Why Migrants from Malaysia need to dramatically change their CV to get a job in Australia…

Malaysian CV’s

Generally Malaysian CV’s or resume’s are not what employers expect in Australia. They do not even come close to the type of information expected. This is a real problem for migrants from Malaysia new to Australia. Using a Malaysian style CV or resume will yield little or no result no matter how good your experience may be. This is possibly the biggest stumbling block to landing a job in Australia.

What is included in a Malaysian CV that is not expected in an Australian CV?

Personal Details

Typically a Malaysian CV includes information such as age, nationality, marital status, date of birth and gender. In Australia laws relating to equality mean that this information should not be provided on your CV.


A photograph usually a headshot should not be included. It is not common to see photographs on a CV unless the applicant works in an industry where it is required such as modeling or acting.

The difference between an Australia CV and an Australian Resume

In Australia the terms CV and resume are use interchangeably – although resume is now more common. We recommend you use the term that is stated in the Australian job advertisement.

A well written and properly presented Australian CV can be your ticket to finding an Australian job. Like other countries the Australian CV is a marketing tool to enable you to get that first step in the door. It is extremely important to present your skills in a way that locals do.


We specialise in custom resumes for Malaysian Migrants to Australia


What is the difference between Australian and Malaysian CV’s?

Firstly and most importantly the now globally popular two-page resume is still not common in Australia.  Although length of an Australian CV depends on your individual experience, generally speaking Australian employers prefer resumes to be three to four pages long and up to six pages for senior roles.

In order to present yourself the Australian way we recommend you Australianise your Resume-CV. Firstly Australian CV’s are expected to be long and detailed. If responsibilities, achievements and duties are not written clearly and backed up with supporting evidence it is assumed you do not have this experience at all. Outcome focused CV’s are the way to get shortlisted.

Key Points to Ensure You Get Your Australian Resume right

Ensure you tailor EVERY application to suit the job for which you are applying. If you are going to stand out from the crowd as a new migrant you have to make sure that your application is outstanding. Sending out generic resumes for Australian job applications will not answer the specific needs of employers. Spend as much time as possible ensuring you match the job requirements.

Use British English ONLY in your Australian Resume (there is an official Australian Dictionary – the Macquarie Dictionary) unfortunately American English is really disliked in Australian CV-Resumes.

Use plain clear language and avoid long wordy sentences. Remove any slang/jargon that may be specific to your country.

Referees: Written references are no longer in use. You should list 2-3 referees at the end of your Australian CV. Include their details along with International Dialling Code and email addresses. Use a generic email address even if you have not arrived in Australia yet, example mtan@gmail.com.


Just got your PR for Australia?Get expert coaching…to help you land the job you deserve in Australia.


Secrets to getting your Australian CV right

  • Reframe your professional experience so that it can be understood in an Australian context.
  • Make reference points to Australia where possible, for example that your qualifications have been assessed as an equivalent to an Australian degree.
  • If you do not have work experience in Australia then there is no advantage having worked for the number one company in Malaysia that Australian employers have never heard about.

{TIP} In your Australian CV include links to the company website and a profile of the company.

  • The Australian CV or Australian resume is the most important part of finding a job in Australia. Make sure you get that Australian CV and Cover Letter right – its critical to getting shortlisted.

{TIP} Although Australian’s are informal in general when it comes to Australian job applications assume absolute formality. Generally the opening address of an email will begin with “Dear Employer” (although the first persons name will be used) and end the email with “Best Regards”


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Owen moved to Australia from Ireland


Owen has always been, and always will be, a free spirit. His sense
of adventure has been a true blessing in his life, and his curious
nature has been the springboard for many wonderful experiences while
travelling the world.

