As an international student, regardless of where you are in your job search journey, your resume (also known as CV) is considered your main selling document to any job. That being said, the arrangement for such a document differs significantly between countries.
Even if you have a few years of experience overseas, you might still find it challenging to land a job in Australia, unless you cover the resume basics according to the Australian job market.
Here are 3 common mistakes you DON’T want to do in your resume:
1. Adding personal information
Generally speaking, only your name or contact details (such as phone and email) are to be in your personal details section. Further, these should be clear and visible, ideally on top. LinkedIn profile links are also a good add-on.
However, there is often some personal information you don’t need there. Some examples of what to EXCLUDE are:
- Your date of birth
- Your religion / beliefs
- Your full street address
- Your family / marital status
Your personal photo is also part of this exclusion list unless it’s an industry standard, such as the case for some photography / media roles.
2. Emphasising personal qualities
“Effective”, “Ethical”, “Fast-learner”, “Hard-worker”, “Punctual”, “Reliable”, and “Responsible” are all examples of personal qualities that we have seen in resumes. While your resume is your main selling document and you should definitely sell yourself, overfilling it with such words without examples doesn’t add much value.
Think about it from the employers’ point of view, of course they’d expect you to have such qualities, but what’s in it for them? What’s the value you’re adding?
What are the key soft and technical skills that you bring to the role, which are more than personal attributes? Examples of such skills can be a specific software you used or some quantifiable achievements in your previous roles.
3. Writing a long resume
This would have to be the most common mistake we see in international students’ resumes.
Of course, you’d want to fill your resume to make it look professional and credible. That being said, having 4 or 5 pages for a graduate resume won’t work in your favour.
A lengthy resume will not only confuse the person reading it, but it would also make it harder for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to read for the key information, especially when the resume contains too many sub-headings.
If you have less than 5 years of experience, and your resume is more than 3 pages, you’ll have to cut back. while 2 or 3 pages is acceptable, in most cases you can summarise the relevant information in 1 page.
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