Settlement Guide: How to write a resume

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Application tips from SBS Settlement Guide to help you get that job!

New migrants might find it difficult to understand the requirements of the Australian workplace. Many arrive in Australia already armed with a resume, but it may not be appropriate to local standards. From SBS Settlement Guide, here are some tips to get you started.

Having the right summary of your skills, abilities and accomplishments is an essential part of the job search.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Keep it short and to the point

Sometimes less is more! When writing your resume put the most relevant information first and always tailor it to the specific job you are applying for. Even after you've secured your job, it’s advisable to keep your resume up-to-date.

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List your achievements

It’s important to highlight and explain your accomplishments in your previous roles. It helps reflect your personal qualities instead of just standardized descriptions of your past jobs.

Use positive language

Never use negative references in your resume or refer to your previous employer in a negative manner. For example, "My manager was the most unfair person, so I had to leave."

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Learn to adapt your resume for the specific position

The "one size fits all approach" doesn’t work when it comes to resume writing. You can always use key words and phrases from the job advertisement which helps to get the attention of the employer.

Prepare a relevant cover letter

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A strong cover letter is an opportunity to show off your attention to detail. When applicable, try to find out the name and position of the person you should be addressing. Once you’ve completed your cover letter and application always check for grammatical errors and typos. It’s good to have a second pair of eyes, so ask a friend to go through it before you send it.

Free Resources to help you


The Australian Government 'Jobactive' website provides information and videos on how to get help with your resume and find a job.



You can also visit your Community Migrant Resource Centre in your state or territory, where they run Employment Ready Workshops assisting new arrivals to understand the requirements of the Australian workplace. These free workshops teach you interviewing skills, resume writing, strategies on how to effectively apply for jobs.


You can find free professional resume writing services online.

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There are also countless free templates of resume and cover letter available across the world wide web. Here are just a few sites to get you started:

- Education websites such as Open Colleges

- Recruitment Agencies such as Hudson and Kelly Services 

- Life tips sites such as

- Business and Finance titles such as Business Insider  

- Career sites such as Seek and CareerOne

More info from Jobactive on how to get help with your resume and finding a job, below: