A resume is a short (1-2 pages) document summarising your work experience and qualifications. It is an important marketing tool for job seekers.

One of the hardest things about preparing your resume is translating ADF-specific capabilities into civilian skills. You can use Defence's core skills identifier to get a better understanding of what skills you have to offer an employer.

  • The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has useful resume templates on its Jumpstart page as well as advice and tools to help you tailor and quality-check your resume. 
  • YourCareer is another Australian Government website that offers tips and checklists to improve your resume. 
  • The Defence Force Transition Program is able to provide assistance with preparing your resume. 

What to include in a resume

Personal details

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number (with voicemail)
  • Level of security clearance

An introduction

Start with a short paragraph giving a high-level overview of your key skills and experience as they relate to the job you are applying for. 

Work history overview

  • List your most recent position first and work backwards. Include the different positions you held throughout your military career.
  • Include the dates you were in each role, and a brief description of the responsibilities.
  • Consolidate information wherever possible to prevent your resume becoming too long.
  • If you have relevant experience in volunteer roles, include these as well.

Education and Training

  • List any formal qualifications, starting with your highest level of achievement. This can include educational qualifications, professional accreditation, licences or certificates.
  • Include the full name of the qualification, the institution that awarded it and, the date finished.


You need at least two referees for every job application. Ideally referees should be people you reported to in your most recent positions.

Always ask permission before including anyone as your referee. It is totally acceptable to protect the privacy of your referees by writing "Referees: available on request".

Additional tips 

  • Tailor your resume for each job and take into account the needs of the prospective employer. Make sure you have addressed the job criteria and that - your resume - showcases your achievements and doesn't simply list duties.  
  • Check your online presence: recruiters will often research your social media presence so make sure the information on your resume and social media are consistent. Consider how you represent yourself on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ask for help: is there someone who can act as a mentor and provide useful tips on how to present yourself positively? It is also worth asking non-ADF contacts to read and comment on your resume. 
  • Translate ADF jargon into language that will be understood by a civilian employer. 
  • Omit any information that is not relevant to your ability to perform in the new role. 
  • Remember that you cannot include classified information. 
  • Carefully check your resume for any typing or formatting errors and ask someone you trust to proofread the document before sending it to a recruiter or employer.
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