The Covering Letter
You should provide a covering letter or email as to why you are looking to leave your current position, your current package and your availability. If you know the hiring managers name immediately connect with your reader by opening with ‘Dear Mr/Ms’. Ensure your opening lines are effective as you only have a sentence or two to grab the reader’s attention. Your cover letter should convey your interest in the job you are responding to and should be no longer than one page in length.
A resume is a document that a potential employer will use to make their initial assessment about you. With this in mind preparing such a document can be quite daunting. Ideally your CV should be no longer than 3 or 4 pages as an absolute maximum.Remember your resume is a professional sales document and therefore it must be clear with the information complete.
The following information will assist you on how best to compile the document.
- It’s key to create your resume in a common program such as MS Word. Most employers would like to have a resume sent electronically so it’s important to have it in a suitable format.
- Don’t forget the basics! It’s essential to include your name, address, telephone numbers and email address.
- In reverse chronological order you should list your educational (secondary and tertiary), training history and qualifications.
- Don’t forget that the first page of your CV should grab the attention of any potential employer. Now list your work experience in reverse chronological order. Include employer names, positions held and duties (projects worked on where applicable).
- Account for all your time and ensure there are no gaps.If you do include gaps, potential employers can suspect the worst.
- It’s important not to use graphics and images that distract from the content. Don’t take your time compiling an excellent document only to make it difficult to read!
- As mentioned previously this is a potential employers first assessment of you so ensure there are no spelling mistakes. Spell check your resume and where possible ask someone to proof read your resume.
Your conduct and preparation at an interview is key to securing a new opportunity. The following offers a few interview tips and suggestions on ways to improve your interview technique.
- Whether you are conducting a telephone interview or face to face it’s imperative to remember to be prepared.
- Make sure you know your own resume back to front.
- Research the prospective employer, the website will have a wealth of information in it.
- If you have a job description read it thoroughly and then use it to evidence previous roles in your work history which can be applied to the job you are interviewing for.
- Remember to bring a spare copy of your resume and arrive 10 minutes early.
- Your presentation at an interview is extremely important. Dress professionally and remain corporate.
Telephone interview – more often than not this style of interviewing happens because the practicalities of a face to face interview aren’t possible. Telephone interviews should still be treated in a formal way and the preparation where relevant should be exactly the same as a face to face. If a time has been set aside for a phone interview ensure you are in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and you have a copy of the job description and your resume in front of you. First impressions count so speak clearly and concisely and ask sensible questions.
Face to face interview – An interviewee needs to be conscious of their body language and other forms of non-verbal communication. It’s important to make a positive first impression remembering to maintain eye contact, have a firm handshake and don’t forget to smile. Be sure of your personal hygiene.
Let the interviewer run the interview however be mindful that the interview is a two way discussion. Try not to digress from the question you are answering and make sure you don’t sound too rehearsed. You will be asked if you have any questions at some point in the interview. This is a natural thing and you should have some questions set aside regarding the company direction or role. Make sure you don’t forget that you are the product and it’s important to sell yourself. Remain modest but don’t be backward at highlighting some of your achievements. The interviewer will positively react to your energy and enthusiasm,most interviewers are looking for reasons to employ people.
At the end of the interview smile and thank the interviewer (or the panel) for their time. If a job is offered there and then don’t feel pressurised into to accepting it. Ask for the details to be put in writing and ask for time to consider it. Contact your CGC consultant as soon as possible after leaving the interview and share with them how you got on.
A glossary of potential interview questions
What they could ask you…
What you should think about beforehand.
- What are your greatest achievements to date?
- Why are you seeking a role in our organisation?
- How do you cope with pressure situations?
- If your friends were to describe you what would they say?
What you could ask them…
- What training and professional development will be given?
- How has the business changed over the past year?
- What are the company plans for the future?
- Why is the position available?