It was his desire to explore that eventually led him to the most
exciting discovery of all: the love of his life, his wife Janette.
Owen grabs opportunities with both hands and never looks back.
He trusts his intuition and lets it determine his logic. His knack
for ‘knowing things will work out’ has seen him overcome many

Continue reading Owen moved to Australia from Ireland

Brazilian Migrant to Australia…Alexandre’s journey to Adelaide

Brazilian Migrant to Australia

Migrant Alexandre Monteiro Praca moved his family from Sao Paulo in Brazil to Adelaide in Australia. Months before leaving Brazil Alexandre got in touch with Tribus Lingua. He speaks to Ailis Logan of Tribus Lingua about his journey, his thoughts and how moving to Australia has affected his life. Alexandre learned that the key to making it in Australia is preparation and planning, understanding the Australian job market and learning the right approach to job hunting. Alexandre now works as a business analyst for the Australian government,

Watch his story here…

Irish Backpacker to Australia – Damien Hennigan’s story

Life back home – Ireland

As a child, Damien always dreamed of other places beyond the boundaries of his quiet little home town of Roscommon in the west of Ireland. He acquired a taste for adventure early in life when family holidays would take him across many countries and allow him to experience cultures throughout Europe, fuelling his desire to leave Roscommon one day. Little did young Damien know at the time that this inner yearning would one day become his wonderful reality.
Growing up, Damien lived a very normal and happy life with his parents and younger sister. Being a bright young man, Damien fared very well in his studies. After successfully completing his high school education, he was accepted into a civil engineering course at a nearby college and his family could not be prouder. Although Damien performed very well at his tertiary studies, there was always a little voice at the back of his mind reminding him that he could be doing something he really loved. For as long as he could remember, he had wanted to become a personal fitness trainer, but to avoid disappointing his parents and perhaps himself as well, he had chosen a ‘safer option’ – a more reliable career path he could count on to see him through the rest of his life. Though he persevered bravely, his longing to become a personal trainer grew stronger until finally, Damien decided to quit civil engineering.
Slightly dejected from the whole experience, Damien felt the need to get away from Roscommon for a while and headed for the United States for three months on a holiday visa. That particular trip re-ignited his sense of curiosity about the world once again and re-invigorated his desire to realise his ultimate calling. On his journey, he met many wonderful people from different parts of the world who were in similar circumstances. They also were looking for direction in their lives and wanting to pursue their aspirations.

Continue reading Irish Backpacker to Australia – Damien Hennigan’s story

Australian Rail Industry seeking Engineering Migrants to fill shortages

The Australian Rail Industry has launched a skilled migration information website and kit. The skilled migration kit is aimed at employers in the rail industry to help them source talent both onshore and offhsore through skilled migration.

“The Australian rail industry has been struggling to attract engineers, project managers and skilled technical people including tradespeople due to a complex interplay of domestic and international competition for highly skilled labour. This is affecting the industry’s ability to meet high end workforce development needs including the completion of current government infrastructure projects. Therefore, identifying domestic and international labour market pools and recruiting skilled migrants onshore and offshore is vital to addressing skills shortages. Currently, migrant engineers represent over 50% of the yearly supply of engineers in Australia.”



Tribus Lingua participated in the onshore case study on challenges affecting engineering miogrants to Australia. Read more…


Migrants rejected for lack of Local Experience in Australia

Author of Land That Job in Australia Jim Bright was recently asked why migrants are rejected for lack of local experience in Australia in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Migrants rejected for lacking “local experience” can fight back, writes Jim Bright.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Lee and his barriers to employment created by his difficulties with English. This has provoked a veritable avalanche of correspondence from people in a similar situation.

For instance Tariq, an overseas-qualified doctor with two decades of experience who has consistently failed the English-language tests for doctors. He has successfully completed certificates 3 and 4 in allied medical and support areas, yet still he gets nowhere with job applications.

My first response to Tariq is that as somebody clever enough and disciplined enough to be able to train and work as a doctor, he should really be encouraged to persevere with his English-language work, perhaps seeking a skilled language coach to work with him.

On paper, he has a lot to offer his community and he still has half his working life left, so I’d be redoubling the effort and thinking carefully about what learning support would work best for me.

