The perfect Australian CV
A major Australian jobs site Adzuna analysed tens of thousands of job applications and published an example of the perfect CV. Here’s how it should look.
© ADZUNA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
You can download a Word format copy of this CV here.
Incomplete employment history
Unexplained periods of unemployment on your CV can be a red flag for a Recruiter.
Voluntary Employment Gaps
Voluntary employment gaps happen when you take time away from the workforce for the following reasons:
- You chose to take a break to travel or volunteer
- You decided to go back to school
- You stepped away from the workforce to raise children
Involuntary Employment Gaps
Involuntary employment gaps happen when you didn’t choose to take time off.
The reasons could be:
- You were fired
- You were laid off
- You had health issues or had to look after a family member with health issues
- You had to relocate
Whenever possible, you should explain a gap in employment. Do not apologise for your gaps, but try to phrase them in a positive way.
‘I couldn’t find a job’ could be re-phrased as ‘I decided to take time to re-focus my career pursue.’
‘I have had personal issues’ could be re-phrased as ‘ Due to a medical condition I was unable to continue in my previous position. However, I’ve now returned to full health and feel ready to re-enter the workforce.’
Misspelling words shows lack of attention to detail.
Employers might not be concerned about your spelling as such (typos can happen to anyone after all), but they might be concerned with the fact that you have overlooked an error.
What happens if they hire you and you constantly overlook errors? This could mean serious problems for the business.
Once you have finished writing your CV we recommend you not only run spellcheck but also use a more advanced tool like Grammarly.
Grammarly automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing. It’s easy to use and offers a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox that corrects critical writing errors.
You should format your CV to be easy on the eye. While it’s true that content matters the most, Recruiters initially only spend a few seconds assessing your CV so you want to ensure that it is organized neatly and logically, with no fancy colours, fonts, charts or graphs.
Rule of the thumb is your CV should not resemble an Art project. It’s also important to choose the right font for your CV. Here is a list of the most commonly used fonts according to resume and career experts.
- Bell MT
- Bodoni MT
- Bookman Old Style
Incorrectly formatted file names
The filename should tell the Recruiter what it is and who you are. This is especially important if a Recruiter needs to retrieve your CV from a large database (CRM) or Mail Inbox. The search is always done by name so if your CV has a file name 374628 it will not be found.
CVs that were too long or too short
CVs should be a maximum of two pages as Recruiters do not have time to read an essay. They want concise and to-the-point information.
Including too much information might also show that your communication skills are lacking.
Including personal information
Information such as age, gender, marital status, nationality, number of children, health status, or religion should not be included in your Australian CV. If you do include this information the Recruiter might become unconsciously biased.
Using an inappropriate Email address
Whether you like it or not, an email address represents your personal brand. Emails such as these: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com give away more than necessary.
For all your job search related correspondence choose an effective and professional Email address.
Ideally, your Email should include your first and last name, without numbers, underscores, year of birth, easy to remember and with no suggestive, silly, funny or flirtatious words.
Including a photograph
Again, if you decide to include a photo in your CV you might be discriminated against. You want Recruiters to concentrate on your achievements and skills and not your looks.
Including all education
Only recent and relevant to the job you are applying for qualifications should be included in your Australian CV.
Writing in 3rd person
Your personal statement should be written in the first person. Using 3rd person is old-fashioned and makes for uncomfortable reading. It also creates an impression as if someone else wrote the CV for you. It is not natural to write about ourselves as if we were another person.
Having said that, the first person should only be used in the personal statement part of your resume. Your responsibilities and achievements should be listed without the pronoun ‘I.’
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