Job Seeker Tips
Did you know you have about 30 seconds to impress a potential employer before they decide to move onto the next application?It is essential that you commit adequate time to "getting it right" in order to present you, your skills, and your experience in the best light.Sure you may meet all the required skills necessary to succeed in the job advertised, but if an employer rejects your resume after not seeing anything that grabs them in that first 30 seconds, then you're in trouble.So how do you create a resume that gives you every chance of success?Here is some useful information to assist you in writing a job-winning resume:Common Resume MisconceptionsAvoid these resume traps to become an appealing candidate.1) You can use the same resume for every job application.WRONG!One resume that you dust off and send for every job, no matter how "good," works even less than a pair of pants labelled "one size fits all." Resumes need to be tailored for the specific position and company. Don’t use the same resume for every job application.2) Landing a job is a numbers game...so you need to blanket the earth with your resume.WRONG!This is one of the least productive methods to find a job. Sure, if you send enough resumes and wait long enough, then yes, eventually you may get a job offer this way. But few people want to take those kinds of chances and wait that long.3) Using fancy fonts, pictures, bright colours and a unique layout will get you noticed.WRONG!Always remember that the ability to quickly scan your resume is key. All of the above may get you noticed...but for the wrong reasons. Remember, you only have about 30 seconds, so don’t make the viewer spend 20 of them figuring out how to read your resume.Getting StartedThe hardest part about writing a resume is where to start but don’t let it put you off.Before you start actually writing your resume, think about what you want to do, what image you want to project to your potential employer and how your past experiences relate to your current aspirations.Remember, an employer is always thinking “why should I speak with this person? How is she/he different from all the other applicants?”Try writing some of your experiences onto a piece of paper.Don’t think you have any experience? Then think again! Brainstorm and think carefully about your:EducationActivitiesInterestsWork experienceAwards and recognitionSkills and abilitiesIn each heading, think, “what did I do?” and write it down.Once you have all that on paper you should start focusing on items that are important to the job you are applying for.Remember a resume's purpose is to show how well you fit a particular job and NOT to share your life story. Keep the 30 seconds to impress rule in mind.For the list, you wrote above, write short and concise sentences for each heading. Each sentence should be structured so that it is interesting and compelling, using action verbs at the beginning of each of your sentences.Click here to view a concise list of Action VerbsElements of a Great ResumeHere are some features of a great resume.Be sure to keep this in mind when writing your own. Never let poor resume writing affect your chance of getting your perfect job.TargetedThe more targeted a resume is, the greater your chance of getting that interview. Employers want to know exactly what you can do for their company. Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for (it only takes a few sentences to do this). Remove any irrelevant information.Well WrittenA smart, well-written resume instantly makes a positive impression with an employer. Use action words, such as established, implemented, created and streamlined. This will add that extra boost to your story.ConsistencyEnsure your resume is logical and easy to read. Be consistent with everything, such as the spacing, margins, and borders. Emphasise important points with basic text enhancements such as boldness, italics or underlining.Summarised QualificationsThis is perhaps the most important section in your resume as it outlines your top selling points. Many people will neglect this, missing the opportunity to be noticed - Don’t make this mistake.Self-PromotionThe job of the resume is to sell sell sell! Don’t be shy, show your accomplishments, skills, and abilities. Employers want to too see that you can indeed perform the job at hand. Show them by letting them know about your experiences and how others have benefited from your productivity.AbbreviationsDo not use abbreviations in place of proper English. It is unprofessional and many are not universally accepted.No Personal StuffPersonal information such as height, weight, and marital status is unnecessary and can be seen as unprofessional.Grammatically CorrectPoor grammar is the quickest way for your resume to end up in the ‘rejection pile’.Do not trust your computer’s spell and grammar check. Read every word yourself and have someone you know and trust proofread your resume.Spelling mistakes and typos suggest that your standard of work will be of the same poor quality.
Improve Your Interviewing TechniqueA job interview can cause a lot of stress but it certainly doesn't need to if you have taken time to prepare.While it is completely natural and good to experience some nerves before a job interview, the following preparation guide will provide you some simple, effective tips to get you job interview ready and make the most of your face-to-face time with a potential employer.Always remember that preparation is the key. Take it seriously, practice with a friend or family member and you will gain the confidence and ability to secure that great job you were chasing.Job Interview BasicsHere is a list of the key basics for preparing for and conducting a job interview.PreparationAn interview is like an exam: preparation is paramount!The effort put in BEFORE the interview can be the most vital contributor to your success. It is often the X-factor that will have you perform better than your competition.Here are a few essential steps to ensure a successful interview:Make sure you know the details of interview time, location and who you’ll be meeting.You may also have a job description, plus some information about the company you’re interviewing with.Look up their website. Familiarise yourself with the products and services the company offers.Refresh your memory regarding important facts and figures of your own employment history.Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled time.PresentationFirst Impressions are lasting Impressions.Make the best first impression you can by being well groomed in appropriate business attire, attending to all facets of your grooming and being careful not to dress too loudly.For males, a suit is the preferred attire, a long-sleeved shirt and tie with long trousers may also acceptable. Ensure that hair is clean, neat and tidy.For females, a suit, skirt or dress trousers with blouse or classic dress are preferable with appropriate stockings and shoes.Ensure make-up, perfume and hair are tasteful and appropriate for an interview.Dress conservatively, until you can assess the corporate dress code at interview.During the InterviewBe prepared to give well thought-out and clear answers to questions such as these:Tell me about yourselfWhat are you immediate objectives?What are your future aspirations?What are your strengths and weaknesses?What interests you in the position and/or our company?What do you know about our company?What are your hobbies or interests?What do you do in your spare time?The Dos and Do Nots of Job InterviewsHere is some basic job interview etiquette which will help create a great impression with your potential employer.Interview "Do's"Arrive at your interview a couple of minutes earlyGreet your interviewer with a smileWait until you are offered a chair before you sit downListen carefully.Show enthusiasm.Be honest. Use the questions as an opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewerShow maturity.Interview "Do Not's"Enquire about salaryAsk about fringe benefitsGive one word answersRamble onSpeak negativelyClosing a Job InterviewThe final step in a job interview will usually be about any questions that you have on the role.It is always beneficial to ask at least a couple of company or role based questions to show you are keen and inquisitive. Be sure not to ask a question that has been covered off already however as it will appear that you were not listening.Example Questions to Ask Your Potential EmployerWhy has this position become available?Can you tell me about the type of person that is successful at this company?How would you describe the culture of the company?What are the company’s growth plans for the future?What will be the next step?How does the position fit into the organisation structure?In what areas do you expect the business to grow the most?How do you feel you rate against your competitors?What orientation or induction programs are available?What is the company’s approach towards external training and development?What type of internal social/sporting activities are organised?Sample Interview QuestionsPractice answering these frequently asked questions prior to your interview. Be careful not to try to memorise responses. Simply get comfortable talking about and selling yourself as best you can. Remember, it’s your time to shine!Tell me about yourself.What are you immediate objectives?What are your future career goals?What have you enjoyed most/least about your previous job(s)?What are your greatest achievements?What are your strengths and weaknesses?What kinds of management style and team structure do you prefer, and why?How would your friends or people you’ve worked with describe you?What interests you in the position and/or our company?Why did you apply for this position?Have you applied for other positions? If so, what type?Have you been successful? If not, why not? What do you know about our company?Why should we hire you?What salary are you seeking? (don’t bring up salary, working hours or conditions; wait for the interviewer to mention the subject)