Resume / CV for Immigrants

First job in Australia?

Are you new to Australia? Is this your first job in Australia? Don’t have sufficient work experience in Australia? Still overseas and want to work in Australia? Read this through and you will cover the following

Want to read this in your language? use the drop down menu below for immediate translation.

Let’s review those issues one by one.

Why is your job seeking process different compared to the average Aussie

Assuming you are qualified, experienced or just recently finished your studies and you have all the skills required to get the job you want, but surprisingly, the job market shows no interest in you.


Are Australian Racist? Hate immigrants and would do all they can to make sure they don’t get a job and go back to where they came from? Maybe some, but the majority of Aussies I encountered are great accepting people and Australia labour law are strictly against any discrimination.


Let’s get back to reality, most of the CV you send lands inside the inbox of a recruiter. The recruiter has very limited time and limited quantity of candidates he can offer the employing company. He also knows that the chances of an immigrant without local experience to get the job are much lower. He only gets paid when you are hired. Business is business and it needs to make money. It is not personal. Let’s review some of the reasons for that.

Why are the chances of an immigrant to get the job much lower?

Immigrants face many difficulties when first arriving to a new country.  Here is what we lack

  • English – be honest, how many of us have good English when they just arrived?
  • Accent – Can you understand the Australian accent?
  • Aussie slang – You listen to it but do you really understand what they say?
  • Local Aussie culture – what to say? How to greet people? What is the normal social behaviour?
  • Local office culture – how to work in an Australian company with Australian employees
  • Do you know the local standards, rules and regulation related to your job? Probably not (yet)
  • No local experience at all? You will have to learn how to work with the local vendors and clients which mean you will require training and supervision and that is extra cost (MONEY!)

Other risks of hiring immigrants are

  • Some immigrants don’t like their new country and return to their original country, it is a waste of time investing in an employee that will leave soon.
  • Some people don’t like Australia and only stay here because they don’t want to go back, it makes the office environment negative and not good for the business
  • Some immigrants will never learn proper English, the local culture or will have any gnuine interest in integration to the community

Don’t worry, it is not all negative. The majority of immigrants will find a job within the first year and if you keep on reading and follow the guidelines in this website you soon be one of the employed immigrants.

Is working in an international or even an Australian company helpful?

Yes, because you know the company. Its policies, forms, systems etc. They might consider offering you a job locally in OZ (nickname for Australia) which will give you the local experience you need.

No, because you are still going to be confronted with all of the issues we discussed above. Unless you phisically worked in Australia with Australian people and had to truly integrate into the Australian work force, there is not much different between you and all other immigrants.

How is work in Australia different?

Different from what is my next question. After all we come from around the world with different background but in general here are some things to know

  • Work in Australia is usually a bit more relaxed compared to other countries.
  • Standard work day is 8-10 hours and usually by 6pm the office will be empty.
  • Being polite and friendly is more important that being the best employee (less competitive)
  • We work as a team
  • Learn about Tall poppy syndrome which is a common mistake of new to the Australian market

That is not to say Australian are lazy, after all the work gets done so it must be working somehow.

Office environment

It is extremely important that one of the biggest reasons to fail finding a job is simply not understanding the work culture in Australia and reflecting it in your Cover letter, CV and interview.

Here is what you don’t put in your CV or cover letter no matter what!

Remember the recruiter is not looking for a reason to call you; he is looking for reason to reject your and many other dozens of CVs on his desk in order to get his short-list ready as quickly as possible.

Here are the most obvious items to avoid.

  • Irrelevant information
  • Personal details: age, religion, gender, address
  • Skills which are not related to the position you’re applying for
  • Previous positions which are not relevant to the job you’re applying for
  • Your army service (unless it is extremely relevant)
  • That you don’t have local experience
  • The country of the companies you worked for (except Australia)
  • That you are overseas
  • That you recently arrived to Australia
  • Your visa status and eligibility to work in Australia
  • Your photo (why would you that anyway?)
  • Languages – we speak English, I hope you are too (unless it is mentioned in the ad as a requirement)
  • A referee list (so where to put it? Click here)

Did you know when I arrive to Australia I made almost all the mistakes mentioned above?

Confused? Your CV feels empty?

Go back to CV Structure and make sure you got it right, lots of advice in there on how to write the CV.


Soon, this website shall have a real life example from reading the ad, avoiding making mistakes, tailoring the CV and cover letter and getting the job you wanted.

Still not sure what to do and if you are ready?

Send us your CV, cover letter and a link to the ad you want to apply and will help you


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