Another correspondent, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been told he possesses excellent English; indeed, he possesses a master’s qualification from a reputable British university. In his case it is not English that is the barrier but he has been told he “does not have any local experience”.

This “local experience” issue is one that cuts no mustard with Ailis Logan, who runs a Melbourne-based firm, Tribus Lingua, specialising in assisting skilled migrants. She says “even Bill Gates would get rejected for lack of local experience”.

The thing is, would Bill Gates get rejected? Of course he would not, so what is really going on? What does it mean when someone says “lacking local experience”? Or, more pertinently, what kind of candidate would lack “local experience”?

The answer is, of course, new migrants. In other words, when a recruiter or employer gives a lack of local experience as a reason for rejecting you, they are really saying you are being rejected because you are a foreigner.

It is not hard to see why my correspondent asks the question: “Is there a protectionism policy being practised especially for new migrants?”

So here are two migrants with full residency status in our country who are struggling to find work despite their very impressive qualifications.

I might add that the CV the second correspondent sent to me was the best in terms of presentation, accuracy and presenting a convincing case of all reader CVs sent to me this year.

Not all employers and recruiters practise such blatant discrimination. There is an abundance of fair-minded employers out there who would love to have either of my correspondents on their team.

There is more cause for optimism in that there are specialist services that are dedicated to supporting and assisting people in this situation.

If the barrier is language, with a lot of persistence, a lot of immersion in the local language and appropriate support, significant improvements can be made for motivated people.

It appears there are many in the same situation, which is sad. Ironically the good news is that there are people and services out there to assist with job hunting for skilled migrants.

Do not give up, seek out support and, in time, you will find roles that are appropriate to your experience.

Article courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald

Watch our migrant success stories on how to overcome the local experience barrier:

Indian Engineer beats local expereince barrier in Australia

Indian enginee beats local experience barrier in Australia

Double blessings for Banking Couple who succesfully overcane the “local” expereince barrier in Australia

Landed brilliant banking jobs double blessings for couple from Nigeria

We can help You overcome the “Local” Experience Barrier in Australia…

Talk to the Experts Now!




Australian Visa Applications Stopped Temporarily

Applications for Australian general skilled migration (GSM) visas in some subclasses have been stopped temporarily.

The following announcement was made on May 7, 2010

Temporary suspension of Certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) Applications (Subclasses 175, 176 and 475 Only)

The Australian Government has decided to temporarily suspend the acceptance of certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applications. This temporary measure will begin on 8 May 2010 and is expected to remain in effect until the end of 30 June 2010.

The temporary suspension applies only to primary (main) applicants for the following visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent (Migrant) visa
  • Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) visa
  • Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa.

This means you cannot apply for these subclasses of visas only from now to 30 June 2010.

This temporary suspension of applications will allow the introduction of changes to immigration laws and the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

Go to the link below to download fact sheets providing details and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.



Contact a licensed migration agent for immigration advice.

People considering applying for Australian general skilled migration (GSM) visas, in the subclasses that have been stopped temporarily, should delay any preparation steps which involve paying money.

Critical Skills List (CSL)

Engineers, IT professionals and medical professions remain on the revised issue of the Critical Skills List (CSL) issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Critical Skills List

The following provides a list of occupations. This list will only apply to people who are seeking to migrate under the skilled migration program who are not sponsored by an employer or nominated by a state or territory government.

ASCO Number







Electronic Equipment Trades


Emergency Medicine Specialist


Engineer – Chemical


Engineer – Civil


Engineer – Electrical


Engineer – Electronics


Engineer – Mechanical


Engineer – Mining


Engineer – Production or Plant Engineer


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – Avionics


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer – Mechanical




General Medical Practitioner


Medical Diagnostic Radiographer


Obstetrician & Gynaecologist


Occupational Therapist


Pharmacist (Hospital)


Pharmacist (Retail)








