Job search tips

Changing jobs is one of the most stressful things you can do.

But you’re not alone. We’re here to help you through each step of the way. Starting with some tips…

 

Whether it’s been 6 months or 15 years since you last applied for a job, our tips and advice will help you prepare everything you need and more importantly, perform at your best at the interview. And if you have a confidential question, please feel free to contact one of friendly and experienced recruitment consultants. We’ll be happy to help!

Dress to impress

You’re only given one opportunity to make a good first impression. So make sure you look, act and dress in a professional manner. For most interviews we recommend wearing a full matching suit or smart business attire, and make sure your hair, nails, shoes and make-up are professional and clean.

Resume

The first step before you start your job hunt is to make sure your resume is ready. It must contain all the relevant up-to-date information the employer will be looking for, and must be presented in a format that makes a professional first impression. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure all qualifications are included, along with               the dates you were awarded them. Even the ones that           aren’t relevant to the job. Showing you can start and             complete your studies conveys your commitment to             following things through and is also a great sign of                 your interest in personal development.
  • Make sure you never make up anything in your                       resume. It will come back to haunt you.
  • When describing your responsibilities or achievements         use active and dynamic verbs (click here for examples).         Make the sentence as tight and active as possible and           don’t write your CV in the first person.
  • Review your resume several times for grammatical                 and spelling errors. Even something as simple as a                 typo could negatively impact your ability to land an               interview, so pay close attention. Have one or two                 other people look at it as well.
  • Keep the formatting classic; don’t be too creative. First           impressions count and your CV will be the first                       impression for the hiring manager. Use a simple font             like, Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial. Ensure your               personal details are clearly and prominently displayed.
  • Limit your CV to three pages if possible. People tend             not to read long CVs.
  • Make sure your CV focuses on the last decade. For                 earlier roles, just note the company, dates and position         title.
Cover letter
  • Your cover letter should be specific to the role you’re             applying for. Its purpose is to ensure your resume gets         read.
  • Remember that the reader is looking to see if your                 skills and experience match the criteria, and they will             scan your application in seconds before deciding to               read the whole thing in detail.
  • Print out the position description and highlight the key         points.
  • Identify the key criteria, qualifications and experience.
  • Make a note of any specific language in the position               description and use similar language in your cover                 letter and resume.
  • Short succinct statements are best; remember they will         read it quickly so you need to keep their attention.
  • Personalise your letter, using the relevant manager or           recruitment consultant’s name.
  • Include your personal details.
  • Limit your letter to three or four paragraphs. Your first         paragraph should give the reader a reason to read on.         Refer to the position you’re applying for and briefly               explain why you’re interested. The second paragraph           should outline clearly why you’re a strong fit for the               role. The third paragraph can be used to highlight a               career achievement that would be relevant to their               company or industry.
  • Remember you need to make sure what you’re writing         conveys the value you’ll bring their company, rather               than discussing what value the company will bring you.         It’s about the reader, so put yourself in their shoes                 and read over your CV, making sure it’s appealing                   to the hiring manager.
  • Ask someone to read through your application before           you submit it.
Interview tips

Be prepared. Before your interview, take time to research the organisation, the interviewer and the job. This will impress the interviewer (or interview panel), and give you more confidence that you’re fully prepared. We recommend you:

 

  • Review the company website and write down three key         facts about the organisation. Take these facts to the               interview.
  • Research any projects, new ventures or recent changes         within the organisation.
  • Review the interviewer’s LinkedIn page.
  • Study the job description and write down any                         questions you have.

 

Also be sure to think through and practice your answers to the questions they’re likely to ask. Below is a list of the more common interview questions. Don’t be fooled; they may look simple, but they can be tricky to answer if you’re not prepared.

 

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years/10 years?
  • Describe a time when you faced a difficult situation               and how you overcame it?
  • What is your biggest achievement/accomplishment?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Why should we hire you?
At the interview
  • Aim to arrive 10 minutes early. This will eliminate any           unnecessary stress prior to the interview, and help you         feel more relaxed.
  • Bring a copy of your resume, qualifications and                       references in a neat and tidy folder.
  • Greet the interviewer with a firm hand-shake and a               smile, and make eye contact.
  • Make small talk while walking to the interview                         room/location. This will help you and the interviewer             feel more comfortable together.
  • Think about your answers to questions, and don’t rush         through the interview. It should be a two-sided                       discussion. Make sure you listen to the interviewer.
  • Be honest, direct and positive. Don’t bad-mouth your           past employers. Speak constructively and with passion.
  • Always use specific examples from your previous roles         when answering behavioral questions.
  • Don’t bring up salary or hours of work. These                           questions can indicate that your driver is money                     and/or that you’re a clock watcher.
  • Try to raise a point of difference or an interesting fact           about the company. Something you discovered while           researching their website / information. This will show           you’ve done your research and will hopefully open up           dialogue between you and the interviewer, which will           help you build rapport.

 

When given the opportunity, make sure you ask relevant questions like:

  • Could you describe the culture of the company/team?
  • Who are your top competitors?
  • What are the day-to-day duties of the role? (If not outlined         in the job spec.)
  • What do you enjoy most about working for the                             organisation?
  • What key qualities do you think someone would need to             excel in this role?
  • How do I compare to the other candidates you’ve                       interviewed?