Highlights from the 'Industry Insights and Migrant Talent' webinars

Each resume is used once. 

You'll have a draft resume for different types of jobs that you expect to apply for.

Then you will customise a resume to the requirements of the position that you are applying for. 

Distributing a generic resume indiscriminately is likely to result in it being treated as junk mail.

Focus on a smaller number of quality applications. 

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are more likely to be used by:


  • Large businesses with a large number of applicants
  • Recruitment agencies working with many candidates
  • Positions requesting applications uploaded online 
Then you need a simple resume template so there's no problem for the artificial intelligence robots to read your resume, rather than be screened out.  

Don't include demographic information such as ethnicity, age and language - employers don't want to discriminate based on these things.
Don't include your personal information such as a photo, marital status, full street address or hobbies - employers are only interested in your ability to fit into their team and get the job done.
Don't include you're entire life's history of education, volunteering and work - include what contributes evidence for the value proposition for the position you're applying for. You can include a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile for more information. 
Don't try to explain big changes such as migration, career transitions, gaps in your experience - leave that for your cover letter. 

Don't put your work email or phone on your resume. Instead ensure your personal email, mobile and voicemail is professional. 

Don't include salary or any information unrelated to an employer being able to assess skills. 

Don't have spelling and grammar errors. It makes you look careless and your work reflects on the employer. Ask a native English speaker to review your application.

Don't lie ever. It is corrosive to your integrity and will ruin your reputation - just don't do it.

Recruitment is a process of ruling out and narrowing down to the preferred candidate. The purpose of a resume is to help you be shortlisted for interview. 

Resumes are only scanned if the rest of the application is complete. So don't waste your resume by submitting an incomplete application. Follow the instructions of the advertisement. 

Make scanning easy for employers by putting the most important headings and information first.

  • Contact details
  • Your previous employers with the most recent first
  • Relevant degrees or certifications

Use a simple black font on white paper.

Be sure your resume and LinkedIn dates and details match.

Depending on the application you might also include:
  • Career objective for graduates, or a career summary
  • Personal and professional skills list
  • Awards
  • Languages
  • References

Note that job seekers are expected to have two references. Some people save space by stating that 'two professional referees are available on request'. Others leave it out of the resume and provide name, position title, relationship, and contact details of referees at the interview. 

There are three styles of resume:

  • Chronological
  • Functional
  • Hybrid

Chronological is a simple yet standard style of resume. Use this if you have consistently had work in the industry you are applying for. You can also use this if you are applying for your first professional position. For this style, your professional experience takes up most of the resume.


A functional style of resume is a good style for someone who is changing careers. It focuses on the skills that you have. It is also good for someone who has employment gaps.

For this style, the focus of the resume is the skills section. List each skill, and for each skill, write dot points on how you have demonstrated this skill in the past.


A hybrid resume combines a chronological and functional resume. The professional experience and skills section will be of similar size. This is useful for mid-level or senior-level job seekers.

To avoid being screened out you need to read the job advertisement and position description carefully.


Only apply for positions that make sense. 


Include key words from the advertisement in your resume.


Find keywords on websites such as JobScan and SkillSyncer.


Keep formatting plain with no images or tables.


Only submit a Word document (docx.) or a pdf. 

It should be as short as possible. Imagine that an employer will only look at your resume for 6 seconds.


They need to be able to see the relevant information quickly.


A one-page resume is appropriate if you have less than 10 years of experience, or only have experience in 1 or 2 companies.


A two-page resume is appropriate if you are applying for a mid-level position or you have robust technical knowledge.


A three (or more) page resume is appropriate if you’re an executive or using a portfolio.

It's expected that you would provide two referees on request, usually at interview. 


Save space on your resume by leaving them off. But have them ready. 


Make sure the referee is relevant, recent, contactable, include their position so their relationship to you is clear. 


The priority is supervisory referees rather than character references.


It's your job to ensure the employer can contact your referee. The job may go to the second candidate if the employer can't reach your referee. So help solve that problem with a written reference, coordinate a Zoom time that suits, or work out a different referee. 


Always ask your referee first. Provide them with information about the job and your application. Refresh them on the experiences you're using to demonstrate skills. Find out preferred contact details and times. Follow up and thank them for providing a reference for you regardless of the job outcome. 

It depends.

It doesn't help an employer if a overseas referee:

  • can't be contacted due to timezone clashes
  • can't communicate in English
  • can't be trusted because there's no way to verify their identity or role within a company
  • can only vouch for skills that are unrelated to the job in Tasmania

Most employers prefer local references because it's easier and safer to get information from a local operating context and with similar performance expectations.

Possible referees for your first professional job in Tasmania could be:

  • supervisor of a volunteer position you have been doing
  • the supervisor of an internship in a business
  • an event or program leader that you have been helping
  • an employer of casual or short term contract work you have done
  • committee members serving the professional association that you have worked with as an active member
  • academic program leaders who know your academic and group performance

It's your job to make sure your referee knows you and thinks highly of your work.

Referees need to understand the context of the job and what skills the employers needs so they can sell your skills as relevant to the employer.

They need to be quick and easy for an employer to contact as referee checks are the last step before a deciding a preferred candidate. 

Need a template to get started?

Searson Buck is a recruiting agency active in Tasmania that provides a hybrid resume template

Review a specific position and then customize your resume to demonstrate the relevant skills and experience for that specific job.  

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

"Most useful was resume making (I came to know many wonderful things)." Skilled migrant, 23 January 2021.

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    Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting people from migrant and humanitarian backgrounds to settle successfully in Tasmania since 1979.

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    Migrant Network Tasmania draws on the goodwill, stories and tips of migrants and the wider community to help fellow migrants to establish lives and careers in Tasmania.