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How to Write a Good CV for a Job in Australia—With Examples

How to Write a Good CV for a Job in Australia—With Examples

By finding this article, you’ve struck gold. Mine it for all it’s worth and learn how to write a CV that turns every prospect into a roaring success!

Did you know employers don’t want to know what you did at your previous jobs?

 

They really don’t.

 

That’s the issue with most CVs I saw get flushed down the drain. 

 

What if I told you that you’d no longer have to fear being rejected? What if you’ll no longer be writing about responsibilities?

 

Ace!

 

You’re about to learn how to write a CV and fill it with achievements to the brim.

 

Grab your speedos and read the article to get:

 

  • CV template better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • Step-by-step handbook on how to write a CV in Australia, with examples.
  • CV writing tips on how to write a CV with no experience.
  • Know-how to write a CV good enough to get any job you want.

 

Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV maker. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.

 

Create your CV now

 

cv example
cv example

Sample CV made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.

 

Skip to a particular chapter:

 

  1. Get the CV Writing Formats Right
  2. Create a Professional Header
  3. Start With a Personal Statement
  4. Write About Your Work Experience
  5. Include Your Education
  6. List Your Skills
  7. Add Other CV Sections
  8. Name Your References
  9. Send a CV and Cover Letter

 

CV Writing Template

 

Amy Holyman

Phone: (03) 5307 1228

Email: amy.holyman@email.com

 

Personal Statement

 

Organised leader and IT project manager with 2 years of experience. As a junior at ITaurus collaborated on a project to be rewarded with the 2020 award for Top UX.UI Design. Owned and met 100% deadlines. Seeking to explore and deliver excellence to the scope of IT project management at Burning Agency. 

 

Employment History

 

Junior IT Project Manager

ITaurus, Melbourne

December 2019–July 2021

Responsibilities and Achievements:

  • Collaborated on a project that received the 2020 award for Top UX/UI Design for iOS 15.1.
  • Liaised between the project team and client to ensure targeting KPIs and meeting SLAs. Praised by the client for meticulous approach and troubleshooting.
  • Owned the project documentation and schedule to mitigate any risks of missing a deadline by 100% and reduce or escalate obstacles for the front and back end teams.
  • Assigned the scope of work to the project team, including full-stack developers and software engineers.
  • Onboarded 2 data scientists to the project team to accelerate pulling data and creating meaningful visualisations for the client by 36%.

 

Software Development Internship

ITaurus, Melbourne

October 2018–March 2019

Responsibilities and Achievements:

  • Designed and developed a new API under the supervision of senior software engineers. Commended by the management team for increased flexibility.
  • Grew skills in coding with Python through coaching from peers.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Software Engineering

RMIT University 

2015–2019

  • Graduated with High Distinction
  • Excelled at User-centred Design and iPhone Software Engineering
  • Student president for 4 semesters

 

Volunteer Placement

 

Project Manager Volunteer

StudiOS, Melbourne

November 2016–February 2019

Placement as an award granted by the RMIT University for performance in 2016/2017

  • Prioritised and triaged clients’ requests for in-house software developers.
  • Built knowledge around Root Cause Analysis, Design Thinking, and Agile methodologies.
  • Created a new client’s brief template to reduce the ambiguity and increase client satisfaction at first deployment by 16%.

 

Personal Attributes and Key Skills

 

  • Project management. Pragmatic approach to entire project lifecycle from ideation to deployment and lessons learned.
  • Agile methodologies. Practical application of Scrum methodology to project management.
  • Leadership. Responsibility for the team decision-making and removing impediments.
  • MS Office Suite. Proficiency at MSO software applied to everyday activities.
  • Data analysis. Correct absorption and translation of data.
  • Communication. Active listening and responsiveness to my team’s needs accordingly.

 

Programming Skills

 

  • SD Life Cycle, Java, Python, R, HTML, Cloud technologies, Microservices architecture

 

Languages

 

  • French—Native Bilingual
  • German—Intermediate

 

 

Now—

 

You must be thinking about whether a CV is the same thing as a resume.

 

It is indeed. 

 

Employers use the terms interchangeably in Australia, with the majority leaning towards “resume.” But, since you’re here, some are still using the word CV to bamboozle you unintentionally.

 

No worries, though.

 

Find out how to write a CV for a job application, and she’ll be right:

 

1. Get the CV Writing Formats Right

 

First things first.

