× Search
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

CV Advice

CV/Resume Advice

Unless you have regularly swapped roles it won't come as a surprise that your CV might need a little work. Remember a CV is not about documenting every awesome thing you have ever achieved in your career, its ONLY job is to get you an interview. While there is mixed advice out there about the structure and format of a "good" CV the advice below is based upon our own experience within the Australian government, Defence and National Security sectors.

General Advice

Firstly a few golden rules:

  • Its ONLY job is to get you an interview
  • It should be clearly formatted and short enough for your future employer to scan quickly
  • If possible tailored to the role you're applying for
  • No more than 3 pages long, or you accept items on page 4 might not be read
  • Never include a picture of yourself 

How to Structure Your CV

 Some of the sections below are optional and should be removed if not applicable.

1. Overview

This section is about you. The opening sentence should read very closely to the job you are applying for. i.e. John is a skilled analyst. Then talk about your diverse working experience, how you like a challenge, how you have good problem-solving skills and are a team player

2. Employment Chronology

Placing a brief chronologically ordered list of roles at the top of your resume assists the hiring manager in seeing the alignment of your experience and their role. Eg, they need a project manager and then see your resume that lists roles such as project administration, project support officer, project officer, junior project manager, project manager. Keep in mind that these are roles that you have had not necessarily your actual job title at the time. An example for an ex-ADF member, you may have been a telecommunications technician and then been asked to be the project manager of a suitably sized project. If you are applying for a project support officer role then this section is the right place to highlight that experience.

3. Security Clearance

List your security clearance (Baseline, NV1, NV2, TSPV) and OSA information here. If you are a security cleared individual remember to only send your resume to trusted parties as foreign intelligence services do source actionable information from poorly handled career profiles.   

4. Business Skills

A list of your non-technical skills which will enable you to be an asset on some ones team

5. Qualifications and Education

Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates and type of qualification.

A common strategy is to separate the section into Education and Certifications

While we can have a good old fashioned chat about the usefulness of formal education and certifications the key here is they help you get an interview and job interviews. If you have the time and want to decrease your job hunting efforts we would recommend exploring your education/certification options.

6. Employment Experiance

This section should include all of your relevant work experience, listed with the most recent first. Include your job title, the name of the organisation, time in post, and your key responsibilities.

It is ok to have gaps in your experience CV, the interview provides an opportunity for you to discuss these gaps if asked by the interview panel.

7. Other Relevent Experiance

Optional: In some resumes they call this section Hobbies and Interests. It should only be used to call out skills and experience you have which highlight your suitability for a role which haven't been stated in other sections. If your hobbies and interests don't support the role you are applying for leave this out in order to keep your resume short.

8. Honours and Awards

As the title implies, a simple list of your honours and awards.

Final Thoughts

As stated, a few times remember that your CV/Resume is focused on getting you an interview. As such it should be targeted towards highlighting why you’re the right person for the job.

Do this by outlining:

  • The specific skills you have to offer the employer
  • Relevant accomplishments and achievements
  • The work and educational experience you have in their field
  • Personal qualities that will make you right for the role
  • An understanding of the job requirements

Once you have finished your resume ask yourself "Would I want to spend my time interviewing the person described for the job". 

If you respond with a resounding yes, then give it to someone who knows the job and ask them the same question.

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2022 by Allectum Pty Ltd - ABN: 75 638 314 128
Back To Top