As expert recruiters and career management consultants, we would like to share our experience with you. This section of our website contains a range of information and advice on job seeking that you may find useful.
- Tips on career planning
- Tips on cover letters
- Tips on interview preparation
Our career is a significant part of our lives, so it’s important to enjoy what you do and where you do it. Here are some practical steps to help you discover a career you’ll really love:
It’s impossible to make confident decisions about the type of work and type of work environment in which you’ll meet your full potential unless you first understand what you want, how you behave and how you feel. A great way to fast-track this understanding is to use modern psychological assessment tools.
If you are currently employed ask yourself what would need to change to keep you there. You may find that your easiest and best career solution lies in tackling and resolving the issues within your current workplace.
If you’re determined to move on, you need to track some trends. What are the growth and emerging industry and associated vocational sectors in Australia?
Before you explore new career possibilities it is essential to understand the job marketplace. The last thing you want to do is to invest time, money and precious energy in a new career only to find there are few jobs, or the sector is in decline.
Planning your career is a big project and like all projects, the quality of the outcome is directly related to the quality of the thinking and planning up front. Research is key in this process.
Not everyone has the research skills or access to essential information to take into account all the possibilities, opportunities and risks involved in career planning. You may like to consider investing in some professional career guidance. Deciding on the right career path is a complex undertaking and some independent advice and assistance can prove worthwhile.
Well-constructed cover letters can have a tremendous impact on a potential employer’s first impression of you. You need to consider their situation – when you apply for a position there will be at least some, and sometimes many, other applicants with similar skills and experience to yourself. Which means you have direct competitors, so you need a way to distinguish yourself in what is often a crowded market. That can come down to a well-crafted cover letter.
So, instead of thinking the letter is just a formality, consider it’s main purpose is to make your application stand out. There are no fixed rules or best style of letter, but the following quick tips may assist you:
- Always make contact with the nominated contact person before you apply for a job. This is a place to make a good impression and make yourself memorable for when your resume crosses her or his desk. Introduce yourself and the position you are interested in and try and ask a couple of intelligent “qualifying” questions. You can then distinguish yourself even further by referring to this telephone conversation in the cover letter. An added benefit is that you can name them personally.
- Keep your cover letter to one page and leave enough “white space” for the letter not to look too busy. Nice big margins and short paragraphs that are precise and to the point will make it easy to read.
- Avoid being overly audacious in the tone or substance of the letter as you may appear arrogant. Best to avoid telling the hiring manager that you are the exact person they’ve been looking for.
- Critically, look to address the key elements that the organisation is looking for in terms of how your experience is directly relevant. That allows you to explain how their organisation can benefit from you being part of their team.
- Make sure you ask for a meeting. This is positive reinforcement for you as well as them. It also allows you to end on a confident note.
- Double (and triple) check your spelling and grammar. Many employers will automatically dismiss an application that contains basic spelling and grammar errors so don’t underestimate this step. If English is not your first language, ask someone to check the letter for you.
- If you are unsuccessful in securing an interview, call and ask for feedback about your application. If you don’t know what you did wrong, how can you improve next time? Take on board what you are told and try and incorporate it into your next job application.
By the time you have made it to an interview, you have eliminated the vast majority of the competition. So – well done.
When you are at an interview there are only two possible objectives to aim for – to get a job offer or make it through to a second interview (if they have one).
Here are our top 10 tips to help you prepare for your interview:
- When you are invited for an interview (typically via a telephone call) gather as much information as possible. You can ask what the essential selection criteria are, how the interview will be run and who will be interviewing you. They may or may not tell you everything, but it never hurts to try.
- Research the organisation and the relevant industry. Try and discover some topical issues related to the industry so that you can formulate some interesting and relevant questions. This shows genuine interest in the organisation as well as your current background knowledge.
- Select conservative business attire and grooming.
- Arrive on time.
- Prepare yourself to provide detailed examples to demonstrate your experience in essential areas of knowledge, skill and ability related to the role.
- Provide succinct answers to the interviewers’ questions.
- Look the interviewer in the eye confidently but don’t try and stare them down.
- Prepare to ask questions, for example, “How will my performance in the role be measured?” which will show that you are results oriented.
- Do not ask about salary.
- Send a thank you note after the interview and, if you are still interested in the role, confirm for the interviewer your ongoing interest.