Tips and tricks for getting a job
So you wish to find a job – casual, part time, full time – what can you do to achieve this?
Canvass businesses in an area that interests you, provide your resume and apply for advertised positions.
Here is a sample entry level resume.
Here is a sample cover letter, which you can modify.
Leaving your resume or canvassing employers
Make sure your resume (no more than 2 pages) reflects your interest in the area of work or specific job, demonstrate your employability skills, don’t just list them. Have at least 2 referees.
When approaching a business, present as if you are going to be working there, be enthusiastic and ask questions, you are more likely to be remembered.
Follow up with a phone call or another visit.
Watch this video for tips on cold canvassing here.
Applying for a Job
Make sure your resume is up to date and reflects the requirements of the job
Write a cover letter that ‘sells’ you to the employer. You should find out as much as possible about the potential employer. Most businesses are on the internet, maybe newspaper articles or newsletters, or phone the contact number on the ad for the position and ask.
Making the most of an interview opportunity
It is useful to assemble a portfolio (plastic sleeve book) with the following included
- Copy of resume and cover letter
- Copy of the job description and any other information you have gathered
- Any relevant Certificates such as First Aid, OHS, Academic Transcripts
- Any written references
- Birth Certificate
- Tax File Number
- Turn mobile phone and devices off – can be a distraction and rude
Attending an interview
Make sure you are on time (even a little early).
Presentation is key – Most interviews are won during the first 3 – 5 minutes. Make sure your hair is clean and tidy; hands must be clean; have clean teeth and use deodorant. Limit piercings.
Clothing style at a minimum should be smart casual – dress pants, or skirt collard shirt, clean and ironed. Clean lace up shoes or low heeled covered-in shoes, optional tie and jacket, neutral colours best. Avoid jeans, t shirts, low cut tops and short skirts.
Practice a good handshake and eye contact. Come prepared to respond to key questions, examples below.
Some common general questions and suitable responses
Tell me about yourself.
This is mostly an ‘ice breaker’ question. It can be a good idea to write down some points. This should not be more than 3 minutes, and should be job relevant. Mention how much you enjoyed some work experience in a similar area, what subjects you might have liked at school/university, sport, if you like to help out at home, a couple of interests/hobbies. Chance to refer to things like honesty, integrity, team work, determination
Why do you want to work with this business and what does the job involve?
This will reflect your research on the business and the job.
What do you know about our organization?
This will reflect your research on the business and the job.
What 5 words best describe you, or how would someone else describe you?
EG ‘a good team player’ ‘works hard to achieve goals’
Why do you think you might be the best person for the job/ how would you be an asset?
This answer should be short and to the point. Recap the interviewers description of the job, referring to any skills you have in relation the position. Use your resume as a base to start from.
What are some significant accomplishments so far?
You could say that you feel your biggest achievements are still ahead. Otherwise outline an achievement at school, sport, in the community or volunteering or in your casual job.
Describe a situation in which your work was criticized, and the outcome/ Tell about a time you might have had to make a difficult or unpopular decision.
In answering this focus on how you solved the problem and lessons you learnt. This is to show how you are at problem solving, clues to answering this effectively can be found in the position description and key competencies required for the job
What are your long term goals/where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years’ time?
Realistically no-one expects you to know exactly, it is more to get an idea of your general long term career plan, it gives an indication of your motivation and ability to grow personally. You could start by explaining why the job will help you develop your desired skills. The research of the business will help you see what you could say about further responsibilities/career you could aim for in the future, this shows the interviewer/s that you want to succeed.
What is one of your strengths?
This would be something like commitment, punctuality, attention to detail.
What are your weaknesses?
This is generally asked to find out how you manage these rather than be critical. Emphasise your skills, don’t say you have no weak points. example, if you say that your weakness is that you are a perfectionist, then you could explain how you are overcoming it by developing your organizational and prioritizing skills.
Give a non-sport related example of when you have worked in a team – role & outcome?
This could be part of your part time job, a school assignment where you work with other students or if you are part of the College’s leadership team. Any time you have worked with a group of people.
Questions to ask
Do you have any questions? Make sure you have at least 3 good questions, such as :
Why is this position available ?
What type of training will be offered ?
What obstacles must be overcome for a person to succeed in this position ?
What are your goals for this position?
How will my performance be evaluated ?
What opportunities are there for growth in the future?
Could you please provide more details about what the job involves, including hours of work?
What not to do
- Chew gum during interview
- Use slang or words such as ‘like’, ‘you know’ excessively
- Be overly familiar or impolite
- Give rambling answers
- Discuss personal issues
- Be critical of former employers or colleagues or teachers
- Discuss salary or benefits, unless the interviewer brings it up.
- Have your mobile device/phone switched on and beeping
Work Locally in your GAP year: apply for a vintage job at one of the wineries – applications open in October. Check their websites or look for their advertisements in the Area News. Canvass retailers, restaurants and professions such as solicitors and accountants.
Contact your school Careers Adviser. They will be contacted by employers seeking gap year students for roles such as medical receptionist, and for traineeships in retail and administration.
Check out facebook groups such as Griffith Work Wanted and Vacancies and Jobs Griffith Region.
Consider doing a GAP year in an industry you are interested in to try it out before commencing tertiary study.