As with any job search anywhere in the world, the vital thing is to write your CV in the style and format of the market you are applying to – not the market you’ve come from. Here are five things you need to watch out for:
1. Don’t forget your contact details
Name, phone number, postal and email address. You would be amazed how often these details are overlooked.
2. Keep it concise and to the point
Ask yourself – what do I do for a living? If you’re an engineer, for example, that should be the first thing on your CV. Aussies are a straightforward bunch and they like to know what you do and if you will be a good fit for the job they are advertising. A great way to construct your CV is to look at the advertisement and address some of its requirements up front. If they are looking for someone with a qualification and 5+ years experience, make sure your length of experience and qualification are on the first page of your CV and not buried further on.
3. Watch the length – about four pages is the norm
The broadly accepted UK standard is two pages, no more, while a typical South African CV can be anything up to 30 pages long and include a wealth of detailed information. The general rule down under is somewhere in between. Generally, we would not expect to see more than four pages, but as long as you are including concise and relevant information, it does not matter how long it is (within reason).
4. Keep it simple
Try and remember that while a flashing yellow border might be right up your alley, it may not be the personal preference of those reading your CV. Steer clear of fancy fonts and pictures (unless it is relevant to your application – all you aspiring models out there!).
5. Check the spelling and have a friend proofread it
Check, double check and then get someone else to check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. It can be very off-putting to read a CV with easily fixable spelling mistakes. Microsoft Word automatically picks up on spelling errors, which stand out like a beacon. Keeping your CV objective and relevant can be quite tricky. If you have someone able to give you honest, constructive feedback, use them. It is better to hear from a friend that something is not relevant or does not make sense than from a potential hiring manager.