How to write a CV / Resume

prepare a CV - how to write a cv

Writing a CV is something that at one point we are all going to have to do, so we’ll tell you how to write a CV as it can seem a little daunting at first. We’ve also included a CV template for you to look at. Remember, you are competing against other people for the same job, so you need to make sure your resume is up to scratch and hopefully stands out from all the others.

After going through some tips for writing your CV we’ll go through the basic structure of how to write a CV. (You can find information about how to write a cover letter here). To write a CV, or Resume as they are also known, can be a nerve-racking experience and many people can find it difficult expressing themselves in a positive light. People naturally find it tricky talking about themselves. The purpose of the below CV template is to make the process of writing a CV as painless as possible.

Below are some useful pointers in helping create your resume that will hopefully land you that job you are after.

CV Writing Tips

1. Make sure your Contact details are up to date

Seems obvious but your full name, telephone number and email are how they will know who you are and contact you if they want to get you in for an interview. Please make sure that you have a sensible email address! An email address like [email protected] is not very appropriate and will more than likely make your resume head straight into the bin.

2. Check your Spelling and grammar

A badly written and spelled resume will also usually head straight into a bin from a potential employer. It looks lazy that you haven’t proof read it and also gives the impression that you don’t really care, qualities not many employers (if any) look for. Always get somebody to proof read it just to iron out any mistakes you may have missed.

3. Keep it short

Different countries have different ways in which to write a good resume. Not many people are looking for your life story, nor do they really care. They just want you to be concise and to the point. It really shouldn’t be more than a page, unless it is for a job specific role, then in which case a cover letter should be included.

4. Be sure to sell yourself

Now as well as letting an employer know of your previous work experience and academic qualifications, you also need to sell yourself and make the employer interested in hiring you. Going OTT or lying is not a great idea because if you are called for an interview you will probably get caught out, but list a few of your strengths within a work environment. If you can, give examples of your skills in use in your previous jobs section.

5. Make sure you have good References

Make sure you have two references that you’ll be able to contact if your potential new employer requests them.

6. Check the Layout and format

Make sure your resume is nicely presented. A scruffy looking one will not be given the time of day. Also use an appropriate font – comic sans would not be taken seriously!

7. Do your research

Do a bit of research into the company you’re applying for a position with. And read the job advert carefully. This way you can make sure that the skills you include on your CV match the skills they’re looking for. Read more tips about preparing a CV for specific jobs.

How to Write a CV – the basic format

An example CV Template is shown below
Information to Include

1. Contact Details – At the top of your CV clearly state your name, email address and Australian phone number. Listing your address is optional, however if you live in a hostel I would not recommend putting it on as it may say to the employer that you may be unreliable, as they might think you’re only temporarily staying in the area.

2. Personal statement – The first section of your CV is called ‘Personal Statement’. The purpose of the ‘Personal Statement’ is to show off your personality, but more importantly, your key characteristics and traits that would benefit an employer. You only need to write four or five sentences. Try and make it relate to the job you are applying for. This is the first thing that gets read, if it doesn’t engage the potential employer then you will be overlooked. Lastly at the end just mention when you are available to commence work.

There are many debates about whether your education or work experience should proceed next. If you have graduated in the last two or three years you can put it first, same if your education is relevant to the job you are applying for.

3. Education – In this section, include any education experience from high school through to college, university, graduate school, etc. Remember, Australian schooling differs from schooling in your home country, therefore there is no need to include the subjects and grades unless you are in the top 10% of your class. When discussing higher education such as university, just include the area of study rather than individual units. That being said, you may need to provide a sentence or two explaining your schooling or degree.

The education section should be presented in the format: –  “Month, Year – Month, Year: School Name, City School is in, Country.”

4. Previous employment – When discussing your work experience remember to list each job in chronological order – the work you completed most recently should be at the top, and your very first job should be listed at the bottom.

The format is:- “Month/Year – Month/Year: Company Name, location, Job Role.”

Underneath you need to write a sentence explaining what the company is/does. You need to remember that unless it is an international company, not many Australian’s will know the business you worked for. Underneath this information, write a sentence then list your duties in the role in bullet points using action words such as managed, organised, maintained, etc.

5. Skills & Interests – At this point an employer has a good understanding of who you are, what relevant education you have and your previous work experience. Now what we want to do is give your CV a bit of personality. This is the area a lot of people fall down on. Socialising and hanging out with friends is not a hobby, nor is playing computer games! An employer is thinking would this applicant fit in with my staff and company culture; it’s your time to show yourself off by writing a ‘Skills and Interest’ Section. Talk about your hobbies, be quirky, stand out from the crowd and don’t forget to add any extra skills you have, whether that is you are a whizz on Photoshop, or if you know how to use CRM programs, MYOB or maybe you are a diving instructor.

6. References – Lastly we want to invite the employer to contact your references so they can find out more details on how amazing you are! Many of you may not have Australian references and with time differences it can be difficult to get in contact with referees. This is why we always write; ‘References available upon request.’ This will enable you to understand what process they are up to in the recruitment stage, but it also gives you time to contact your referees and ask them to send you a written reference in the company’s letter head. You do need to make sure that you can provide these references upon request.

Example CV Template

Name: Ariel Strong

Email Address: [email protected]

Phone Number: 04 **** ***

Address: 22 Park Crescent, Newtown, Sydney

Personal Statement

I am an independent, hard working and reliable individual from the UK. I’ve worked in the construction industry for the past 15 years and hope to continue my career in the trade in Australia. I will offer my fullest effort to your company and am available to start full time work immediately.


Sept. 2006 –July  2011: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

  • Degree in International Business and Modern Languages

July 2009 – June 2010: Universität Mannheim, Germany (Study Abroad)

August 2000 –June 2006: Holyrood Secondary School, Glasgow, UK

Previous Employment

Sept. 2011 – Nov. 2011: XXX Recruitment, Recruitment Consultant

XXX Recruitment is an IT consultancy company in London, England. My duties as recruitment consultant included:

  • Coordinating business development by resourcing clients and candidates.
  • Arranging interviews for candidates and preparing candidates for interviews.
  • Liaising between clients and candidates to ensure the recruitment process runs smoothly.
  • Closing deals and negotiating fees with clients.
  • Regularly exceeding set KPIs.
  • Advertising and marketing job vacancies.
  • Building up relationships in order to gain repeat business.


I love travelling and learning new languages, as I am fluent in German and proficient in Spanish. I also hold a full advanced TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. I’m proficient in IT skills such as all MS Office applications. I enjoy sport and radio, as I regularly hosted a student radio programme at university. I also hold a full, clean UK driving license.


Available upon request.

Ok, so we’ve told you how to write a cv, but make sure you prepare your CV for the specific job you’re applying for. Read more tips on preparing your CV for job hunting.

If you do manage to get a call back from a potential employer, do a bit of research on the company you are going to an interview with and make sure you read through the CV and cover letter you sent them. It shows that you are actually serious and interested and it will impress the interviewer if you can get into the conversation if asked what you know about the company. Read more handy tips for preparing for a job interview.

See your local Job Search representative or contact us for more information.