Here, you’ll find some straightforward and practical advice for writing your Resume / CV, putting together an effective Cover Letter, and making the most of the Interview process. You can also download a timesheet at the click of a mouse. Too easy. Because that’s the way you want it.
KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIOUSLY!
Your resume’s purpose is not to get you a job; it’s to get you an interview! It has to be easy to read and easy for your prospective employer to quickly understand how you match the role. Aim for no more than 2-3 pages long, use bullet points where applicable, and keep statements short and to the point.
Remember, the interview is your chance to go into detail, not your resume!
USE THE KEYWORDS FROM THE JOB DESCRIPTION
Using the keywords from the job description makes matching your resume to the role much easier. Edit your resume for each role to give yourself a better chance of getting that interview.
BACK UP YOUR STATEMENTS WITH EXAMPLES
Back up your claims with (short) examples. Great customer service is easy to claim but saying you regularly deal with the public and prioritise their needs is more powerful. Use examples of how you demonstrate your qualities in your daily role.
PROOFREAD AND PROOFREAD AGAIN
Proofread your resume twice. Print it out on paper; don’t check it on the screen. Look at every individual word on its own to make sure the spelling is correct. If in doubt, look it up. Candidates have been overlooked for a typo, so make sure you’re not.
If using numbers, one to nine should be displayed in words and anything from 10 and above in numerals. Ensure your font is legible, for instance use Arial or Helvetica and make sure the font size is at least 10.
STATE YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS
Include information that outlines what your long term professional goal is. It doesn’t have to be a whole section, a short statement is enough. If you do decide to devote a section to your goals, make sure they are genuine and you can talk about them up in an interview.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
There are three essential parts to any resume; personal details, work history, and references. Always include copies of your licenses, any other qualifications you hold along with supporting documentation.
Each section should contain the following details:
- Email Address:
- LinkedIn Profile URL:
- Position Title:
- Start & Finish date:
- Reason for leaving:
- Work References:
- Contact details:
- Contact Details:
(Note: it is acceptable to state “referees can be provided on request”)
Best of luck, and if you need more help talk to one of our team.
The information included in a cover letter should be easy to read, concise and most importantly, relevant. Yes, you do need to write one for every role for which you apply. Every cover letter must respond directly to the criteria in the advertisement / job description.
There is a basic template you can use which includes the following:
- The purpose of your letter
- Your previous experience addressing the technical criteria, including years of experience
- Your personal attributes relevant to the role
- What relevant material requirements you have
- Always include your availability and contact details
A cover letter should be addressed as requested, be typed, one page in length and be attached to your resume and any supporting documentation requested.
Tips for Cover Letters
- Be clear and concise
- Address all the criteria included in the job advertisement
- Make sure there are no grammatical mistakes or spelling errors
- Make sure the formatting of the letter is easy to read
- Include your full contact details
Best of luck! And if you need more help, talk to one of our team.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking but there are a number of things you can do in advance so you have a better chance of being offered the role.
Show them you’re genuinely interested.
Show your interest in the organisation and enthusiasm for the position you are targeting by doing your research and preparation. There are some basic and effective ways to prepare for a successful interview. These includes:
- Researching the company/organisation, their values and mission statement
- Match your strengths and attributes to the company profile
- Read the job description and memorise it
- Prepare to answer difficult questions in relation to your previous experiences, competence, abilities and knowledge
- Prepare questions to ask and list them (so you don’t forget)
Common Interview Questions
Here are some frequently asked interview questions. Read through them briefly and prepare quick notes for each:
- Tell me about yourself. (Keep it work relevant.)
- Why did you leave your last position?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me what you know about the company.
- What skills and attributes can you offer the organisation?
- What is your most significant achievement?
- Describe the sort of culture you are looking for in an organisation.
- What is your expected salary?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why haven’t you found a position before now?
- What is your ideal role?
- How would you evaluate your present/last company?
- What do you think of your current/previous boss?
- Do you work better in a team environment or on your own? Why?
Remember: When you are in an interview, the interviewer is usually interested in the following:
- Can you do whatever he/she wants done?
- Will you solve her/his problems? Are you motivated enough to do that?
- How well do you fit in with the organisation?
Behavioural Based Questions
Because a job interview is designed so an employer can gather information about your skills and experiences in relation to a particular role, increasingly interview include behavioural based questions.
Behavioural questions ask about your past experiences, hypothetical problem solving scenarios or case studies. Examples include:
Accountability & Performance Describe a time when you took on additional work to help your team meet a crucial work goal.
Analytical Ability Have you ever been in a real dilemma at work? What did you do to get out of it?
Attention to Detail Give me an example of an assignment that you found difficult to finish. How did you go about it?
Communication Tell me about a time when you delegated a project/job/task effectively.
Conflict Management Describe a time when you had a disagreement with a colleague at work. How did you manage to work it out?
Customer Service What is your definition of “excellent” client/customer service? Tell me about a time when you went beyond the call of duty to help a client/customer.
Decision Making Describe one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make in the workplace. How did you overcome some of the hardships? What alternatives did you consider? What were the key elements that triggered your decision?
The best answers to behavioural questions include three key parts:
1. The situation (what was the problem, difficulty, concern)
2. What you did (the specific action you took)
3. The outcome (e.g. happy customer, improved systems, resolved the conflict, etc.)
It’s like telling a little story, and it’s a good idea to practice with common behavioural questions like the ones above.
Interview Tips and Etiquette
Remember first impressions last!
- Arrive at least 5-10 minutes early before your allocated interview time.
- Always attend each job interview appropriately dressed. A suit is always preferable within a corporate environment; otherwise wear appropriate clothing for the type of role / client.
- Introduce yourself to the receptionist or secretary.
- Be courteous and show respect to anyone you meet. More than one applicant has fallen short in their job application because of a rude remark or patronising manner at the reception desk
- Make sure you give a firm and steady handshake upon meeting the interviewer. Everything from your appearance to your body language sends signals to interviewers about you and your fit in the company. They’re looking for anything to distinguish you from the pack, so even your handshake can set the tone for the rest of your meeting.
- Maintain an “open” body position and lean into the interviewer slightly to show interest.
- Look at the interviewer when making contact and talking. Direct eye contact is important.
- Maintain a warm and friendly attitude and treat the interviewer like a potential colleague. Establish rapport as you would with a peer.
- Relax, be confident in your answers and remember that you can make a valuable contribution to the organisation.
Things to Avoid:
- Irritating habits like chewing gum, staring outside the room or on the floor, drinking coffee during your interview.
- Avoid playing with your hair, pen clicking, pencil tapping, foot swinging.
Best of luck! And if you need more help talk to one of our team.