First-time job seeker resumes and cover letters

Example profiles and job application advice for people who are just starting their career journey.

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The fictional profiles below give you a practical example of how to apply for your first job. Each one includes a cover letter, resume and the corresponding job advertisement. These are just some of the resources available from our library of resume templates and cover letter examples.

Starting a career in surveying – example profile

You man standing at an indoor construction site wearing a hardhat.

Jack Morris

Jack has just completed a Certificate IV in Surveying, while working as labourer for a local builder. He now wants an entry level surveying role to use his study in a professional surveying context and gain experience in large infrastructure projects.

When applying for the role at HVC Surveying, Jack needs to highlight his practical experience in construction, his surveying knowledge, and his commitment to ongoing development.

Jack's resume or CV    Jack's cover letter

Searching for an entry-level marketing role – example profile

A young man sitting on wall cross-legged.

Lachlan Nguyen

Lachlan has recently completed his HSC and is looking for an internship or entry-level role in sports management. Through local hockey, he has developed teamwork and leadership skills, together with skills in social media and web design.

Lachlan is excited about the Junior Marketing Assistant role because of his passion for wellness. His application emphasises his transferrable skills developed through part-time retail work, sporting and volunteering activities.

Lachlan's resume or CV    Lachlan's cover letter

Searching for a role as a childhood educator – example profile

A person sat at a desk with a laptop and a notebook.

Jay Taylor

Jay has recently completed their Certificate IV in Childcare while gaining practical experience from work placements in local childcare centres. Jay is now seeking their first job as a Certificate IV Educator.

The application for the position at Poppy’s Playroom demonstrates Jay’s ability to connect with children and create engaging learning activities. It also focuses on the appeal of working at Poppy’s Playroom because of the centre’s commitment to ongoing staff professional development.

Jay's resume or CV    Jay's cover letter

Advice when applying for your first job

Your resume or CV

Your resume or CV should highlight your educational achievements, including degrees, certificates, and relevant coursework. You can briefly mention any subjects you studied.

You should also list any internships, part-time jobs or volunteer work to showcase your transferable skills and work ethic. 

Also give examples of extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other relevant skills.

Your cover letter

Use your cover letter to show your enthusiasm for entering the workforce. Explain how your extracurricular activities and academic projects have prepared you for the professional world, even if you lack any previous experience in paid employment.

Learn more on the Resumes or CVs and cover letters page.

See how the people in the examples on this page highlight their educational achievements and enthusiasm for entering the workforce when they're applying for their first role. 

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