 

Checkmate the Applicant Tracking Software with flawless formatting. With only a few moves, you’ll be able to get into the next round.

 

How so?

 

Well, recruiters don’t see your CV until the ATS gives it the green light. Literally. It’s because recruiters and hiring managers have to see hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. And to make the process efficient, they use CV parsers to help them out.

 

See what to do to make your CV look good and pass the ATS test:

 

  • Font: Pick a legible CV font, such as Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana. They’re sans-serif fonts and are easy to read.
  • Font size: Make it 10–12 points. You can go higher by 2 points in the section heading and your name in the header.
  • Spacing: Create a balance between whitespace and contents with line spacing, 1–1.15, and margins, 1” (2.5 cm).
  • Alignment: Justification can scatter letters all over the place–left-align all text.
  • Length: Go for 2–4 pages, or 1–2 if you’re a student or inexperienced.
  • Consistency: Keep the same formatting in your entire job application, including CV and cover letter.
  • Bullet points: Break up blocks of textwith bulleted lists for a clear read.

 

Now it’s time to pick a chessboard. White and brown or white and green?

 

I say chronological.

 

It’s the most common CV format, and both ATS and recruiters know it inside out. Which means you’re more likely to pass the test.

 

Oh, and did you know that it takes only 6 to 7 seconds, tops?

 

Crikey.

 

The chronological format is all about the structure of things. You’d better know how to make it right!

 

See how to order your pawns and knights when writing a chronological CV:

 

  1. Header with your name and contact information
  2. Personal statement (summary or objective)
  3. Work history
  4. Education
  5. Personal attributes and Key Skills
  6. Additional sections, e.g., volunteering, certifications, or awards.
  7. References

 

Ace!

 

Let’s now give each a burl.

Read more: What is a CV in Australia?

 

 

No contact details on your CV? You’ve got Buckley’s chance to get the gig.

 

Give the recruiter a good CV example with just the right header. Don’t make them look for a number to phone you.

 

Oh, sorry.

 

They won’t even bother to look elsewhere.

 

Here are examples of professional CV headings:

 

How to Write a CV Examples—Heading

RIGHT

Amy Holyman

Phone: (03) 5307 1228

Email: amy.holyman@email.com

RIGHT

Alex Thorby

56 Auricht Road MOUNT LIGHT SA 5271

(08) 8728 2495

alexthorby@email.com

Beaut!

 

The above are the simplest examples of a header. 

 

You can achieve such an effect by following the below dos and don’ts:

 

  • DO write your full name and single it out from the rest by 2-point larger font size.
  • DO treat the address as an option, not required information.
  • DO include your professional email address.
  • DON’T include your DOB, age, marital status, or religious beliefs.
  • DON’T attach your photo.
  • DON’T make a mistake or typo in your contact details.

 

3. Start With a Personal Statement

 

Koalas.

 

They do have great PR agents, don’t they. People all over the world take them as the cutest bears there are. 

 

To the bears’ (and people’s) surprise…

 

That’s exactly the level of craftsmanship you’ve got to show in your personal statement. It’s the first thing employers read on your CV, so it needs to be gooood

 

But a dinkum oil too!

 

If you’re writing a CV without work experience, you can talk about your aspirations, skillset, and your personality traits that you can transfer to get closer to your and your employer’s goals. So what you’re writing is actually called a career objective

 

It’s also applicable if you’re changing careers. You indeed have a work history, but it’s not transferable if it’s a different industry. The only transferable thing, in that case, are your skills.

 

On the other hand, if you have years of relevant experience, you’re more likely to write a career summary. It’s a 3 to 4-sentence paragraph where you describe your past professional achievements and how they translate to the needs of a potential employer.

 

Let’s see how to write either of them.

 

How to Write a Personal Statement for a CV

 

Use this CV summary template:

 

[Adjective(s)/strong character trait(s)][your job title][your experience]. Eager to support/help/assist/etc. [company name][what you want to help the employer achieve and how you want to do it]. [your key achievement(s)].

 

Yes, you can use this template, but I know you. 

 

You won’t remember which folder you saved it in next time you apply for a job, so have a go at remembering only a few rules:

 

  • Write about achievements—responsibilities interest nobody.
  • Use strong adjectives (substantial) and action verbs (supervised, secured).
  • Mention relevant accreditations or certification acronyms (PMP, CA).
  • Quantify your achievements ($2M, over 15, 20+, 13%).
  • Speak in the 3rd person singular (“Project manager with 2 years of experience, confident in risk management. Seeking…”).
  • Tailor the statement to each job you apply for. Write the company name, the job title, and use keywords from the job description.