Quantity Surveyor


Registered Mental Health Nurse


Registered Midwife


Registered Nurse


Secondary School Teacher


Specialist Medical Practitioners NEC


Specialist Physician






Urban & Regional Planner


Wall and Floor Tiler


Speech Pathologist












Accountant — where the applicant has achieved a score of at least IELTS 7 in each of the four competencies, and/or has completed The Professional Year – Skilled Migration Internship Program Accounting (SMIPA)

Computing Professionals — where the applicant’s specialisation is listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

March 09

Source: Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Australian engineering job market

Engineering, Manufacturing & Technical Recruitment – Market Commentary January / February 2009

by Australia Wide Personnel

Whilst there is much uncertainty in the recruitment market for engineering and technical professionals, we have not yet witnessed large numbers of retrenchments. We believe this is because many employers know how hard it is to attract talent in the first place. We believe that when economic conditions become more favourable, the skills shortage will return with extra venom. Overwhelmingly (although not in all cases), our clients are telling us they want to “wait and see” before putting on permanent staff. Following are our observations of the key recruitment markets we have been operating in since 1979.

Construction Engineering & Management

Whilst construction companies have been busy with existing building projects over the last quarter, hese were primarily awarded before any noticeable downturn. It is becoming more obvious that the umber of new projects tendered in the building and construction sector has dropped and onsequently, over the last 3 months, we have seen a significant drop in demand for experienced building personnel. As with any situation however, there are exceptions to the rule and a private property developer that we met with recently advises that they have just embarked on new projects that previously failed to stack up financially. Clearly the effects of lower outright purchase prices and a reduced cost of borrowing is helping them to revisit development opportunities that were previously unviable.

Since our last commentary in October, both the Infrastructure and Energy sectors continue to make advances and there are a number of new projects currently being tendered (with anticipated start dates towards the middle of 2009). These include major water treatment and supply, rail construction & maintenance and conventional and environmentally sustainable energy generation and supply projects. These areas will fuel further demand for suitably qualified and experienced professionals, and this trend looks set to continue across the entire country.

Based on our latest discussions with the marketplace we expect to undertake a significant amount of related recruitment in 2009, particularly roles requiring expertise at all levels including Civil Engineers, Project Managers and other project based staff eg. Mechanical & Electrical, Safety, Planning and Environmental focused roles.

Australia Wide Personnel are an Australian recruiter. The above article on the Australian engineering job market appeared in ENGAGE: Engineering Industry News – February 2009‏. Engineers Australia’s, Victorian Division Newsletter.

Engineering migration to Australia made simple

The engineering labour market in Australia has tightened due to the global financial crisis, just like the rest of the world. Australia’s engineering migration program is likely to continue due to the aging of the engineering population and many years of failure to attract young people into engineering.

In the short term jobs will be harder to find. This makes it all the more important to prepare properly for migration in this climate.

Take the stress out of migration by preparing properly. Do what the smart cookies do – get a job before the leave their homeland. In today’s financial climate this may not be so easy, but you can at least do some good ground work. Here is a little trick I know has worked for many.

Find a few prospective employers and make unsolicited applications. It is a little like going around a bar and asking every girl to go to bed with you. You may get a lot of knock backs, but you only want one yes. With employers a response of “come on over and start next month.” will not happen. Do not be deterred. The response you are looking for is, “Come and see us if you come down (to Australia).” This is as good as a yes. Why? The prospective employer does not expect you to come on down without a firm offer. When they see you they have two thoughts. The first is, “Bloody ‘ell, I wasn’t really serious when I said come and see me.” And the second is “Shivers (or something similar), I had better try and do something for this poor boy (or something similar) who has travelled all this way. They must have some get up and go to do that.”

How do I know this works? I’ve been there, done that. Had it done to me too!

For this technique to work your CV needs to be in the Australian style.

What nationality is your CV?

Learn more about the Project Australia Engineers Migrate Australia Course

Quality experienced engineers will get the jobs in Australia. Be ready to migrate

©Ian Little. All rights reserved, no part of this may be reproduced without permission rights from the publisher. Contact us www.tribuslingua.com.au

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