Jobs at UWA

Your resume

Further information

Your written application

The terms 'résumé' and 'curriculum vitae' (or CV) tend to be used interchangeably to mean a summary or brief account of your personal details, education, qualifications, skills and work experience.

In general a résumé tends to be briefer and less detailed than a curriculum vitae.

  1. What to include
  2. Additional information
  3. Making it easy for the selection panel
  4. Suggested layout

What to include

Résumés vary greatly in the way they are presented and the information they include, depending on such factors as personal preference and the amount of experience from which you have to draw.

The following information may help you to decide what to include in your résumé and what to leave out.

Information selection panels normally expect to see:

  • Personal details:
    • Full name
    • home address
    • telephone numbers - usually home and work
    • email address
    • eligibility to work in Australia (for example. if not an Australian citizen)
  • Educational background:
    • qualifications achieved (such as Year 10/12, certificate, degree, diploma)
    • for qualifications gained overseas, give the equivalent Australian qualification if it is unclear
    • dates of qualifications
    • name of school, college or university and location (name of city; name of country - if outside Australia)
  • This information can be ordered in a number of ways, depending on such factors as personal preference, the number of qualifications you have, which qualifications you most want to emphasize and which are most relevant to the job:
    • most recent first (this is the most common form)
    • highest or most relevant qualification first
    • separated into secondary and post-secondary.
  • Employment history:
    • name of organisation/department
    • position title
    • dates of employment
    • summary of key duties and responsibilities
    • summary of key achievements (for example, new initiatives, time/money saved, processes improved)
  • This information can be also be ordered in a number of ways, depending on such factors as personal preference, the number of jobs you have had, which jobs you most want to emphasize and which are most relevant:
    • most recent first (this tends to be the preferred option)
    • chronological order
    • separated into different types of employment (e.g. secretarial and administrative, technical; or relevant employment, other positions held).
  • The further back your employment history goes, the less detail you need to give. For employment going back beyond about 10 years you don't need to list all the duties performed for each job, and if you've done a number of similar jobs, you could consider summarising them as a single type of job. For example:
    1982 - 1986 Held a number of temporary secretarial positions, both in government and private industry.
    Organisations included ..... . Main areas of responsibility were:
  • Referees:
    • names and day-time contact details of at least two work-related referees, preferably recent.

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Additional information

  • if your qualifications were gained overseas, it is helpful to show what the equivalent Australian qualifications are if this is unclear
  • training courses attended
  • breaks or gaps in employment, such as for travel, child-rearing/home duties
  • volunteer work or work experience
  • summary of skills not covered by the selection criteria
  • summary of equipment, and computer software packages used
  • membership of professional associations 

Items that are optional

  • Personal details
    • date of birth
    • marital status
    • number of dependents (if applicable)
    • nationality
    • health
    • driver's licence
  • Hobbies, interests, languages spoken
  • Career objective
    • a brief statement which summarises where you want to go in your career and the kind of work you want to do
    • normally appears at the start of your résumé
    • needs to be closely tailored to the advertised position

    Example: To provide a wide range of information services to readers, and to use my skills in purchasing, indexing and maintaining an extensive collection of library resources.

  • Career profile
    • a brief statement summarising who you are and your key career achievements to date
    • normally appears at the start of your résumé
    • needs to be succinct, relevant and interesting

    Example: Well-qualified and experienced administrative officer with background in human resources and specialist skills in recruitment and industrial relations. Enjoys challenge, variety and responsibility.

To help you decide whether to include such details, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the information relevant to the job for which I'm applying?
  2. Is it necessary to include it? (such as health: no-one is likely to admit to being unhealthy in their résumé!)
  3. Will it help the selection panel to get a more complete picture of my skills and abilities? (for example, that you've held responsible positions in sporting clubs)
  4. Could the information bias the selection panel in any way?

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Making it easy for the selection panel

It is said that employers on average spend only about two minutes reading an applicant's résumé. This means that your résumé must look good and attract the reader's attention, and all relevant details must be clear, easy to read and easy to find.


To make it easy for the selection panel, consider the following:

  • Keep the résumé brief, preferably between two and four pages long.
  • Give lots of relevant information but be brief and selective.
  • Put the information in a logical order so that it is easy to find the relevant details.
  • Be consistent in the way you present the information: in terms of headings, order of information, use of words, layout, etc.
  • Use bullet point form rather than long paragraphs; items in point form are generally quicker and easier to read.
  • Make the résumé look professional by effective use of spacing, bold, uppercase, font sizes, underlining.

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Suggested layout

Refer to the examples of a pro-forma résumé, highlighting the types of information that could be included, and the way in which that information could be laid out:

Resume examples [RTF, 16.2 KB]
Updated 17 Jan 2013

The way you lay out your résumé in terms of order and appearance is up to you, and there are a number of different formats you can use.

A lot depends on personal preference and on what aspects of your qualifications or experience you want to emphasise most strongly. Whatever style you choose, make sure that the items most relevant to the vacancy are covered and are easy to find.

Bear in mind that the selection panel may have different preferences to you.

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