 

It isn’t so tricky, is it?

 

Let’s give it a fair go.

 

How to Write a Summary for a CV—Example

RIGHT

Organised leader and IT project manager with 2 years of experience. As an intern and junior at ITaurus collaborated on a project to be rewarded with the 2020 award for Top UX.UI Design. Owned and met 100% deadlines. Seeking to explore and deliver excellence to the scope of IT project management at Burning Agency. 

WRONG

IT project manager with a couple of years of experience. Hope to join Burning Agency. I’m a challenge seeker who delivers 100% of their scope no matter the cost.

See? 

 

That came good, eh!

 

Apart from the daring example number two. 

 

Someone just risked their career to write the most boring although cheeky piece of a summary of their past jobs I’ve ever seen. That’s just rooted. 

 

Let’s shake it off, and move on to inexperienced candidates. I also have a template for you.

 

Find a CV objective template below:

 

[Your strong trait(s)][position to which you’re applying for]. Seeking to support/gain/etc. [your offer][company name]. [2-3 skills].

 

The most important thing to remember is to tailor it again to the job description. You want to display characteristics your employer is looking for in a candidate. You can find all of them in the job ad.

 

See a real-life example of a CV objective:

 

How to Write a CV Objective—Example

RIGHT

RMIT graduate ready to take on the responsibility of an IT project manager at Burning Agency. Agile-savvy. Software development intern and project manager volunteer continuously growing skills in the IT field, Python and Java programming, among others.

Right. 

 

Tailored? Check. Clear objective? Check. Strong adjectives and verbs? Check, check, check!

 

Well done you.

WRONG

I’m a recent RMIT graduate with a software engineering degree, seeking a job at your agency. No real experience yet, but excited to get some.

Never (with a capital N) write about things you don’t have. 

 

Instead, focus on what you do have and tell the recruiter what you want to accomplish together. Align it with the company’s objectives, and she’ll be apples!

Pro Tip: Write this CV part last. You’ll have a better chance to pick the most significant achievement you’ve made on your career path with employment and education sections completed.

4. Write About Your Work Experience

 

In a chronological CV format, work experience is most prominent. The whole CV template structure is built around this section to make it the centrepiece of your application.

 

So what does it mean, then?

 

Reckon!

 

It needs to stand second to none. 

 

Not literally, though. It’s placed right below the personal statement on your CV, making a very smooth transition from your elevator pitch to evidence.

 

Smart, huh?

 

To make sure you use the words your employer wants you to, reread the job description and mark all the keywords about qualifications, responsibilities, skills, and qualities—but don’t underestimate the power of nice-to-haves. 

 

They are there for a reason, so consider using the keywords from this section in your application, too. You can make up for lacking in the must-have departments if you use them!

 

Once you’re ready, let’s get down to writing!

 

CV Writing—Work History Examples

RIGHT

Junior IT Project Manager

ITaurus, Melbourne

December 2019–July 2021

Responsibilities and Achievements:

  • Collaborated on a project that received the 2020 award for Top UX/UI Design for iOS 15.1.
  • Liaised between the project team and client to ensure targeting KPIs and meeting SLAs. Praised by the client for meticulous approach and troubleshooting.
  • Owned the project documentation and schedule to mitigate any risks of missing a deadline by 100% and reduce or escalate obstacles for the front and back end teams.
  • Assigned the scope of work to the project team, including full-stack developers and software engineers.
  • Onboarded 2 data scientists to the project team to accelerate pulling data and creating meaningful visualisations for the client by 36%.
WRONG

ITaurus

2019–2021

Responsibilities and Achievements:

  • Made sure KPIs and SLAs were met.
  • Responsible for the project documentation and task scheduling.
  • Onboarded 2 data scientists to the project team.
  • Delegated tasks to my developers.

Get out!

 

Writing the experience section isn’t a piece of cake, but you made it with a cuppa and tastes bloody delicious!

 

How did you do it?

