When coming to Australia from overseas, you should consider that Australia may not have the same recruitment culture as your country of birth. The first thing to do when looking for a job is to write an appropriate resume. Here are some dos and don'ts that will help you prepare a resume for the Australian market.
- Provide an Australian postal address and Australian mobile when possible.
- Add a career overview, including main qualifications and relevant experience.
- Add an employment history starting with the most recent position first and maybe highlight the relevant experience in bold.
- Give an indication of organisational context, industry, size of the company, challenges and achievements.
- Include challenges and drivers of the businesses you've worked in.
- List any education or training, including the name of the education provider and years attended. List your most important or relevant qualification first.
- Have an Australia-based local referee listed on your resume if possible. This referee could be someone you meet through networking, unpaid work experience and/or volunteering.
- If you are overseas, provide a personal or work reference (reference letter or testimonials work well too).
- Pay attention to the soft skills, such as the ability to listen and communicate well and work in a team environment.
- Use British English spelling, as used in the official Australian dictionary.
- Add a cover letter – this should be no more than one page and include the title of the job you are applying for, why you are interested in the job and employer, how your skills, qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job and make you a suitable candidate for the job (in a paragraph or two), and state that you are available for an interview or further discussion of the position and your application.
- If the job requires you to write key selection criteria, you can write your responses by using specific examples of your skills and work experience for each of the key selection criteria to demonstrate your suitability for the role.
- Don't include personal details such as age, marital status or religious beliefs.
- Don't worry about mentioning your gender, date of birth, and document details (like passport number or driver's license).
- Don't include a photo.
- Don't over complicate. Create a clear, concise and easy to read resume.
- Don't make it too long. Employers in Australia generally prefer resumes to be one to three pages long, depending on which job you are applying too. We recommend a one pager for hospitality and bar jobs, two pages for junior positions and three to four pages for senior roles.
- Don't create one resume and think it will work for every single job you apply. A resume should always be tailored to the specific job for which you're applying.
- Don't assume that people know everything. If all your previous experience is overseas, you should provide information about the company and industry and add a website for reference.
- Don't use old resumes. Your resume should be current and include the details of your most recent work experience.
Most of all, don't expect everything to work like home. Be flexible and willing to fit in with local ways of doing things. In the beginning, the job offers may not be at the same level or higher than you had overseas because of your lack of local knowledge and experience, so you may need to take a step back in order to advance later. However, if from day one you look for help and assistance from the experts in the industry and prepare yourself for when the opportunities come, you will have a much higher chance of finding your dream job much quicker.