Most times details on how to apply will be included where you’ve seen the job advertised so make sure you read that carefully and follow the instructions to ensure your application is received safely by the recruiter, in the correct format, within the specified application periods.
Below are some hints and tips to make your recruitment journey as smooth as possible. Good luck!
Preparing Your Resume
For most job applications, you will be required to prepare and submit a resume. To help you on your way, here are a few pointers to get your resume ready:
- Include your personal details at the top of your resume. These should include your best contact numbers, email address and working rights i.e. Australian Permanent Resident
- Should you have relevant qualifications and education, you should include these next.
- Start with most recent employer at the top and work backwards, providing the most detail (e.g. roles and responsibilities) for your most recent/relevant experience
- Cover at least the past 5 years, with months as well as years (for example, rather than simply stating 2013 – 2015, specify the months too: May 2013 – March 2015)
- Cover any gaps in employment e.g. travel, parental leave
- Keep it succinct, aim for no more than 2 to 3 pages
- Use a font that is easy to read. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or a similar font. Keep the font size at 10 or 11. Remember to keep your page margins as standard.
- Keep each section uniform, using a standard approach. Use bullet points where appropriate.
- Ensure your resume is without spelling or grammatical errors and is accurate and complete.
Remember: do not include personal information such as marital status, children, height etc. There is usually no need for a photo either.
Writing a Cover Letter
You may also be required to submit a cover letter with your resume. Remember your resume and cover letter (if requested) are the first things that a recruiter or potential future employer sees, so make sure you represent yourself as positively as possible.
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
- Use the same format as a typical letter including the date, your address, a greeting to the contact person followed by a subject line and then the content of the letter, remembering to include your name and contact number at the bottom of the letter. This will ensure your cover letter and resume align.
- Address the cover letter to the appropriate person. This will be detailed in the job advertisement. Where it isn’t, you can address your letter “To whom it may concern”.
- Include a subject line that matches the role e.g.: RE – CUSTOMER SERVICE ROLE
- The first paragraph should introduce yourself and key skills that align to the role you are applying for.
- The second paragraph could detail any special achievements, experiences you have that are particularly relevant for the role, company or industry you are applying for.
- The third paragraph could detail your motivation for the position and why you would be a good fit for the company culture or position.
- Remember a cover letter should not just be a repeat of your resume.
You will be asked to respond to questions by describing things you have done in the past related to the role capabilities. In responding to these questions, draw on examples from all aspects of your life, including work, volunteer and community work.
- The interviewer wants you to do your best. During the interview s/he will ask you probing questions to help clarify your responses.
- Choose examples that highlight your strengths and focus on your own involvement in various situations (use ‘I’ rather than ‘we’). Use the most recent examples possible.
- Before you attend the assessment centre consider past experiences where you have demonstrated the capabilities to make it easier to provide examples during the interview.
- Practice can be of real benefit. Engage in mock interviews with friends, colleagues, career advisers – anyone who is prepared to help.
- Walk the interviewer through your response in a logical, sequential fashion. Structure your responses according to the STAR approach outlined below.
Using the STAR approach
Situation A brief outline of the situation or setting, who was involved and what was your role?
Task What did you do?
Action How did you do it?
Result What was the outcome and what feedback did you receive?
Sample Interview Question
Initiative and Accountability
Tell me about a time you saw an opportunity and drove it forward.
- How did you spot the opportunity?
- How did you decide whether to pursue the opportunity or not?
- What was the outcome?