Alright, let me give you the punchline first. We’ll discuss the devil that hides in the details later.

The 3 key differences between CVs and resumes are:

  • their length,
  • their purpose and,
  • their layout.

That being said, it’s important to note that many of these differences become redundant across certain country borders. For example, the British tend to refer to their main career document as a “CV”, while Australians, Americans and Canadians prefer to call it a “resume”.

This is an important observation because, despite the fact that there are some clear technical differences between the two documents, a lot of people use “CV” and “resume” interchangeably.

This is particularly true in Australia. If applying for roles here, you’ll be quite safe using either “resume” or “CV”. Your choice of words will not negatively impact your job application.

While the British do, as a culture, prefer the word “CV” to “resume”, the UK recruitment culture shares a lot of similarities with that of Australia (indeed, a lot of recruiters do stints in both countries during the course of their careers). Consequently, you also won’t raise too many eyebrows if you call your career marketing document one way or another.

 

So What Are The Differences?

If you’re a fact nerd like me, and you must know everything that there is to know about differences between CVs and resume, then listen up.

(You never know – knowing this may help you during a future pub trivia night).

Curriculum Vitae is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “course of life”. As such, its intended purpose is to comprehensively cover your professional achievements, work skills and academic accomplishments. Because of this, CVs can run for as long as 3-6 pages.

 

In contrast, a resume is a brief summary of your skills, abilities, qualification, work history and educational background. Resumes are usually 1-3 pages in length and tend to be customised to specific job ads, to ensure that they only contain information that’s relevant to that position.

To illustrate my points, here are some examples of each:

cv-vs-resumeBy the way, you’ll find plenty of resume writing tips in our guides here and here. And if you prefer for a professional resume writer to take the entire task off your hands, you should learn more about our resume writing services here.

 

What To Include On A CV?

Now that you know the key differences between a CV and a resume, you’re probably starting to see why, traditionally, each of these document types has called for starkly different amounts of detail.

If you were asked to submit a traditional CV, you’d need to include:

  • Your Contact Information
  • Research Objective, Professional Profile, or Personal Statement
  • Your Education
  • Your Professional, Academic or Board Appointments
  • Books You’ve Published
  • Blogs You’ve Written
  • Leading Websites You’ve Been Mentioned In
  • Peer-Reviewed Publications ThatYou’ve Been Mentioned In
  • Your Awards and Honours
  • Your Voluntary / Non-Profit Experience
  • Conferences You Have Attended
  • Your Mentoring Experience
  • Languages You Speak
  • Your Vocational Memberships
  • Your References

As you can see, this amount of detail certainly warrants the name “course of life“.

 

What To Include On A Resume?

Unlike a CV, a resume is significantly more succinct and more to-the-point. Your resume, traditionally, should only mention relevant work experiences, skills, certifications, and education. Here’s a list of typical inclusions:

  • Your Contact Information
  • Your Profile
  • Your Recent Work History (15 or so years)
  • Your Education
  • Your Achievements

 

In Conclusion.

Remember that, despite clear technical differences between a traditional CV and a traditional resume, you must keep the cultural context in mind.

A resume is the preferred application document in the US and Canada. Americans and Canadians would only use a CV when applying for a job abroad or if searching for an academic or research-oriented position.

In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms “resume” and “CV” are used interchangeably.

In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, a CV is used in all contexts the documents aren’t referred to as “resumes” at all.

Also, remember that landing your dream role involves more than just having the perfect resume (or a CV).

The resume will often get you a foot in the door; once it does, it will be up to you to convert this opportunity into a solid job offer. This means being very clear about your strengths, weaknesses, reasons behind your career moves, your mandates and how they weave together to form your overall value proposition.

Finally, ensure that you invest the time to build meaningful connections with recruiters and managers. The days of simply spamming the job market with your resume, and applying only to advertised positions are over. The job market is fierce. Your application is likely to be one of hundreds, and a recruiter’s decision to invite you for an interview will often depend on the level of pre-existing relationship they have with you.

 

Steven

Are you an overseas candidate, planning to apply for a job in Australia? You must be quite apprehensive about ensuring that your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile tick all of the boxes that Australian recruiters and employers expect.

Well, worry no more. I’m about to provide you with all the tips you need to need to write an amazing CV that will impress Australian recruiters and hiring managers.

It’s important to remember that most CVs out there are pretty substandard, with as many as 91% containing serious errors.

This means you can significantly improve your chances of impressing Australian recruiters by following a few simple (but important) CV writing guidelines.

Also, don’t forget that you can save yourself a lot of time – and get a much better result – by using our resume writing service. Sometimes, it makes more sense to hire a professional.

 

Australian CV Writing Fundamentals.

First of all, remember that Aussies are a confident, but relatively humble bunch. They appreciate professionalism, but they dislike arrogance. This often causes problems for overseas candidates who seek employment opportunities in Australia.

New Yorkers, for example, love to brag. If you live in New York and don’t know how to boast, it’s likely that you’ll miss out on job opportunities. (Well, let’s get honest – you’ll probably get trampled on).

Americans who come to Australia, however, often find themselves missing out on job opportunities because they brag too much for Australian tastes.

 

This leads me to your first CV writing lesson. Your Australian CV needs to communicate your career story, your achievements and value, but it should not make you sound like a narcissistic ego-maniac. And yes – it’s not an easy balance to achieve.

 

How Long Should Your Australian CV Be?

If you’re applying from overseas, you’ll probably find that Australian CVs are longer than you expect. What’s the ideal number of pages? Well, I suggest that you keep it between three and five.

This is a good rule of thumb to follow, but do keep in mind that the most important factor which determines a CV’s length is its ability to communicate your value. In other words, your Australian CV should be as long as it needs to be in order to communicate what makes you qualified to do a specific job, and why you should be hired over another, equally qualified candidate.

As a sidenote, be aware that the words “CV” and “resume” can mean different things across cultures.

 

What To Include On Your CV?

Australian employers tend to be quite specific about what they expect to see (and what they certainly expect NOT to see) on your resume. Here’s a rundown.

  • Photograph: definitely a no-no. Unless you’re applying for a modelling role, do not include your photograph anywhere on your CV.

resume photograph

  • Nationality: unnecessary. You should, however, include your visa information. Australian employers want to know from the onset that you have legal rights to work in their country.
  • Gender: do not include.
  • Phone number: yes, but include your mobile phone number only. A landline suggests that you have nothing to do, and sit by the phone all day.
  • Date of birth: unnecessary. Can lead to discrimination based on age.
  • References: no need to include. Australian employers typically ask for your references in the last stage of the vetting process – typically just before the job offer is made. For now, including “References available upon request” on the last page of your CV is perfectly OK.

For more information on what to include in your CV, see our guide to writing a professional resume.

 

Your CV’s Headline.

This appears under your name. Think of it as your tagline. I suggest that you match the headline to your value proposition and to the jobs you’re applying for. Make sure to include any specific niche skills and specialisations that may help you stand out. For example:

Tom Jones, Senior Financial Accountant | International Tax Law | Non-For-Profits

 

Career Profile or Career Objective?

Sometime in the 1990s, it was popular to kick off your resume with a Career Objective. This trend is officially over, and I highly recommend that you begin your resume with a Career Profile.

The difference?

In your Career Objective, you talk about things that a potential employer can do for you. In your Career Profile, you talk about what you can do for the employer. In other words, your Career Profile is a place where you sell yourself by communicating your unique value.

 

CV or Resume?

In Australia, the two terms are used interchangeably, with “resume” used more frequently. That being said, if you mention “your CV”, everyone will understand what you mean.

There’s no need to get caught up in the semantics; the most important consideration when writing an Australian CV is to ensure that it communicates your value to potential employers.

 

In Conclusion.

A professionally written CV is integral to your success when applying for roles in Australia. Australian recruiters and hiring managers will notice – and be suitably impressed – if your resume is tailored to suit Australian CV requirements and expectations.

That being said, remember that no one gets a job based on the resume alone. The purpose of the resume is to get you across the line into the interview room. No more, no less.

Steven

In a competitive job market, a well-written resume summary is vital to standing out and grabbing the attention of recruiters. This is especially true for managers and executives. Today, I’ll share with you a few resume summary examples that will help you compete in a saturated job market.

At its essence, a resume summary is a sales pitch that demonstrates what you can do for an employer. The best resume summaries demonstrate that your skills and experience can solve a key business problem.

Mid-career professionals should keep the resume summary to a few sentences. Executives, who can expect to compete against a more demanding role criteria – and do so in a smaller pool of candidates, should extend their resume summary to 3-4 succinct paragraphs, or around 200 words.

A strong resume summary reduces the complexity that comes with years of experience down to the most relevant, important points. It compels recruiters to look beyond the summary to read the rest of your resume – and ensures that you make it to the next stage of the recruitment process.

If you want a top-notch resume without any headaches, our professional resume writers can whip one up for you in no time; contact us to learn more. If you’d like to write your own resume, start by following our tips below.

 

1. Understand The Employer’s Pain Point.

A resume summary’s main purpose is to succinctly demonstrate what you can do for the employer.

Every role aims to solve some business or commercial problem, so a good resume summary demonstrates how you have the skills, experience and drive to achieve that.

 

2. Be Specific.

Ensure your resume summary stands out by being specific about details.

Instead of writing ‘I bring extensive experience’, write ‘I bring 20 years’ experience’. Most importantly, address the pre-requisites listed in the job description, particularly relating to the requirementseducation and experience sections.

 

3. Connect Your Value To The Needs Of The Business.

Ensure you stand out from your peers in a crowded job market by clearly articulating your point of difference and how this contributes to solving the employer’s problem.

This could be a particular qualification, a background in another profession or attitudes to leadership. Try to avoid generic phrasing and personalise the summary to reflect key insights specific to you.

 

4. Be Concise.

Remember, you don’t have a lot of time to get the recruiter’s attention. It an environment where recruiters spend about six seconds reviewing a resume, you need to maximise the impact of your summary statement. Keep each sentence within two lines with no more than two clauses.

 

5. Study Resume Summary Examples Below.

To give you a clearer picture of how this all comes together to create a resume summary, please find some examples below.

I’ve included some key requirements from the job advertisement to demonstrate how to keep the summary aligned with business needs, whilst incorporating your core competencies, strengths and point of difference.

 

Example 1: General Manager.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 10+ years’ experience in a leadership role
  • Excels at strategy and delivery
  • Experience across strategy, marketing, sales, budgeting
  • Cross-functional leadership experience
  • P&L Management
  • Experience in manufacturing, supply chain or distribution
  • Tertiary qualification in business administration

 

Resume Summary:

With 20+ years’ experience leading profitability turnarounds through strategic delivery and operational excellence, I  ensure manufacturing organisations are well-positioned for sustainable growth in the face of high labour costs and shifting market conditions.

Leveraging experience across the value chain, including sales, marketing, budgeting, HR, supply chain and operations, I bring a deep understanding of the productivity levers that influence business performance. Enhanced by a passion for data, I harness the power of business insights to inform strategic decision-making and analyse productivity and performance.

MBA-qualified with a background as an engineer, I bridge corporate and technical agendas to drive product development and ensure deadlines are met in time-critical environments. Combining a high EQ with strong communication skills, I build and lead high-performing multi-disciplinary teams, engaging across business units and diverse stakeholder groups to maximise collaboration and business performance.

Key achievements include transforming XYZ from a loss-making business into a profitable organisation through strict cost control and an uplift in sales performance. At ABC Manufacturing, I increased operational efficiency by 42% through an equipment upgrade and a staff restructure. As GM of XYZ Ltd, I strengthened executive decision-making by deploying a BI system to provide real-time business insights through data visualisation.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

The first paragraph is eye-catching because it establishes credibility ‘20+ years’ experience leading profitability turnarounds’, meets a key job requirement ‘strategic delivery’ and understands what the employer is trying to achieve ‘sustainable growth’. The paragraph is further strengthened by demonstrating an understanding of industry challenges, referring to ‘high labour costs and shifting market conditions.’

The second paragraph illustrates the breadth of the applicant’s experience, ‘ across the value chain’, and how this experience helps meet job objectives ‘understanding of the productivity levers that influence business performance’. Critically, the paragraph illustrates how the applicant’s unique attribute, ‘a passion for data’, gives them the edge in achieving business objectives ‘harness the power of business insights to inform strategic decision-making and analyse productivity and performance’.

The third paragraph continues on this thread, highlighting how the candidate’s engineering background helps strengthen delivery outcomes ‘drive product development and ensure deadlines are met’. It then rounds out the candidate’s skill set by highlighting softer skills ‘high EQ and strong communication skills’ and leadership capability.

The fourth paragraph is comprised of three key achievements, carefully selected to support the claims listed in the resume summary. Note that they are both concise and specific, containing quantifiable data where possible.

 

Example 2: Sales Director.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 10+ years’ experience in sales and management
  • Builds and maintains good customer relationships
  • Proven success exceeding targets and goals
  • Strong leadership, managerial and organisational skills
  • Robust negotiation and influencing skills

 

Resume Summary:

Combining diverse sector experience and 15+ years in sales leadership roles, I bring a track record transforming underperforming sales teams to deliver significant upturns in revenue, enabling businesses to meet growth objectives.

Benefitting from legal training, I bring a logical, persuasive negotiating style to engage prospects and deliver high sales conversion rates. Structured and detail-oriented, I build sales management processes, procedures and systems from the ground up, empowering sales teams the right tools to optimise performance. Focused on building capability in teams, I create accountable but supportive cultures, driven to meet and exceed targets.

Highly adaptable, I bring a breadth of experience from start-up to large corporate environments. Able to get to the crux a product or service’s core value within the broader context of market dynamics, I develop solution-focused sales strategies that directly address customer pain points and create compelling propositions.

Career highlights include increasing revenue performance by 85% at AB Inc. by winning the largest sales deal in the company’s history with its largest customer. At EFG Ltd, I led a turnaround of legacy underperformance by professionalising the sales team, and negotiated a multi-year, multimillion-dollar commercial agreement with an enterprise client at CDE.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

Again, the first paragraph establishes the applicant’s credentials, ‘diverse sector experience and 15+ years in sales leadership roles.’ It also moves straight to illustrating the applicant’s ability to meeting a commercial need, ‘deliver significant upturns in revenue, enabling businesses to meet growth objectives.’

The second paragraph starts with the applicant’s legal training, a unique skill as a sales leader, which has influenced a ‘logical, persuasive negotiating style’ and a ‘structured, detail-oriented’ management approach. This demonstrates the candidate’s ability to ‘exceed targets and goals’ and provide ‘strong leadership, managerial and organisational skills’ – all key criteria listed in the job ad.

The third paragraph highlights the applicant’s agility from a breadth of experience ‘from start-up to large corporate environments.’ It then moves on to how this experience that strengthens analytical and strategic capability, developing ‘solution-focused sales strategies that directly address customer pain points and create compelling propositions.’

 

Example 3: HR Director.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 5+ years’ experience in HR leadership roles
  • AHRI or equivalent certified
  • Ability to architect strategy around people and culture
  • Customer-focused
  • Experience in L&D, talent management and succession planning

 

Resume Summary:

With 10 years’ experience delivering HR strategies that create customer-focused cultures in large, complex businesses, I enable organisations to pivot in line with rapidly shifting customer requirements, contributing to long-term, sustainable success.

An AHRI member with strong vertical experience in HR and a background in the retail and hospitality sectors, I work to instil a customer-first mindset at all levels of an organisation. Highly strategic with a commercial outlook from an early career in marketing, I look beyond my direct realm of influence to define and implement strategies that not only optimise employee and customer experience but contribute to improved commercial outcomes.

A qualified psychologist, I utilise a deep understanding of human behaviour to inform strategic HR development, identify talent and obtain buy-in for change initiatives. Driven to make a positive impact on people’s lives, I find deep, personal satisfaction in helping co-workers achieve their career goals by creating and delivering learning and development initiatives, developing talent pipelines and succession plans and championing talent.

Career highlights include defining and delivering a workforce strategy at NOP Ltd to align the customer team with a new group strategy. At BCD, I built a talent pipeline and training program to enable an aggressive retail expansion across the eastern seaboard and led the deployment of an HRIS system to automate various HR processes, reducing the time taken to produce reports by three days.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

The first two paragraphs establish leadership and industry credibility by highlighting the applicant’s ’10 years’ experience delivering HR strategies’ and AHRI membership. More importantly, they link HR outcomes to business success, connecting ‘employee and customer experience’ to ‘improved commercial outcomes’.

The third paragraph positions the applicant’s psychology qualifications as a unique advantage in developing HR strategies and driving change. In line with the job ad, It then fleshes out the applicant’s skill set around L&D whilst elevating the summary with a sense of personal conviction ‘I find deep, personal satisfaction in helping co-workers achieve their career goals’.

 

In Conclusion.

Writing a good resume summary is definitely not easy (trust me, we should know). I hope these resume summary examples can help you write a summary that best reflects your unique value and personal brand.

As a reminder, if you are still daunted by the prospect of writing your own resume summary, but want to put your best foot forward, consider using our resume writing service. We’ll help you navigate a competitive job landscape to reach the next stage of your career.