Resume Writing Secrets to Get you Working in Australia

Resume Writing Secrets to Get you Working in Australia and Free Resume Review

You may be wondering what the most effective approach is when it comes to applying for a job in Australia. If that’s the case, this article will assist you with the resume writing secrets to get you working in Australia, especially when preparing your standout resume examples!

With interview-ready resume templates, free of irrelevant information, you'll get your dream job!

If you are a graduate, you have the rest of your career to gain recognition for your contributions. If you are a seasoned professional, you have already worked hard throughout your career journey. Either way, you both deserve the best chance of being considered for a job. This means that you need to have eye-catching resume templates and resume-ready examples in order to get an interview! Your compelling resume (or CV) is your secret weapon and the most powerful marketing tool you have in today’s competitive market. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump in and learn everything there is to learn about the secret world of resumes.

What is a resume or CV?

A great resume is typically the first encounter between you and a potential employer, so you’ll want to make sure it’s effective. As the English saying goes, “You will never have a second chance to make a fantastic first impression!”

Step 1: Choose the right resume template to maximise your chances of getting the job you want!

There are three sorts of resume formats: reverse chronological order, functional/skills-based, and a mix of the two. It all depends on the kind of position you’re applying for and your level of expertise.

1) Reverse chronological resume format

The reverse chronological resume format is the most common, with your most recent experience listed first. It is excellent for those who have a lot of work experience relevant to the job description they’re seeking.

Hot tip: Use this option if you are unsure which style to utilise, or contact us, and we can help!

2) Functional or relevant skills-based resume format

The skills-based format focuses on your most important experience. If you’re a student/recent graduate or planning to change careers, the skills-based format might be preferable.

3) Combination resume format

A combination resume is a great choice for individuals looking to showcase diverse talents. It can be beneficial if you’re applying for a job that needs knowledge in 3-4 areas, as it allows you to arrange your relevant experience so that it’s viewed first.

Step 2: Search for a professional resume template that suits your personality

When it comes to premium resume templates that suit your needs, there are thousands of traditional and more creative options to choose from on the internet, ranging from Microsoft Word doc templates to more creative Adobe alternatives. However, don’t be fooled! The more graphical and creative resume templates available, you know, the really cool and funky ones you really want to choose will probably not be applicant tracking system compliant (ATS friendly).

Applicant Tracking Systems? WHAT THE...?

For the first time ever, a software program is assisting recruiters and hiring managers to find, track, reject and hire job applicants through an automatic process that cuts time and saves lots of money. And at the heart of the technological revolution are Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). It’s crucial that job hunters understand clearly what an Applicant Tracking System is and the way it works to be able to be confident enough that their resumes do not slip via the automation while not having reached a real human.

Applicant tracking systems had been first utilised by big organisations that get hold of thousands of programs; however, smaller agencies are actually using them simply as frequently. Just as corporations use software applications to track applicable facts on their customers, the usage of similar software to organise information on potential candidates makes sense for recruiters. So, you want to select a template that has been trialled and tested through several ATS systems to make sure you are being looked after. Click here to learn more about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and how they are used in the Australian recruitment industry.

Rest assured, we have you covered with modern resumes templates. The Perfect Resume gallery is updated yearly and tested through various ATS platforms, such as Seek, LinkedIn and Smart Recruiter. Click on this link to view the gallery.

Whatever you do, don’t choose a boring black and white template as the colour reflects on your personality. Resumes and a general cover letter with a modern feel are refreshing to look at and will help you stand out from your competitors. If your CV look is quite outdated, your personality will come across to the resume writer as less than optimal. An easy way for you to stand out from your competitors is by applying colour psychology to your resume. For an example, click here to see designs in our resume gallery!

Resume template gallery

Resume template gallery

Resume template gallery

Resume template gallery

Step 3: Tailor your Resume Summary to Impress!

Whichever format and layout you decide on, there are mandatory sections to include in your resume content. We’ve broken these sections down with expert tips and referenced these on our layouts for convenience!

Resume Writing Services Tip #1: Don't Forget Your Contact Details.

You will never imagine how many resumes we review have either contact details missing or the email address is incorrect. Make sure your information is correct, and that email addresses are appropriate for a business audience.

Must-have information

  • First name/surname
  • Your best contact number (if you applying for a particular job and you reside outside of Australia, it will be worth your while to invest in an Australian number. Many businesses don't like to make international calls and this could be a reason you don't secure an interview for a job you love!)
  • Location (your suburb, state, and postcode)
  • Email address

Optional Information

  • Your next job title - not your current position. This is a little trick to help the ATS prioritise you as being one of the several highly recommended job seekers because it will think you have done the job before.
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile (highly recommended)
  • Other links to your online portfolio are especially useful for people in creative industries.

What NOT to include: You are not legally obliged to include your marital status, age, religion, date of birth, photo, or dependants on your resume. In fact, it is illegal for potential employers to ask these questions. Personal details such as this type of information may actually create negative recruiter biases that will impact many employers’ decision-making processes, especially when it comes time to evaluate your application.