 

  • Job details—always write your title first and then move on to the company, location, and dates of employment. Stick to the same date format throughout the application.
  • Achievements over responsibilities—a bullet list of accomplishment statements including your highlights from the time in the role. 5-6 are enough.
  • Quantifiers—they’re the best way to prove your impact on the job. 
  • Skillset—you’re right to say it’s not a skills section, but why not use it for exactly that? Let the recruiter see your whole personality and abilities in every part of the application. Let them read between the lines and confirm the skills you claim to have.
  • Too far is too much—go back only 10–15 years back with your employment history entries. Anything before that should stay history.

 

5. Include Your Education

 

Writing a great CV means not leaving out important details.

 

One of them is your education. Even more so if you’re writing a student CV, in that case, you should use all that this section can give you. Don’t let anybody intimidate you with your lacking or underperforming employment history.

 

There are two rules to writing an education section in a CV:

 

  1. If you have several years of relevant employment experience, write only the basic information, such as degree, name of the university and its location, plus attendance dates.
  2. If you’re a student or have only a little work experience, add more juice to the highest degree you’ve earned. Add your academic achievements. You can include:

 

  • honours
  • extracurricular activities
  • relevant coursework
  • awards

 

Now let’s check it out in practice:

 

How to Write a Professional CV—Education Example

RIGHT

Bachelor of Software Engineering

RMIT University 

2015–2019

  • Graduated with High Distinction
  • Excelled at User-centred Design and iPhone Software Engineering
  • Student president for 4 semesters
WRONG

BSE, RMIT

2019

Gee… 

 

What does it mean! Bush Saltie Ekka?

 

Always write your full degree—don’t expect the recruiter to guess what you mean. They aren’t game.

Pro Tip: If you’re writing a CV without work experience, move the education section ahead of the work history, right below the career objective. That way, you’ll let the recruiters focus on what’s important, which is your educational background and employability skills, instead of little experience.

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.

6. List Your Skills

 

Imagine you want to show off in front of your friends who get to hang out with your crush, and you fail miserably.

 

That heart-twisting pain in your chest and flash red face.

 

Priceless.

 

As long as they aren’t the ones that give you a job, you’re safe. You still have a chance to redeem yourself.

 

But if you lie to the hiring managers, you’re ruined.

 

They’re professional lie detectors, making Ms Fisher a nobody.

 

So whenever you’re writing a skills section, be truthful. Pick the keywords from the job ad, but never add too many because you want to get the interview.

 

Here’s a list of sample CV writing skills:

 

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Interpersonal
  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Prioritising
  • Time management
  • Technical
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making

 

The skills above are soft skills—they refer to your personal abilities. To speak about your professional skills, you’d instead mix these with hard skills that give hints about your proficiency and performance, such as CSS or Java for software developers or general ledger and journal for accountants.

 

You can, but don’t have to, create a separate section for each.

 

See how it’s done:

 

CV Writing Skills—Example

RIGHT

Personal Attributes and Key Skills

 

  • Project management. Pragmatic approach to entire project lifecycle from ideation to deployment and lessons learned.
  • Agile methodologies. Practical application of Scrum methodology to project management.
  • Leadership. Responsibility for the team decision-making and removing impediments.
  • MS Office Suite. Proficiency at MSO software applied to everyday activities.
  • Data analysis. Correct absorption and translation of data.
  • Communication. Active listening and responsiveness to my team’s needs accordingly.

 

Programming Skills

 

  • SD Life Cycle, Java, Python, R, HTML, Cloud technologies, Microservices architecture

7. Add Other CV Sections

 

What type of people do you find most interesting?

 

Those who prefer to talk about what they saw on the Crocodile Hunter the other day, or who were actually there experiencing it all?

 

So do I! 

 

People who do more than necessary are the ones that recruiters look at. Their additional interests and engagement outside work-life make their entire application worthwhile. The reason is they’re more likely to walk an extra mile at work, too. 

 

And bring more benefit to the employer, of course.

 

To show off your additional skills and capabilities, consider writing about these CV sections:

 

  • Volunteering is a spectacular way to prove you care about helping others and know what teamwork means. 
  • Internships are nothing else but a reason why your application is better than 9 out of 10 others, mainly if you write a CV as a student, and you took them to apply theory into practice.
  • Projects at a job or school, it doesn’t matter. They deserve an extra section if you can use them to display an additional set of relevant skills.
  • Online portfolios or publications do a world of good to creatives. But! They’re also a great tool for senior and executive roles to demonstrate your impact on the business.
  • Certificates and licenses are worthy of an additional section simply because you have tangible evidence of your qualifications.
  • Awards are always a good idea. Don’t be shy or afraid to take pride in your small or big wins.
  • Foreign languages is another way of saying you have excellent communication skills.
  • Hobbies and interests, particularly when relevant to the job, can make your application stand out. They work like magnets between you and the recruiter. Plus, what a great way to develop your skills outside of work.

