The international student’s guide to writing a great resume

Tips to help your resume stand out so you can land the perfect job.

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20 March 2024

An international student sitting at a table in an interview

Your resume (also known as a CV which is short for Curriculum Vitae) is your first impression to potential employers, so it’s a very important document. 

Whether you’re looking for part-time work while you study or a full-time job after graduation, this guide will help you write an impressive resume that helps you get noticed.  

Use a template  

Downloading an online template for the layout of your resume will help it look professional and show that you are good with technology. For starters, try these free options: 

These templates also help as a guide to what information you should be adding. 

What to include 

1. A compelling personal statement 

Start your resume with a short overview of your goals and skills. Try to keep it to 2 - 3 sentences or use 3 - 4 bullet points.  

Include your soft skills such as being good with people, working well in a team, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and any personality traits that make you someone who is easy to work with. 

2. Relevant work experience  

If you have worked in jobs before, list them by adding the following information: 

  • company name  
  • location 
  • the dates that you worked there 
  • your key tasks or responsibilities  
  • achievements in that role.  

If you haven't worked in paid jobs before, include:  

  • work experience, internships or volunteer work 
  • examples from your academic projects or group assignments 
  • extracurricular involvement in any clubs or student unions at your place of study. 

Tip: Make sure you list your work experience in chronological order (from most recent to oldest).  

3. Your education and relevant studies 

Your academic qualifications are an important part of your resume. Include details of your studies including: 

  • course name 
  • majors (if any) 
  • place of study  
  • how long you’ve been studying for or when you finished your studies. 

If you have taken short courses, you should include them too, especially if they are relevant to the job. 

4. Your visa status and work availability 

It's important to include your visa status on your resume. Write what type of visa you have, the expiry and your work restrictions (if any). This reassures the employer that you’re legally able to work in Australia. 

If you are looking for a part-time job, it can help to include your available days and hours.  

5. Your technical skills 

If the job you're applying for will require computer work, then add a list of your tech skills such as: 

  • the Microsoft Suite  
  • CRM software that you have used in previous jobs (e.g. Salesforce) 
  • Adobe or Canva
  • website builders. 

6. Your Interests 

Adding a list of your interests is important as it shows a little bit of who you are as a person. Let them know if you enjoy sports or exercise, reading or any other hobbies.  

Use your cover letter to stand out 

If you lack formal work experience, a well-written cover letter can help by providing additional context to your background. It also gives you the opportunity to sell yourself as the perfect person for the role.  

Make sure you research the company’s mission, values and culture to understand what they’re looking for in a potential employee.  

Tailor your cover letter to reflect how your goals and experience align with their objectives and why you're passionate about working with them. This shows your genuine interest in the role and will set you apart from others. 

Things to include:  

  • why you’re motivated to join their company  
  • what your soft skills are, including practical examples of how you’ve used them 
  • your personality and values 
  • a clear description of your professional goals  
  • explain your willingness to learn and contribute to their business. 

Write clearly  

Remember that the company will be receiving a lot of resumes, so make it easy to read.   

  • avoid being repetitive and going into too much detail 
  • ensure your sentences are easy to understand – shorter is often better  
  • keep your paragraphs short and relevant. 


Before submitting your resume, it’s important to make sure there are no mistakes, and that the font is consistent. This shows your attention to detail. You could ask a friend, family member or teacher to review your resume and cover letter and provide feedback.  

Tip: Use a grammar checker such as Grammarly.   

Get support 

There is free, local support available in the major cities. You can contact them for job advice, counselling, events and more.  

Visit your local support services page via the links below:   

For more information on finding jobs, you can also visit our Work in Australia page.  

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