Resume Writing Services Tip #2: Write an Impactful Professional Profile.

Along with your Tailored Cover Letter (read this blog to learn about the cover letter blunders to avoid), don’t underestimate the power of including an impactful and relevant professional profile (often referred to as an about you section, summary or career objective). Usually, these are the first few lines appearing at the top of page one on your good resume. In this section, make a precise statement of 4-6 lines/2-3 sentences, stating your personal qualities, what you can offer the company, what soft skills you have that are relevant to the position and your amount of experience in the industry. 

Example Profile

A resilient and respected senior leader with over 15 years of operations management experience across the sports and education sectors. Team-oriented with impeccable relationship management and communication skills, offering the ability to uplift community engagement and strengthen development program benefits. Highly skilled in proactive management of team performance, with a commitment and passion for building strong, healthy, and cohesive communities.

Why is your professional profile important?

Companies can receive 300+ job applications per advertisement and only spend approximately 6 seconds to scan the resume summary information and check if it meets the requirements. Again, we need to emphasise this point: do not squander this chance to make a fantastic first impression!

The difference between a graduate's profile and an executive profile is about your level of experience in the field. For example, if you already have relevant work experience, you’ll use this valuable space to summarise your information. However, if you’re new in the workforce, or changing career, you can utilise this space to focus on transferrable skills and personal attributes.

Resume Writing Services Tip #3: Focus Your Resume Examples on Your Achievements Not What Your Position Descriptions Says!

When it comes to setting out your work history section, no two resumes should be the same. Therefore, it helps to ask yourself, is this information relevant? For example, if a Director of a high-level company was changing their career and becoming a counsellor. Would his KPIs, business development and governance skills matter? Probably not unless he was applying for a position to run a counselling practice. What would matter is their resume examples whereby they can demonstrate their ability to help people, make appropriate referrals and show compassion and empathy towards vulnerable people in need.

If the job is relevant to the position you want to apply for, you want to set it out in an easy to read manner. Remember, a hiring manager will only scan your resume for approximately 6-seconds, so you want the content that stands out to be relevant and engaging.

Job Title | Organisation | Year Started - Year Completed/Present

An overview of the responsibilities that you did on a daily basis. This gives the reader a snapshot of your accountabilities and scope of experience. It should not be a copy/paste of your position description. Don't bore them to tears!

  • Then, you need to include a selection of your relevant key achievements from your time in that position.
  • Include key metrics such as KPIs achievement, money made or saved, time efficiencies, quality standards met, number of tasks completed etc.
  • Re-read the job listing that you are applying for to pick out key skills/duties that the company is looking for that match what you’ve done in the past. 
  • When the hiring team is reading your resume, they are looking to see how well you fit the job they are hiring for.
  • Your resume needs to be targeted to be picked up by the applicant tracking software and to catch the attention of the reader who is trying to fill a specific job with specific skills, duties and requirements.
  • Your resume MUST match your skills and experiences to the responsibilities and requirements of the job you are targeting, otherwise, you won’t even be considered.
  • If your resume is just a compilation of everything you’ve ever done without any focus, it’s just not going to work.  
  • The standard date format is month and year (MM/YYYY). This is important for your job application to be parsed through an Applicant Tracking System.

Resume Writing Services Tip #4: Don't Get Tricky with Your Education!

Have you ever been waiting for your local doctor and looked at their position title? It would look something like this: Melissa Peacock J. Dr BDSc (Qld), MB BS (Qld), FRACDS, FRACDS (OMS). Do you know what all this stands for? Do you think a general recruiter who isn’t specialised in recruiting doctors understands what all the acronyms mean? I can tell you when I was looking at public health resumes; I had no idea what all that (and other acronyms) meant! And to be honest, I didn’t need to know, because other candidates didn’t get tricky with their education!

When it comes to your education section, remember the first people who often scan your resume are junior human resource officers. They are looking for relevant keywords to be able to shortlist them for an interview. You don’t want your MBBS acronym to cause you to miss out on an interview. Instead, spell out your education. A Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree on your resume, doesn’t just help with context; it also adds keywords to your resume to ensure you are considered a relevant match in the applicant tracking system.

When it comes to deciding what qualifications to include and what not to include, think about what will give you leverage above your competition! You might have academic qualifications, courses or publications that are relevant. Utilise this section to engage the reader to show you are The Perfect Candidate!

  • Degree Name: Bachelor of Business Administration (include any majors you completed) NOT “BBAD”
  • School Name: E.g. Deakin University
  • Year of completion: MM/YYYY or In Progress if you haven't yet completed the degree.
  • Optional Extras: Including your GPA, publications, academic merits etc. are only recommended for specialists or graduates. If you are a seasoned professional, your GPA no longer matters (because let's face it, you probably completed the degree 5+ years ago and can't remember much of the course content anyway!)