 

Having said that, see how you can apply some of these to your CV:

 

Writing a CV for Australia—Additional Sections Example

RIGHT

Languages

 

  • French—Native Bilingual
  • German—Intermediate

 

Awards

 

  • The 2020 award for Top UX/UI Design for iOS 15.1.

 

Internship

 

Software Developer

ITaurus, Melbourne

October 2018–March 2019

Responsibilities and Achievements:

  • Designed and developed a new API under the supervision of senior software engineers. Commended by the management team for increased flexibility.
  • Grew skills in coding with Python through coaching from peers.

 

Volunteer Placement

 

Project Manager Volunteer

StudiOS, Melbourne

November 2016–February 2019

Placement as an award granted by the RMIT University for performance in 2016/2017

  • Prioritised and triaged clients’ requests for in-house software developers.
  • Built knowledge around Root Cause Analysis, Design Thinking, and Agile methodologies.
  • Created a new client’s brief template to reduce the ambiguity and increase client satisfaction at first deployment by 16%.

8. Name Your References

 

Don’t be surprised if you’ll have to name two persons who can vouch for your integrity and work ethic.

 

Employers need that to make sure they’re letting in a trustworthy and sensible person.

 

So think twice before choosing your ex or a boss you didn’t get along with. 

 

This is the part where you yield the power, so pick an employer, manager, or a higher-situated colleague from your most recent position, plus someone outside your closest friends and family circle.

 

See how to write a CV with the references section:

 

CV Writing Tips—References Section Example

 

RIGHT

                               

Elijah BalmainLiam Bochsa
Direct ManagerManager
ITaurusStudiOS
Phone: (07) 4996 1955Phone: (07) 4056 5309
Email: elijahbalmain@email.comEmail: liam_bochsa@email.com

 

List the names and addresses only if the people agree to it. If they do not, write “References available upon request.” The recruiters know what it means and how to proceed. So don’t you worry.

 

9. Send a CV and Cover Letter

 

Well—

 

Although you may mistakenly think they went to bygones with Lind Hunt, writing letters is still a thing.

 

With a rising number of companies in the labour market, the number of applicants grew alongside. 

 

To be a Hemsworth, you need to write a cover letter to send with your CV. It’s the thing that’ll make your application perform a Thor landing on Marvel’s desk.

 

Here’s how to write a cover letter for a CV:

 

How to Write a CV—Cover Letter

 

  1. Use the same design and formatting as in your CV. Just add double spaces between the paragraphs.
  2. Include the date of writing.
  3. Address the hiring manager with their full name, company address, and contact details.
  4. Open with a salutation and a gripping first paragraph to make the reader impatiently read on.
  5. Talk about your relevant skillset and experience to convince the employer you’ve got what it takes to nail it.
  6. Reinforce your fit by referring to the company’s values or solving one of their problems.
  7. Motivate your reader to schedule an interview with a call to action.
  8. Place a signature with your full name underneath. If you can, add a digital signature, too.

 

Last thing—

 

If you think you’ve got to stick to the professional side of things, you’re wrong. That’s reserved for the CV. Try to get a grip in the cover letter, but emotions ultimately make you human. They highlight your character, which employers want to see in the cover letters.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Let’s recap what you’ve learned today:

 

  • A CV is the same thing as a resume in Australia.
  • Start with CV formatting to win against the ATS.
  • Divide your CV into separate sections for recruiters to quickly look through it.
  • Formulate your sentences as accomplishment sentences with power verbs and strong adjectives.
  • Include additional CV sections to have more room for your application to stand out.
  • Attach a cover letter to your CV.

 

And that’s it.

 

Done deal!

 

But before you call it a day—

 

Please tell us:

 

Do you have questions about how to write a CV? Are you now sure about the difference between a CV and a resume? What do you think of writing a CV and corresponding cover letter?

 

Give us a shout in the comments! Let’s get the conversation rolling.

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Katarzyna Furman
Katarzyna is an empathetic career expert dedicated to encouraging growth in job hunters through building perfect resumes, CVs, and cover letters. At Zety, she gives her advice to make you realize you have a successful track record that only needs to see the daylight.

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