Your CV, or resume, is usually the first chance you’ll have to impress an employer so it’s great to spend time perfecting it. We’ve got tips on writing a CV to help you stand out from the crowd.

What to include in your CV

Your CV is like a snapshot of the jobs and responsibilities you’ve had. It can help to break your CV into sections to make it clear and easy to read. Think about structuring it with:

Profile - page 1
  • Introduction - Name, address, contact phone, contact email
  • Profile summary - Snapshot of you, your skills and interests
  • Qualifications – including courses, certificates and school qualifications you have
  • Clubs/hobbies
Working history – page 2 onwards
  • Places you’ve worked – including your job title
  • Company details
  • Dates you worked there – start and finish
  • Main responsibilities and accomplishments
References – last page
  • Names, positions and contact details of at least 3 referees
  • Written references if you have any

Cover letter

Your cover letter is where you can go into detail about the skills you have and why you’re the best person for the job. When you’re writing your letter, read back through the selection criteria and give examples of how you meet the requirements for the job. Our quick guide lets you double check you’ve included all the important information:

  • Introduce yourself
  • State which position you’re applying for
  • Give reasons why you want to work with the organisation
  • Give examples of where you have worked previously and your prior accomplishments
  • Address each selection criteria with examples of how you meet the requirements
  • Give additional examples of other skills you have
  • Provide personality traits (such as dependent, trustworthy etc.)
  • At the end, again state your interest for the position
  • Try to keep your cover letter concise with correct grammar and spelling. It’s common for advertisers to request cover letters be a maximum of one page, so just keep an eye out for any capped length.

    Selection Criteria

    What’s selection criteria?

    Selection criteria outlines the skills you should have to apply for a job. This includes things like ‘positive attitude’, ‘OP9’ etc. Read the selection criteria and apply for jobs where you think you match the skills that are needed.

    Responding to selection criteria

    An employer will ask you to address selection criteria in a cover letter, or to submit a different document which outlines your responses.

    An example for responding to selection criteria is below:
    Requirement:
    Year 12 OP4

    I graduated year 12 with an OP3. I completed the following subjects ….’

    To extend further, you could include any extra-curricular activities or certificates you received while at school:
    I graduated year 12 with an OP3. I completed the following subjects …’. ‘During my time at (school) I was awarded the year 11 award for best English student for our year group. I was also the captain of our senior debating team. I led the team to win in the regional championship and we came second in the state debating championship across Queensland.

    If you don’t have the right criteria, but still want to apply to show your skills you could say something like:
    I graduated year 12 with an OP5. I am very interested in learning on the job and starting my career in a company I am passionate about’.