Common questions: How does a NZ resume differ from an Indian resume?

differences between nz and indian resume

The differences between a NZ resume and an Indian resume are quite significant. Therefore, I believe it requires a separate blog post by itself. The population of migrants to New Zealand from the Indian subcontinent has increased massively over the last few years. This article is particularly tailored to those individuals. 

According to a census conducted by Statistics New Zealand in 2018, the number of Kiwi Indians in New Zealand has crossed the 200,000 mark. One of the most common hurdles faced by these individuals is difficulty in finding a suitable job that makes good use of their qualifications. This is partly due to ignorance of the differences between a NZ resume and an Indian resume. I believe a well-made New Zealand style resume will improve confidence during the job search phase.

Since I have lived in India for 18 years of my life and then moved to New Zealand, I am aware of the differences between a New Zealand and an Indian resume. Hence I have chosen to focus only on those two countries in this article. Nevertheless, I believe the points discussed below will be useful for all resume writers irrespective of nationality. 

1. Format:

In a New Zealand style resume, the focus should be on highlighting the skills developed through your education and work experience. Employers in New Zealand want to know if you are capable of fulfilling the demands of the role you have applied for. The layout should be simple and neat with lots of white space. 

In an Indian resume, the common practice is to list all your work experiences and qualifications. Employers pay particular attention to your GPA and marks over the final years of school and throughout University. 

2. Length:

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the length of an Indian resume can run up to 10 pages. However, in New Zealand, employers recommend you to not exceed a maximum of 2 pages. Most employers are quite busy and do not have more than a few seconds to read through the pages of your resume.  See my blog post on resume length here to find out more.

3. Personal details:

Indian resumes typically start with a section outlining the personal details of the individual (father’s name, gender, date of birth etc.) However in New Zealand, employees are advised to not discriminate between individuals based on their personal details like gender, age etc. Hence this section should NOT be included in a New Zealand resume. 

4. Photograph:

This is quite a tricky subject since I have seen a few New Zealand resumes include a profile photo of the individual. However, based on my point in the previous paragraph, employees should not bias their decision based on the applicant’s gender, age,or ethnicity and most of these can be told by a picture. Hence, avoid including a picture on your resume unless the application specifically calls for it. Indian resumes commonly include a passport photograph of the applicant in the personal details section.

5. Work experience:

For Indian resumes, it is common to list out all the places the candidate has worked at from day 1. However, a New Zealand style resume only requires the workplaces and skills relevant to the particular role. I feel it’s best to highlight the skills developed in greater detail rather than focusing on places worked at.

If you would like to discuss further or wish to have your resume reviewed, feel free to contact me!