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.


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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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