Tips for job seekers

Posted: 24th Mar

Looking for work is never easy, especially when you are first starting out in your career. Some quite serious decisions have to be made, for example, are you specialising, do you want to work for a particular type of organisation, are you looking for full or part time work, can you get there? Some people may want to work in not-for-profit organisations only, whereas others are looking for the relative security of government jobs. Whichever sector you choose there are some basic guidelines that will give you the best possible chance of getting into the work of your choice.

  1. Ensure your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is current and keep it up to date.
  2. Include relevant volunteer work in a separate area.
  3. Employers like to see applicants that have kept up-to-date with the latest practices and built on their skills since graduating from a course. Keep track of your major professional development activities, for example workshops or conferences you have attended, and record them on your resume.
  4. Write your cover letter at a high level (not overly detailed) and focus on a few important points relevant to the job. Do not describe your whole experience in the cover letter.
  5. Make sure your letter is enthusiastic, but not over-the-top, so that it gives an employer an insight into you as an applicant.
  6. Keep your cover letter to no more than a page and write in the active not passive tense.
  7. Keep notes to use in applications, for example, document your skills and attributes and note down how you can demonstrate them in a resume/letter/interview.
  8. Carefully address the position selection criteria with relevant evidence not assertion – you may need to prove your experience in an interview. Make sure that you select the experience that matches the selection criteria.
  9. Before you attend an interview, look at the organisation’s website and any other information you can get hold of that will give you an idea of how the organisation operates and the sort of work it undertakes. Make sure the organisation’s values are in alignment with your own.
  10. Use any tips provided on the job search web sites

Good luck with your applications!