Whether you are looking for work because you are currently unemployed or ready for a new challenge, it’s important to take control of your job search. The process can be long, but there are definite ways to make your job search more efficient and avoid setbacks.
Here are our go to tips to help you prepare for your job search and gain employment!
Prepare Your Basic Information
It seems pretty simple, but do not deny that this step is critical in helping you achieve your goal of employment. Being prepared and organised before you begin sets you up for a faster and more successful job search.
Important details you should make sure you have are a Tax File Number, a current resume, two contactable references, a reliable means of contact (such as a landline, mobile phone or email) and a basic cover letter that you can alter to be more specific to the job you are applying for.
Build a Stellar Resume
Did you know that employers look at your resume for an average of 6 seconds? First impressions are vital in helping you stand out from the crowd. Having an eye catching, professional resume that has all the essential information needed is a task that we recommend taking your time to build. Your resume should be sharp looking if you want it to stand out from the others so attention to detail is very important and can’t be rushed if you want it done right.
Essential information you will need to include are:
- Your full name and contact information
- Your work experience related to the role you are applying for
- Other work experience you have had as this showcases other skills, qualifications and abilities that you can bring to the job
- Your education and schooling
- A short summary of qualifications or skills and abilities you can bring to the job that may not be from your former employment (e.g volunteer work)
- Awards and recognition
- References - you should always provide at least two references from your most recent employment or people who know you well if this is your first job (e.g. this could be your coach if you play sport)
Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter should be brief and not contain the same content you present in your resume. This brief greeting shows your written communication skills, and serves as an invitation to have a closer look at your resume.
When writing a cover letter pay close attention to the requirements the employer has listed for the job you are applying for. The quickest way of having your resume placed at the bottom of the pile is by not following their instructions. If the employer specifies the information they would like to see in your cover letter, ensure that it is included.
It does not take special training or skills to create a good cover letter. All you need to do is understand its basic components and ensure it contains effective, quality content.
So you’ve found an advertised role, you’ve created your cover letter and resume, you've applied for the role and now you have an interview!
Interviews are the most common method of filling vacancies but there are different types of them including face-to-face, phone or even a panel.
In order to have a successful interview it is extremely important that you are focused and prepared before you arrive, during the interview and afterwards.
Preparation is key in setting yourself up for success in the interview. Questions that will best prepare you include:
- Where is the interview?
- How will I get there?
- How long will it take to get there and then how much time do I need to allow for the commute?
- What clothing is required? Do you have business attire if its required?
- Have you prepared a list of questions to ask the interviewer/s about the position and/or company?
- Have you practiced possible interview questions that could be asked?
Knowing what skills are required for the position you are applying for and what the company does is also an important part of preparation. Having this knowledge is powerful and may help you immensely during the interview.
Whilst in the interview it is vital to:
- Smile, maintain eye contact and be polite and friendly
- Be aware of your body language. Fidgeting and fiddling with your hands, clothes etc indicates that you are nervous and not confident. Remember confidence is key!
- Ask for clarity for a question if you do not understand
- Thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you and shake their hand
In summary, it is always best to have a good first impression, not only on paper in the form of your cover letter and resume but also in person when you come to the interview. Preparation is essential in order to set you up for success in finding and obtaining employment.