be more detailed than that of a U.S. resume.

Australian employers often appreciate comprehensive information about a candidate’s work history, responsibilities and achievements. 

Your resume work history section should list your past roles in reverse-chronological order, starting with your current or most recent role.

If you think the hiring manager won’t be familiar with the company names, you can provide a short blurb describing each one, for example:

Marketing Manager │ Feb 2021 – Present 

XYZ Corporation, Seattle, WA

XYZ Corporation is a leading technology company specializing in software development and digital solutions for businesses worldwide. 

  • Led a team of five marketing professionals in developing and executing comprehensive marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and drive lead generation.
  • Implemented targeted digital marketing campaigns that resulted in a 30% increase in website traffic and a 25% increase in qualified leads.
  • Managed the company’s social media presence, including content creation, community engagement and advertising, leading to a 50% growth in followers.

In the example above, you’ll also notice that the job seeker uses strong action verbs to describe their responsibilities (“led,” “implemented” and “managed”). Action verbs reduce wordiness and convey confidence.  

Education

The Australian Government Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business notes that approximately 90% of jobs created in the future are likely to require Vocational Education and Training (VET) or university qualification. 

This means that it is essential to list education on your resume to indicate your relevant credentials and qualifications. Here is an example:

Education

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Key takeaways

  1. In Australia, the terms “CV” and “resume” are often used interchangeably, with “resume” being the preferred and more commonly used term.
  2. Australian resumes are longer than U.S. resumes, often reaching 2-5 pages depending on experience level.
  3. It is essential to tailor your Australian resume to the role you are applying for in order to demonstrate how you are uniquely qualified for the position. 

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