Resume Writing Services Tip #5: Showcase Your Transferable Skills

On your front page, you want to use this prime real estate to distinguish yourself apart from others. Therefore, you need to call out your transferrable skills, not just expect a recruiter will infer them from the rest of your resume content. When training resume writers, this section is often the trickiest and the longest to learn, therefore, when you attempt your own, make sure you can communicate your skills effectively. You want to have a careful balance between highlighting your scope of practice, expertise and personal characteristics to show that you are more knowledgeable than the other applicants.

RESUME EXAMPLE OF A SKILLS SECTION

  • People Management: Outstanding leadership skills to steer teams and address customer concerns in a timely, consistent, and appropriate manner.
  • Client Services: Recognised for providing effective and positive communication, enabling teams to strive towards delivering quality services and exceeding the expectations of a diverse range of clientele.
  • Conflict Resolution: Solutions-focused, offering a high degree of conduct, integrity, and professionalism while handling client enquiries, de-escalating difficult conversations, and resolving highly emotional situations.
  • Social Intelligence: Strong observation skills and perception to analyse and process what is being said, anticipate needs, and tactfully address concerns.
  • Teamwork: Highly skilled in developing team momentum through relationship management and collaboration, fostering a culture of inclusivity and efficiency, with a focus on boosting team morale.              

The position you’re applying for may not require any additional information about your awards, voluntary work, publications, and major projects, however, some might! If you are confused about whether you should include any of the following information, reach out and have a chat with one of our career coaches.

The Perfect Resume Checklist

The Perfect Resume must be:

  • Error-free, especially names, phone numbers, email addresses and company names.
  • Effectively builds on experience and abilities
  • Written to highlight your strengths
  • Tailored to a position or industry to enhance the career focus
  • Free of unnecessary information, including interests, hobbies, marital status etc.
  • Free of spelling and grammar errors, including punctuation, grammar and syntax issues.
  • Targeted to the advertised company's needs and position expectations.
  • Free of common recruiter bias, including location, career gaps, overqualification, under qualification, age, and cultural background.

Writing Style Aspects

  • Correct tense between past and present positions and responsibility overviews and achievement-orientated statements.
  • The personal profile is written objectively – No use of ‘I’
  • Energetically written, concise statements with correct industry-specific language, including descriptive information such as metrics and scope to add context.
  • First-person language (never include the words; I, me, my, our, their)
  • Short 2-line max statements that describe the responsibilities for each position
  • Bullet points to highlight achievements and contributions
  • Maximum 10 years of career history experience
  • Specific quantitative achievements and branding elements
  • Skills, capabilities and potential without the use of clichés
  • Use of industry ATS friendly keywords
  • All career gaps are handled
  • Grammarly has been used to eliminate any unobvious spelling or grammar issues.

The Resume Design Elements

  • Modern, visually appealing and appropriate to the industry and role level.
  • Equally spaced between headings and body content
  • Consistent use of line spacing, paragraph sizes, full stops, text, colour, size and font
  • ATS compatible.
  • Sufficiently formatted to use white spaces to call out certain aspects
  • Easy to read, using font size Calibri 11 for body text and Calibri size 11 – 14 for headings.
  • Applied sentence case, capitalization or bolded letters to draw the reader’s attention
  • Length is within one page for a Graduate, student or entry-level role, 2 pages for a lower management position or 3 pages for a Project Manager, Executive, IT or specialist role.

If you managed to tick YES! to everything above, click here to enrol in our Professional Resume Writing Course! The Perfect Resume Writer Certification Course is designed to help you earn money for helping other people to apply for their dream job! Click here to learn more. However, if resume writing is not your strength and you have a dream job to apply for, don't turn to a cookie-cutter resume builder or a google docs template. Hiring managers can spot these ones from a mile away because they are filled with generic position-description type information. Instead, send your resume to info@theperfectresume.com.au and one of our career coaches can review what you have and provide some feedback.

Resume Writing Services Tip #6: Increase Your Job Market Success by 40% with a Tailored Cover Letter

The best resume template is nice to have, but, without a cover letter (and selection criteria if required) – your job application will most likely lack the personal touch to keep it out of the 'No' pile. Writing a cover letter or selection criteria is often times the most underestimated and underutilised strategy in your job search to get you more interviews.

A powerful and personalised cover letter/selection criteria, referencing specific details from the new job advertisement and company website will give your application unstoppable momentum. To learn how to write powerful cover letters with selection criteria, check out the following blogs:

Lastly, as one of our valued readers, on behalf of the professional resume writer team at The Perfect Resume, we wish you all the best with your job search and ultimately hope you achieve a successful job interview! BUT remember, we are a team of career experts who are happy to help. Click here to book a FREE 15-minute consultation with one of our career coaches if you need a free resume review, career advice, career counselling, interview preparation, or just need to ask a question throughout the recruitment process.

Further resume resources from our career blog: