How to present your CV (resume) for Australian Visa applications

In this article, I discuss some of the key points about how to present your resume for Australian Visa applications to help make the process smooth and maximise your chances of Visa success.

It’s a visa application, not a job application!

The first thing to note is that applying for a visa is not the same as applying for a job!

When you are applying for a job your CV should be tailored to the specific position and highlight all of the skills and attributes you have that demonstrates to a potential employer that you are the right person to fill the position.

Applying for a Visa is different. The focus of your CV for your Visa application should be on quantifiable, verifiable, cold hard facts, which are used to determine (and prove) that you meet eligibility criteria for the Visa you apply for.

What to include:

Exact dates:

For Australian Visas, all dates provided must be in complete date format (DD/MM/YYYY).

This is the most common problem we encounter. The reason we need the dates so precise is that when we enter the information into the government’s various systems, we have to select exact dates from drop down menus. We cannot guess this information, it must be accurate.

Exact dates are also important in calculating whether you may be eligible for different things such as points for work experience and possibly eligibility based on a particular amount of years of relevant work.

Employment History:

As noted above, exact employment history is critical to determining eligibility for many skill based visas. When listing our employment history you must provide:

  • Exact dates for start and finish of each job you have held;
  • A short sentence overview of each position;
  • A list of the tasks you performed for each position;
  • The country where you were employed;

Education History:

Like with the employment history exact dates are critical to determining eligibility for many skill based visas. As an example, in some countries a ‘Diploma’ is a 2 year qualification that is not as high as a Bachelor Degree, but in others a Diploma is a 3 year qualification that is equivalent to a Bachelor Degree. This can mean the difference between meeting Visa requirements or not so it is very important to be precise.

Your education history should include:

  • A list of all completed qualifications
  • The exact start and finish dates
  • A statement about whether each course was completed full time or part time
  • The country in which the qualification was completed

Skills Assessment Outcomes:

If you have a skills assessment for migration purposes list all details:

  • Name of occupation assessed
  • ANZSCO Code of the occupation assessed
  • Name of assessing authority
  • Outcome (positive or negative)
  • Date of outcome

Licenses or registration:

If you have any licenses or registration you should list all details. Again, keep in mind that exact details are required such as:

  • Occupation licensed or registered
  • Name of license or registration
  • Date awarded
  • Whether it is current
  • The country in which the license or registration was awarded

English Test Outcomes:

English test results are critical for many Australian Visas. If you have any English test results list them in details:

  • Name of test (for example IELTS or OET)
  • Date of test report
  • Results for each part of the test, not just an overall score. For example:

Speaking: 6.0
Reading: 6.5
Writing: 7.0
Listening: 3.0

What not to include:

Personal statements or career objectives:

The Department of Immigration does not care about your goals, aside from your goal of obtaining your Visa!

There is no need to include your career objectives, personal statements, hobbies, photos of yourself etc. You do not need to include referees either.

Vague dates are unacceptable:

As stated above, you need to be precise with your start and finish dates for everything (DD/MM/YYYY). Vague dates such as ‘December 2011 to February 2013 are unacceptable.

Remember to format properly:

Your CV is a professional document. Make sure you format it properly. Be consistent. If you present a sloppy CV you will just draw attention to yourself as possibly non-genuine.


Remember – cold hard verifiable and provable facts are required. Your career aspiration is not the issue with your visa. Whether you can prove that you meet Visa requirements is the issue. Your CV should be an easy to understand summary of all the facts that determine your eligibility.

You will be required to provide evidence of everything you claim on your CV, so make sure it is 100% accurate and that you have the supporting documents to back up your claims. Making false or misleading statements to the Department of Immigration can result in Visa refusal and a three year ban.

Example CV online:

We have example CVs for you to review and use as your template if you choose.

  • Here is an instructional CV.
  • Here is a template for you to download and use.

I look forward to being able to help you with your visa situation in future. Finding reliable, professional visa help can be very challenging. If you have found this article helpful, please take a moment to ‘share’ it using the icon visible on the left hand side of this page.

John Bell
General Manager and Senior Migration Agent
MARN 0321386

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John Bell

Migration Advisor at National Visas
John Bell has been involved in the immigration industry since 2000 and has practiced in Australia as an Australian Registered Migration Agent since 2003. John also worked in the UK as a UK immigration adviser between 2000 and 2002.

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